Course Description

This course is 36 learning hours including the 9 hours of live sessions.  It is recommended that learners spend approximately 3 hours per week on this course.


Theories provide a framework and a context for working with clients and inform our practice. No one theory will work for every client or every context, but they all have merit and help us understand career development better. This course will build your knowledge of the theoretical foundations of Career Development, including Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation, Super’s Lifespan/Lifespace Model, Parson’s Trait and Factor Theory, Holland’s Theory of Career Choice, and modern theories such as Social Cognitive Career Theory and Constructivist Models. You will examine issues of culture and diversity in relation to career development theories. By analyzing the strengths and limitations of these theories, models, and practices, you can apply them appropriately in your work.

Course Outline

  • Module 1:  Your Career Story & Career Development (CD) process
  • Module 2:  What is Theory?
  • Module 3:  Trait and Factor Theories
  • Module 4:  Developmental Theories
  • Module 5:  Learning Theories
  • Module 6:  Postmodern Career Theories
  • Module 7:  21st Century Theories
  • Module 8:  Theories in Practice - Culture & Diversity
  • Module 9:  Theories in Practice - Tools & Resources
  • Module 10: The Career Development Cycle
  • Module 11: Almost Done!
  • Module 12: Wrap-Up and Conclusion

What You Will Learn

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • differentiate between seven different career theories and their application in the field of career development
  • describe the strengths and limitations of each of the theories covered in the course in relation to their use with a diverse population
  • identify which career development interventions connect with individual career theories
  • describe how a career development intervention is connected to a specific career development theory
  • apply the theories covered in this course to career development case studies/scenarios
  • articulate their own approach to supporting career development that is grounded in established theory


For assistance or more information, please contact openlearning@dal.ca.

Recommended For

  • those individuals working in the field of career development or employment services
  • those individuals interested in expanding their skills around career services (i.e. counselling, HR, community organizations, and more)


I would recommend this course because it delivers a great understanding of career theories and valuable resources that you can apply for yourself and clients.

Maria Viniegra, Employment Solutions

Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrolment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrolment opens.
Required fields are indicated by .