Career Development

Current Trends in Career Development

Career DevelopmentThe world of work has been changing rapidly in the last few decades due to new technology, changes in the organization of work, shifting requirements for worker knowledge and skill, and a global labor surplus (Herr & Cramer, 1996). All these changes affect the career development of individuals over the life span. Current trends for the area of career development include the following:

  1. Substantial changes will continue to occur in the occupational, economic, industrial, and social environ­ments and structures, and these changes will influence individual career development. For example, the use and sophistication of technology have increased dra­matically. New jobs are created, and the need for other jobs is reduced or even eliminated, thus requiring more workers to change jobs or even move to another oc­cupational group.
  2. As job opportunities shift, there will be more par­ticipation in retraining programs.
  3. There is a greater need for a better educated work force. There are fewer opportunities for an unskilled work force because the jobs they do are done for less money in underdeveloped countries. A survey by the National Alliance of Business (1990) found that 64% of the companies responding were dissatisfied with the reading, writing, and reasoning skills of today’s enter­ing work force.
  4. Flexibility in work schedules (e.g., job sharing. part-time work) will likely increase, giving more options to workers with particular needs.
  5. There will be even greater attention to the career development of a more diverse population. The work force today includes more women, members of racial and ethnic groups, openly homosexual and bisexual in­dividuals, and persons with various types of disabilities.
  6. There is a greater awareness of the need to at­tend to career development issues across the life span.
  7. As the “baby boom” cohort approaches the tra­ditional retirement age, there is an increasing interest in research concerning the decision to retire. Although financial status is a critical factor in the decision to retire, physical limitations and health problems and psychological factors such as satisfaction with career attainment and anxieties about separation from the workplace also play a role.


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