The relationship between career competencies, career identity, motivation and quality of choice

  • Frans MeijersEmail author
  • Marinka Kuijpers
  • Chad Gundy


In this article we focus on the effects of career education and guidance among students (ages 12–19) enrolled in prevocational and secondary vocational education in The Netherlands. Our study included 3,499 students and 166 teachers in 226 classes in 34 schools. The results showed that career competencies positively contributed to learning motivation, experienced quality of study choice, experienced fit of choice with learning tasks, and experienced fit of internship. Career identity positively contributed to career outcomes, and career dialogue contributed more than traditional interventions have with respect to career outcomes.


Career guidance Outcome effects Vocational education 


La relation entre les compétences professionnelles, l’identité professionnelle, la motivation et la qualité des choix. Dans cet article, nous nous concentrons sur les effets de l’éducation en orientation et du conseil en orientation professionnelle sur des étudiants (âgés de 12 à 19 ans) inscrits en formation préprofessionnelle et professionnelle aux Pays-Bas. Notre étude a porté sur 3499 élèves et 166 enseignants dans 226 classes et 34 écoles. Les résultats montrent que les compétences professionnelles contribuent positivement à la motivation à l’apprentissage, la qualité de l’expérience du choix d’études, la qualité vécue de l’ajustement du choix aux tâches d’apprentissage et l’ajustement vécu à la pratique. L’identité professionnelle contribue positivement aux résultats en lien avec la carrière, et le dialogue de carrière contribue plus aux résultats en lien avec la carrière que ne le font les interventions traditionnelles.


Die Beziehungzwischen Karriere Kompetenzen, beruflicher Identität, Motivation und Qualität der Wahl. In diesem Artikel konzentrieren wir uns auf die Auswirkungen der Berufsorientierung und Beratung unter Schülern (Alter 12-19) eingeschrieben in berufsvorbereitenden und berufsbildenden weiterführenden Schulen in den Niederlanden. Unsere Studie umfasste 166 Lehrer und 3499 Schüler in 226 Klassen in 34 Schulen. Die Ergebnisse zeigten, dass Karriere Kompetenzen einen positiven Beitrag leisteten zur Lernmotivation, der Qualität der Studienwahl, der empfundenen Passung der Wahl mit Lernaufgaben und der empfundenen Passung des Praktikums. Karriere Identität hatte positive Karriere-Effekte und Gespräche über Karriere trugen im Hinblick auf Effekte mehr bei als traditionelle Interventionen.


La relación entre las competencias profesionales, la identidad profesional, la motivación y la calidad de la elección. En este artículo nos centramos en los efectos de la educación y orientación profesional de los estudiantes (entre 12 y 19 años) matriculados en preorientación y educación profesional en secundaria en los Países Bajos. Nuestro estudio incluyó a 3499 estudiantes y 166 profesores en 226 clases de 34 escuelas. Los resultados mostraron que las competencias profesionales contribuyen positivamente a la motivación por aprender, la calidad de la experiencia del estudio elegido, experimentaron el ajuste de la elección con las tareas de aprendizaje y las prácticas. La identidad profesional contribuyó positivamente a los resultados de la trayectoria profesional, y el diálogo de esta trayectoria contribuyó más que las intervenciones tradicionales con respecto a los resultados de la carrera profesional.


  1. Arthur, M. B., Inkson, K., & Pringle, J. (1999). The new careers: Individual action and economic change. London, UK: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Arthur, M. B., Khapova, S. N., & Wilderom, C. P. M. (2005). Career success in a boundaryless career world. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 26, 177–202. doi: 10.1002/job.290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bailey, T. R., Hughes, K. L., & Moore, D. T. (2004). Working knowledge: Work-based learning and education reform. New York, NY: Routledge Farmer.Google Scholar
  4. Beck, U. (1994). The reinvention of politics: Towards a theory of reflexive modernisation. In U. Beck, A. Giddens, & S. Lash (Eds.), Reflexive modernisation (pp. 1–56). Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bimrose, J., Barnes, S.-A., Hughes, D., & Orton, M. (2004). What is effective guidance? Evidence from longitudinal case studies in England. Coventry, UK: Warwick Institute for Employment Research/University of Warwick.Google Scholar
  6. Bruner, J. (1990). Acts of meaning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Central Bureau of Statistics. (2009). Statistisch Jaarboek 2009 [Statistical Year Book 2009]. Den Haag/Heerlen, The Netherlands: Author.Google Scholar
  8. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  9. Company, F. J. (2009). Vocational guidance and career counselling in the European Union: Origins and recent trends. In R. Maclean & D. N. Wilson (Eds.), International handbook of education for the changing world of work: Bridging academic and vocational learning (pp. 2313–2329). New York, NY: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dawis, R. V. (1996). Vocational psychology, vocational adjustment, and the workforce: Some familiar and unanticipated consequences. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 2, 229–248. doi: 10.1037//1076-8971.2.2.229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. De Bruijn, E., Overmaat, M., Glaudé, M., Heemskerk, I., Leeman, Y., Roeleveld, J., et al. (2005). Krachtige leeromgevingen in het middelbaar beroepsonderwijs: vormgeving en effecten [Strong learning environments in secondary vocational education: Design and effects]. Pedagogische Studiën, 82, 77–95.Google Scholar
  12. Den Hertog, P. C. (1992). De “IE-18 locus of control”-vragenlijst: Betrouwbaarheid en validiteit van een gewijzigde versie [The “IE-18 locus of control” questionnaire: Reliability and validity of a changed version]. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Psychologie, 47, 82–87.Google Scholar
  13. Dieleman, A., & Meijers, F. (2005). Paradise lost: Youth in transition in The Netherlands. In N. Bagnall (Ed.), Youth transition in a globalised marketplace (pp. 75–99). New York, NY: Nova Science.Google Scholar
  14. Eurostat. (2008). Europe in figures. Eurostat yearbook 2008. Luxembourg, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  15. Frijda, N. (1989). The emotions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Gatto, J. T. (2009). Weapons of mass instruction: A school teacher’s journey through the dark world of compulsory schooling. Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society.Google Scholar
  17. Geurts, J., & Meijers, F. (2009). Vocational education in The Netherlands: In search of a new identity. In R. Maclean & D. N. Wilson (Eds.), International handbook of education for the changing world of work: Bridging academic and vocational learning (pp. 483–499). New York, NY: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and self-identity: The self and society in the late modern age. London, UK: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  19. Guindon, M. H., & Hanna, F. J. (2002). Coincidence, happenstance, serendipity, fate, or the hand of God: Case studies in synchronicity. The Career Development Quarterly, 50, 195–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gysbers, N. C., & Henderson, P. (2005). Designing, implementing, and managing a comprehensive school guidance and counseling program. In C. A. Sink (Ed.), Contemporary school counseling: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 151–188). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  21. Hochschild, A. (1983). The managed heart: Commercialisation of human feelings. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  22. Holt, J. (1995). How children fail (Rev ed.). Reading, MA: Perseus Books.Google Scholar
  23. Hox, J. (2002). Multilevel analysis: Techniques and applications. New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  24. Hughes, D., Bosley, S., Bowes, L., & Bysshe, S. (2002). The economic benefits and guidance [Research report]. Derby, UK: Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby.Google Scholar
  25. Hughes, K. L., & Karp, M. M. (2004). School-based career development: A synthesis of the literature. New York, NY: Columbia University-Institute on Education and the Economy Teachers College.Google Scholar
  26. Irving, B. A., & Malik, B. (Eds.). (2005). Critical reflections on career education and guidance: Promoting social justice within a global economy. London, UK: Routledge Farmer.Google Scholar
  27. Jarvis, P., & Keeley, E. S. (2003). From vocational decision making to career building: Blueprint, real games, and school counseling. Professional School Counseling, 6, 244–251.Google Scholar
  28. Killeen, J. (1996). The learning and economic outcomes of guidance. In A. G. Watts, B. Law, J. Killeen, J. M. Kidd, & R. Hawthorn (Eds.), Rethinking careers education and guidance: Theory, policy and practice (pp. 72–94). London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Killeen, J., Edwards, A., Barnes, A., & Watts, A. G. (1999). Evaluating the UK national pilot of The Real Game: Technical report on the quantitative analysis of learning outcomes [NICEC project report]. Cambridge, UK: Careers Research and Advisory Centre.Google Scholar
  30. Killeen, J., White, M., & Watts, A. G. (1992). The economic value of careers guidance. London, UK: Policy Studies Institute/Department for Education and Employment.Google Scholar
  31. Krieshok, T. S., Black, M. D., & McKay, R. A. (2009). Career decision making: The limits of rationality and the abundance of non-conscious processes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 76, 275–290. doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2009.04.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Krumboltz, J. D., & Worthington, R. L. (1999). The school-to-work transition from a learning theory perspective. The Career Development Quarterly, 47, 312–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kuijpers, M., Meijers, F., & Gundy, C. (2011). The relationship between learning environment and career competencies of students in vocational education. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 78, 21–30. doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2010.05.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kuijpers, M. A. C. T., & Scheerens, J. (2006). Career competencies for the modern career. Journal of Career Development, 32, 303–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kuijpers, M., Schyns, B., & Scheerens, J. (2006). Career competencies for career success. The Career Development Quarterly, 55, 168–179. doi: 10.1177/0894845305283006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Light, R. (2001). Making the most of college. Students speak their minds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Masdonati, J., Massoudi, K., & Rossier, J. (2009). Effectiveness of career counseling and the impact of the working alliance. Journal of Career Development, 36, 183–203. doi: 10.1177/0894845309340798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McIlveen, P., & Patton, W. (2007). Dialogical self: Author and narrator of career life themes. International Journal of Educational and Vocational Guidance, 7, 67–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. McWhirter, E. H., Rasheed, S., & Crothers, M. (2000). The effects of high school career education on social-cognitive variables. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 47, 330–341. doi: 10.1037/0022-0167.47.3.330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Meijers, F. (1995). Arbeidsidentiteit:Sstudie- en beroepskeuze in de post-industriële samenleving. [Career identity: Study and career choices in a post-industrial society] Alphen a/d Rijn, The Netherlands: Samsom H. D. Tjeenk Willink.Google Scholar
  41. Meijers, F. (2008). Mentoring in Dutch vocational education: An unfulfilled promise. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 36, 235–252. doi: 10.1080/03069880802090008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Meijers, F., & Lengelle, R. (2012). Narratives at work: The development of career identity. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 40, 157–177. doi: 10.1080/03069885.2012.665159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Meijers, F., & Wardekker, W. (2002). Career learning in a changing world: The role of emotions. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 24(3), 149–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mitchell, K. E., Levin, A. S., & Krumboltz, J. D. (1999). Planned happenstance: Constructing unexpected career ppportunities. Journal of Counselling and Development, 77, 115–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mittendorff, K. (2010). Career conversations in senior secondary vocational education (Doctoral thesis). Eindhoven, The Netherlands: Eindhoven University of Technology.Google Scholar
  46. Mittendorff, K., Jochems, W., Meijers, F., & Den Brock, P. (2008). Differences and similarities in the use of the portfolio and personal development plan for career guidance in various vocational schools in The Netherlands. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 60, 75–91. doi: 10.1080/13636820701828903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. National Center for Education Statistics. (2001). The condition of education 2001. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  48. Oliver, L. W., & Spokane, A. R. (1988). Career-intervention outcomes: What contributes to client gain? Journal of Counseling Psychology, 35, 447–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2004). Career guidance and public policy: Bridging the gap. Paris, France: Author.Google Scholar
  50. Parsad, B., Alexander, D., Farris, E., & Hudson, L. (2003). High school guidance counseling [NCES 2003–015]. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.Google Scholar
  51. Prawat, R. S. (1998). Current self-regulation views of learning and motivation viewed through a Deweyan lens: The problems with dualism. American Educational Research Journal, 35, 199–224. doi: 10.2307/1163423.Google Scholar
  52. Rasbash, J., Charlton, C., Browne, W. J., Healy, M., & Cameron, B. (2005). MLwiN Version 2.02. [Computer software]. Bristol, UK: University of Bristol, Centre for Multilevel Modelling.Google Scholar
  53. Savickas, M. L. (2000). Renovating the psychology of careers for the twenty-first century. In A. Collin & R. A. Young (Eds.), The future of career (pp. 53–68). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Savickas, M. (2002). Career construction: A developmental theory of vocational behavior. In D. A. Brown (Ed.), Career choice and development (4th ed., pp. 149–205). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  55. Savickas, M. (2005). The theory and practice of career construction. In S. D. Brown & R. W. Lent (Eds.), Career development and counseling: Putting theory and research to work (pp. 42–70). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  56. Savickas, M., Van Esbroeck, R., & Herr, E. L. (2005). The internationalization of educational and vocational guidance. The Career Development Quarterly, 54, 77–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sennett, R. (1998). The corrosion of character: The personal consequences of work in the new capitalism. London, UK: Norton.Google Scholar
  58. Snijder, T., & Bosker, R. (1999). Multilevel analysis: An introduction to basic and advanced multilevel modeling. London, UK: Sage.Google Scholar
  59. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  60. Tinto, V. (2000). Linking learning and leaving: Exploring the role of college classrooms in student departure. In J. Braxton (Ed.), Reworking the student departure puzzle (pp. 58–74). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Van Merriënboer, J. J. G., & De Croock, M. B. M. (2002). Performance-based ISD: 10 steps to complex learning. Performance Improvement, 41(7), 33–38. doi: 10.1002/pfi.4140410708.Google Scholar
  62. Van Woerkom, M. (2008). Critical reflection and related higher-level conceptualizations of learning: Realistic or idealistic? Human Resource Development Review, 7, 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Watts, A. G., & Sultana, R. G. (2004). Career guidance policies in 37 countries: Contrasts and common themes. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 4, 105–122. doi: 10.1007/s10775-005-1025-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Whiston, S. C., Sexton, T. L., & Lasoff, D. L. (1998). Career-intervention outcome: A replication and extension of Oliver and Spokane (1988). Journal of Counseling Psychology, 45, 150–165. doi: 10.1037//0022-0167.45.2.150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wijers, G., & Meijers, F. (1996). Career guidance in the knowledge society. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 24, 185–198. doi: 10.1080/03069889600760171.Google Scholar
  66. Winters, A., Meijers, F., Harlaar, M., Strik, A., Kuijpers, M., & Baert, H. (in press). The narrative quality of career conversations in vocational education. Journal of Constructivist Psychology. Google Scholar
  67. Winters, A., Meijers, F., Kuijpers, M., & Baert, H. (2009). What are vocational training conversations about? Analysis of vocational training conversations in Dutch vocational education from a career learning perspective. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 61, 247–266. doi: 10.1080/13636820903194690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Winters, A., Meijers, F., Lengelle, R., & Baert, H. (2012). The self in career learning: An evolving dialogue. In H. J. M. Hermans & T. Gieser (Eds.), Handbook on the dialogical self (pp. 454–469). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  69. Zijlstra, W., & Meijers, F. (2006). Hoe spannend is het hoger beroepsonderwijs? [How exciting is higher education?] TH&MA—Tijdschrift voor Hoger Onderwijs en Management, 13, 53–60.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lectoraat Pedagogiek van de BeroepsvormingThe Hague UniversityDen HaagThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations