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Expanding The Focus Of Career Assessment

Improvements in technology, enhanced access to information changes in the job market, movement to multiple careers, greater sophistication of job seekers, and increased emphasis by employers on career assessment all indicate the need to expand traditional views of career assessment. New data also indicate the need to assess more than the traditional catalog of individual skills, abilities, and interests. Both individuals seeking career advice and potential employers are interested in more than job and skill fit, they also want to know about a person’s ability to move outside the bounds of traditional career ladders and about the fit between an individual’s and organization’s goals and values. We present an expanded model of career assessment and some preliminary data to support this model.

Several trends have emerged over the past few years that will significantly impact the career assessment field. These trends involve changes in technology; new and improved assessments; a more holistic approach to career assessment; and increased employer participation in career assessment. These trends should prompt career assessment professionals to rethink their approach to their profession. Some research has been directed at these trends, yielding new results; however, more needs to be done. In order to adjust the focus of career assessment, two fundamental questions need to be answered. These include

(a) What major issues are impacting the career assessment field? And

(b) What variables are most important to consider when providing career assessment advice? Each of these questions will be discussed separately