Euroguidance lays foundations for academic training in Estonia

Career development is complex. Consequently, it can be viewed from many different angles and professionals seek the most meaningful approach to support their roles and to support their clients.  Career theories offer different perspectives on career development from which practitioners can choose. Some theories may be familiar, but it is important to update knowledge and to consider new theoretical perspectives.

Euroguidance Estonia has launched webinars that showcase applications published in Career Theories and Models at Work: Ideas for Practice (CERIC, 2019), which provides practitioners with a tangible resource they can use to develop theory-informed interventions. The starting point lies in the fact that an Estonian version of the book is published as well. The extensive collection, however, includes 43 chapters with over 60 authors from nine different nations, each of which presents a unique theory or model. When we had to choose the topic for our webinar, we primarily proceeded from the fact that it had to be as practically oriented as possible, contemporary, satisfactory both for practitioners dealing with students and with adults, and also suitable for use in the Estonian cultural and social context.

The webinars have been planned in close cooperation with well-known international career development experts from different parts of the world. We kicked off the series with the three editors of the book, Nancy Arthur, Roberta Borgen and Mary McMahon, who provided an overview of theory and the rationale for strengthening theoretical knowledge in career guidance, as well as their respective theoretical approaches.  We discussed what a theory is, how we are grouping theories, criteria for selecting and evaluating what theory can offer to a career guidance professional, and highlight the connections between theory and practice. The introduction of their theoretical ideas in practice was highly successful and we decided to continue the journey with four more distinguished authors - Jane Saxe Goodman, Jenny Bimrose, Kimberly Howard and Michael Healy.

Furthermore, the initiative is also an attempt to compensate the fact that in Estonia no full academic qualification is attainable for career guidance practitioners and this year Euroguidance cooperates with the Institute of Psychology at the University of Tartu. Accordingly, the curriculum is designed and the learning process is supported with a reflection seminar. Hopefully this will bring Estonian career guidance one step closer to a fully accredited academic qualification system.