What is Vocational Guidance?

The vocational guidance is an area of both science education as behavioral, ie psychology, it is concerned because the decision is a fundamental pillar in the development of the individual and their learning, throughout life.

What is Vocational Guidance

Therefore, in this article, we intend to publicize the importance of vocational guidance as a tool for decision making, the stages through which the human being passes to reach a goal, ICTs as a new resource and the variables to be taken into account in any guidance instrument.

What is Vocational Guidance

Definition of vocational guidance

Vocational guidance has as its mission to solve the needs that students have in situations in which they must make decisions, for example, the approach of their future with the selection of the degree they wish to access.

In addition, it also covers and, takes into account, the situations derived from the transition from one stage to another, since the person is a student until he starts working (Chacón, 2003).

The term comes, traditionally, from the terminology “vocare” which means “to call”. That is, all human beings have the right to feel “called” by something we call “vocation”.

There are other sciences, such as psychology, which have been using the term in another direction for years. They choose to analyze the search for balance that is established between the needs of the person to respond to existing demands for employment and the demands of the person.

That is why we understand vocation as a part of the person’s psychosocial development that affects the affective, cognitive and behavioral fields, which will have a special impact on the socialization of the individual.

We can say, therefore, that the vocational is intimately linked with the development of the person, with their self-esteem, with their self-concept , with their own identity and, therefore, needs this balance constantly (Martínez, 1998).

Likewise, we must continue with the definition, pointing out that vocational guidance has two primary aspects: the vocational orientation itself and the development of the career.

Both sides work to cover the need that students have and provide the information required to fit into a world of work that, at that moment, appears as something very far away. However, with the passage of time, we must point out that the term has gone from being something punctual, at a certain moment, to being a permanent action where education influences.

Vocational guidance focuses on self-knowledge, information about educational offers and academic itineraries. It is the union of all this information that gives way to the student making his own decisions (Blanco y Frutos, 2016).

Maturity and vocation

It is appropriate to bear in mind that, in any orientation process, the maturational situation in which the individual is located must be addressed. Ginzberg, in the 50s, as a relevant author in regard to the subject we are dealing with studies and discloses evolutionary stages that are shown in the vocational behavior of the human being.

This fact was, without a doubt, a great advance for the study of the orientation and its proposals have been surpassed by other authors that would come next, like Super.

Therefore, it is appropriate to point out the studies of this last author, called “life Span”, that is, “life cycle”, which from a global view points out five relevant moments in the development of the person, with regard to the evolution of maturity (Martínez, 1998).

  • The first period of growth begins from birth to 14 years.
  • The second, called exploration period, runs from 14 to 24 years. In this are included, first, the trial stage (from 15 to 17 years, where they begin to have experience but lack security). Secondly, the transition stage (from 18 to 21 years old, where the person already makes decisions that are imposed, in addition, personal identification also occurs with at least part of the vocational space). In third place, the rehearsal stage (from 22 to 24 years old, a conflict begins in the search for the first job, that is, they begin to make a decision of more relevance in their field of specialization.
  • Third, the affirmation period focuses from 24 to 44 years.
  • Fourth, the maintenance period appears after 45 years of retirement.
  • And, fifthly, the period of decline begins from retirement until it faces death.

Likewise, Super (1953) also identified, at first, 10 ideas. These would be summarized in the following statements:

  1. Human beings can identify in their development skills and interests in their own personality.
  2. Taking into account the development of these characteristics may go to one occupation or another.
  3. These occupations need a typical pattern of skills, interests and traits that make up the personality of the human being. This allows more possibility for each person to access different occupations.
  4. Competencies and vocational preferences are the situations in which people live and work. This is how the concept we have of ourselves is generated, however, this changes with the time and experience we have. Therefore, this implies that the ability to adapt and make decisions varies with the passage of time.
  5. This process is defined through periods characterized by growth , exploration , establishment and withdrawal .
  6. It is the very nature of the patterns of the studies, that is, the occupational level of a job, which is defined by the socioeconomic level of the person’s family, as well as their mental capacity , their personality and the opportunities that they offer. go appearing.
  7. Maturation is achieved through the stages of life. This path can be facilitated through the knowledge of reality and the development of self-concept.
  8. In the words of the authors, this eighth idea is reflected as follows:

“The process of vocational development is essentially the development of the concept of oneself. This concept is the product of the interaction of skills, of the neural and endocrine composition, of the inheritance, of the opportunities that one has in life and of the level of approval expressed by superiors and partners in the tasks performed. “


  1. External factors and the human being is linked to self-concept and reality and this is reflected in all the actions that the human being makes.
  2. Obtaining a full and satisfied life derives from the professional outputs to which the person fits, all related to their abilities, their interests, their personality traits and their values.

However, to evaluate the professional development in each stage, far from the existence of a single vocational option according to the person, the same author defined the term of vocational maturity as that situation in which the person is positioned at a certain point of development vocational, which takes place from the moment the inquiry appears in the possibilities that it has up to the moment in which the professional decline begins .

Currently we understand that it is pending as “the ability to adequately handle the information it obtains from the medium itself and the construction of a realistic self-concept that is weighted with the situation of the adolescent” (Rocabert et al., 1990 in Martínez, 1998 ).

To finish this section, we must specify that Super defines vocational maturity as experiential maturity, and to define it necessarily requires three requirements:

  1. “Planning of one’s vocational orientation”.
  2. “Resources mobilized for vocational exploration”.
  3. “Information and vocational decision making”.
  4. “Orientation to reality”.

Types of vocational counseling

While it is true, guidance and advice are closely linked in the broad agenda in which educational and professional guidance is framed. However, we must allude to the advice that, in the words of Martínez (1998), is given to the students in the activities that comprise the guiding and tutorial action.

For its part, this activity aims to provide help and serve as a personal guide in the resolution of problems related to professional development, within the stages previously mentioned in vocational maturity.

However, in the same way, we understand that this help should be carried out in two different levels, as pointed out by Vidal and Manjón (1997), on the one hand with the Generalized Vocational Counseling and, on the other, with the Individualized Counseling.

What should we keep in mind for a vocational guidance instrument?

We have already mentioned the meaning of vocational guidance, its stages and vocational counseling as relevant terms in the subject that concerns us. However, we must point out that in order to exercise vocational guidance there are numerous instruments that facilitate the work to be carried out. These instruments are autonomous, mostly, and have variables such as: interests, skills and performance, among others that can be taken into account.

On the other hand, Watts (1979) states that “professional life can be subdivided into stages related to personal evolution and it would be the integration of interests, abilities and values ​​that could play a concurrent role in vocational development “. To this, Gonsálvez (1990) proposes an orientation work based on studies that implies the equilibrium that is necessary between aptitudes, interests and school performance.

From here, depending on this balance, the success in the choice of the person will be given. Therefore, the greater the consonance between the proposed variables, the greater the probability of academic success the future student will obtain. To do this, it proposes a triangular model that facilitates the work of the counselor.

Finally, we must point out that starting from the contributions of the authors, there is, as a proposal, the possibility of designing an instrument of self-orientation that can combine three relevant variables in the development of the professional career: interests, capacities and performance (thus they are the only variables that have a relevant role in making vocational decisions), in addition to the context or environment that is conditioning for the interests and has the function of organizing stimuli that intervene in the skills and performance of the student (Blanco y Fruits, 2016).

The use of tics in vocational guidance

Vocational guidance has also been influenced by information and communication technologies (hereafter, ICTs). However, despite the possibilities offered, there are few initiatives in schools where it can be used.

Research has been carried out where they have been used as a self-assessment tool for knowledge related to guidance. Therefore, as a proposal that we bring to this article, we must point out that among several guidance departments, a documentary database of a referential nature was designed, denominating it as BDOE. It is here where interesting data appear from where you can extract information from real experiences carried out in schools.

The amount of information that is left aside in the daily practice of the educational reality is numerous because there is no specific material that can collect it. For this reason, the BDOE shows real experiences such as counseling programs, curricular adaptations, etc., that can be used by any professional who needs it.

This information are articles belonging to the Universitat Jaume I, which have an informative nature and aim to enrich the network of Guidance Departments. This is because the database allows a double communication: one between the University and the Guidance Departments and another between the Departments. In all cases it is about sharing situations that share a common goal.

The utility of the BDOE can be indicated from:

  1. To carry out an analysis of the articles that are located in this one and that these can be used for specific works and to complete the training of the university students that study subjects related to the Psychology of Education.
  2. Provide information to school counselors, belonging to the Guidance Departments, so that they can use it in their daily work with school children.
  3. To carry out the work of university research and to analyze the problems arising in real contexts.
  4. To offer the possibility of the university student (future counselor) to have a great example of the educational reality, so that it is completed as a professional.

Also Read: 12 Tips of Psychology to Raise Children

The tool has numerous functions for the counselor, either in the present or in the future. It is the need for a permanent update that is resolved with the updating and feedback of the BDOE in which information and content are provided by the university students themselves and school counselors, to share knowledge (Sanz, 2007).

 

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