Students who enroll in a career counseling program develop early career interest. Their participation generates a greater sense of personal well-being, as well as positive academic and professional results. A program was developed for high school students to experience first-hand what it means to work in health sciences. Two years later, the effects of the vocational program were evaluated to analyze the motivation and satisfaction of the students with their professional orientation. Professional orientation towards a specific job position involves many factors, among which are personal motivation and personal desire to exercise the position, which, in turn, entails a thorough understanding of what the position requires and the adoption of the values and principles inherent to it.
The individual who has reached this level of understanding regarding a specific job or career has acquired a high degree of professional awareness. It incorporates a system of images, beliefs, ideas, feelings and approaches constituted within the individual. The factors that influence career guidance are innumerable. These factors differ by individual and by various social and economic pressures, which can cause individuals to choose one job or career over another. In this sense, professional awareness is a variable that attracts many researchers from both the educational and regulatory spheres due to its potential. This in order to improve the level of knowledge and skills of the individual in a way that positively impacts professional development.
Background of Studies in Professional Guidance
There are many studies that have investigated the relationship between professional orientation and specific variables. Multiple intelligences, personality traits, academic performance, academic specialization, creative abilities, and cognitive style are included. In this regard, samples of high school and university students have been used. The results of previous studies confirm the importance of offering programs aimed at developing career guidance in higher education institutions.
These programs have been found to change the career orientations of students and enhance the competencies required for diverse professional cultures and enhance individual growth. Therefore, it can be concluded that the lack of development of the professional orientations of the students can result in a lack of awareness of the students about the nature of the various jobs available in their societies and that this lack of awareness generates confusion and, therefore, lack of focus. on specific objectives among students. The results of another study also identify certain factors that influence the professional orientation of students.
Among these factors are the individual’s beliefs regarding the social nature of her future profession; the characteristics, abilities and personal skills of the individual; the awareness and professional knowledge that the student acquires from the university; and the future expectations of the profession. However, the findings of another study suggest that the social status of the occupation within society is one of the main factors influencing the professional orientations of medical students. In another study, it is the degree of effectiveness of students with respect to specific professional skills and their motivation towards a certain professional activity that influences the professional orientations of students.
Professional Guidance and Psychological Theories
Career orientations are established according to a number of psychological theories, such as personality and occupations theory, a theory based on the premise that career orientation is a personality trait. In other words, when an individual describes his career orientation, he is, in fact, describing his character; therefore, people can be classified according to one of six personality types: realistic, investigative, technical, social, adventurous, and traditional.
These personality types or orientations are the product of interactions between various factors, including genetics, parenting, and personal and social experiences. Such factors and interactions make a person prefer certain activities over others. These preferences then become orientations, which then lead to personal competencies and choices that make an individual think and behave in definitive ways. For example, a social person is more inclined to work in social occupations, such as education or human services.
Vocational counseling, also called career counseling, has been viewed as a step in choosing to pursue a career. It is more of a dynamic process than a one-time static decision. Several studies have linked the decision-making process to the development of the professional’s self-image, which is continually contrasted with its real context. Universities have a responsibility to foster environments where students can explore their motivations to develop their full potential. However, before making this life direction decision, it is necessary to take a deep introspection on one’s strengths and weaknesses, and the implications for lifestyle within the chosen career field.
Choosing a college career represents a naturally critical life decision for anyone interested in pursuing a higher education. Particularly in the health sciences, few studies have analyzed the impact of a professional orientation on students. Career guidance should include an analysis of the impact of your future career on your interests, passion, and skills. By the time the future lifestyle decision is made, primarily at the end of high school, students go through a difficult transition. This commonly leads to poorly educated decisions that could alter your lifestyle and negatively affect your future. Certain specialties require doctors to be available on weekends and holidays, while others are very stressful regardless of time or day. Vocational programs must provide students with the appropriate context and first-hand experience to address those life-defining decisions.
Orientation and Learning Communities
One particular model for operating vocational programs are learning communities. These groups composed of students and teachers promote vertical interactions with the goal of providing a better learning environment for academic experiences. The impact of these interventions is directly related to their application at specific moments of the career. Interventions range from academic programs to sports and arts tournaments, allowing participants to make valuable connections that go beyond the confines of the classroom. These safe spaces that are created for interaction and are highly appreciated by students, emphasizing the importance of developing the program for this particular purpose. Some programs have reported successful results.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City focused on role modeling as a critical part of its development, and the interactions continued over four years, not just witnessing its models in action just once. Programs should provide clarity of teacher roles to the learning community and in student-related activities, promote integration between students of different school years, and foster longitudinal relationship between students and faculty members. According to a national study of different programs in the United States, with universities such as Stanford, John Hopkins, and Vanderbilt, a design should focus on professional development, professional identity formation, and mentoring / mentoring. These programs address the hesitancy to pursue medicine as a career, which has recently gained prevalence among students in the early years.
A model for a vocational program
Students who enroll in a career counseling program develop an early interest in the profession. Their participation generates a greater sense of personal well-being, as well as positive academic and professional results. Personal wellness is experienced by having the confidence to choose a career in which the self will flourish mentally, physically, and spiritually. A positive academic outcome arises from achieving the learning objectives of the educational program to become a healthcare professional. Is the result of being part of a community of practice in which to develop a successful career. Implementing cascade tutoring programs, based on the premise that it promotes a positive educational environment. In these programs, physicians act as mentors to students, who in turn take on the same role as their classmates.
Professional awareness is considered a complicated factor insofar as it is the result of various interactions between numerous factors, such as professional knowledge, professional perfectionism, emotional aspects related to the profession, professional beliefs and professional preparation. Additionally, there are many other factors that affect an individual’s level of professional awareness, such as the individual’s degree of motivation, the nature of the work environment, and the degree of transparency and clarity regarding the profession.
Consequently, career guidance and career awareness are closely interdependent insofar as one’s personal characteristics, desires, and efforts, as well as one’s personal worldview are expressed through the psychological concept known as locus of control. The concept of locus of control, a classic concept in psychology, was introduced in 1966 by Julian Rotter when he used an assessment tool that allowed researchers to assess the general expectations of individuals in relation to their loci of control. Locus of control is considered as the belief of the individual in his capacity to govern or direct the incidents and experiences that affect his life. The individual who perceives that external factors control her decisions and personal life and who believes that she has no influence on these external factors exhibits an external locus of control.
Career counseling should begin in the school setting, as it increases students’ awareness of the varied nature of different jobs and helps identify the jobs that are best suited for each student. This orientation is considered even more important with respect to the social settings associated with various careers. Institutions of higher education are responsible for developing specific skills of students, such as being aligned with chosen professional requirements in the workplace.
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