Journal of Career Development

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 287–294 | Cite as

Frank Parsons' contribution to career counseling

  • Lawrence K. Jones


It was Frank Parsons, then, in the time span of approximately two years, who founded the movement for organized vocational guidance. In his historical analysis of vocational guidance, Brewer (1942) concluded that Parsons,

  1. 1.

    Furnished the idea for the Vocation Bureau and began its execution;

  2. 2.

    Paved the way for vocational guidance in schools and colleges by advocating their role in it and offering methods they could use;

  3. 3.

    Began the training of counselors;

  4. 4.

    Used all of the scientific tools available to him at the time;

  5. 5.

    Developed “steps” to be followed in the vocational progress of the individual;

  6. 6.

    Organized the work of the Vocation Bureau in a way that laid the groundwork for groups to model in schools, colleges, and other agencies;

  7. 7.

    Recognized the importance of his work and secured for it the appropriate publicity, financial support, and endorsements from influential educators, employers, and other public figures; and

  8. 8.

    Laid the groundwork leading to the continuance and expansion of the vocational guidance movement, by involving friends and associates in it and preparing the manuscript forChoosing a Vocation.


Through his vision, organizational ability, advocacy, and elucidation of sound principles and methods—Parsons started a movement which has inspired the devotion and contributions of many men and women since. Collectively, they have all made career counseling what it is today.


Financial Support Social Psychology Time Span Social Issue Historical Analysis 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence K. Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Counselor Education, College of Education and PsychologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleigh

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