85403 - Career Counseling

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Rita Chiesa
  • Credits: 4
  • SSD: M-PSI/06
  • Language: English
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Cesena
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology (cod. 9236)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will know the most relevant explanatory theories of Vocational Psychology, and some of the main techniques used in career intervention, with particular concern to career counselling.

Course contents

The course has two main objectives:

  • 1-presenting the theoretical and research aspects that characterize the study of careers according to Vocational Psychology approach;
  • 2-introducing career counseling, coaching and outplacement (main principles and tecniques).

Specifically, the course aims to improve the students' knowledges about the following contents:

  • Main current theoretical approaches to career and employability;
  • Interpersonal differences in career self-management and competencies;
  • Career counselling: aims and techniques;
  • Career interventions in organizations: outplacement and coaching.


For understanding the main theoretical approaches to the study of careers:

Akkermans, J., Brenninkmeijer, V., Huibers, M. & Blonk R.W.B. (2013) Competencies for the contemporary career: Development and preliminary validation of the Career Competencies Questionnaire. Journal of Career Development, 40 (3),245-267,

De Vos, A., Van der Heijden, B.I.J.M., Akkermans, J. (in press).
Sustainable careers: Towards a conceptual model. Journal of Vocational Behavior.

Fugate, M., Kinicki, A. J., & Ashforth, B. E. (2004). Employability: A psycho-social construct, its dimensions, and applications. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 65(1), 14.

Guilbert, L., Bernaud, J., Gouvernet, B., & Rossier, J. (2016). Employability: Review and research prospects. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 16, 69–89

Savickas, M.L. (2012). Constructing Careers: Actors, Agents, and Authors. The Counseling Psychologist, 41(4), 648-662

Rothwell, A. & Arnold, J. (2007). Self-perceived employability: development and validation of a scale, Personnel Review, 36 (1), 23-41

Van der Heijde, C. M., & Van der Heijden, B. I. J. M. (2006). A competence-based and multidimensional operationalization and measurement of employability. Human Resource Management, 45(3), 449-476.

For approaching career interventions:

Boyce, L. A. & Hernez-Broome, G. (2010). Introduction: State of Executive Coaching. In G. Hernez-Broome & L. A. Boyce (Eds.). Advancing executive coaching : Setting the course for successful leadership coaching. Pfeiffer & Co.

Gysbers, N. C., Heppner, M. J., & Johnston, J. A. (2014). Career counseling: Holism, diversity, and strengths. Wiley. Following chapters: Chapter 1 Career Counseling: A Life Career Development Perspective; Chapter 8 Opening Phase of the Career Counseling Process: Forming the Working Alliance; Chapter 16 Using Information, Taking Action, and Developing Plans of Action

Teaching methods

The course combines traditional lectures with in-group discussions, case studies analyses and practical exercises.

The course is designed to be very interactive, based on students’ active participation. Therefore, students are requested to attend systematically all the lectures.

Exchange students, aiming to choose this course for their learning agreement, should carefully consider – in their own interest – that they are requested to attend the full course.

Assessment methods

The grading scale is from 0 to 30, 18 being the minimum passing grade.

Summative assessment will be completed by two structured assignments:

1. A small group (2 or 3 members) case study paper (up to 30 points). The paper should be 1500-2000 words in lenght. A oral presentation of the small group work to the class is requested too.

2. An individual literature short review paper on the effectiveness of career interventions (up to 30 points). The paper should be 2000-2500 words in lenght.

Small Group paper and presentation Evaluation Criteria: a) Accuracy of organizational context analysis b) consistency between contextual analysis and critical analysis of intervention; c) accuracy of paper structure and format

Individual literature short review Evaluation Criteria: a)Clarity of aim; b) Pertinence of references; c) critical analysis of evidence; d) accuracy of the paper structure

Teaching tools

Powerpoint slides for lectures; Audio/video contents for lectures; Scientific papers; guided discussions and exercises

Office hours

See the website of Rita Chiesa


Good health and well-being Gender equality Decent work and economic growth

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.