Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Herbert A. Exum


career counseling, counselor preparation, Delphi method, vocational evaluation


This investigation compared the essential tasks of career counselors and vocational evaluators by surveying experts and practitioners in each specialization. Although both services advise persons about their work and training options, career counseling often takes place in university career centers and vocational evaluation is made available in not-for-profit settings. The null hypothesis is that there are no differences in task importance or frequency between these two jobs. Previous literature and current job descriptions from Florida workplaces are used to identify tasks, which are then presented to experts for input regarding frequency and relative importance to job performance.

Tasks endorsed by Delphi method were also rated by persons working at these occupations for both frequency and importance to job performance. Current practitioners included persons working as career counselors in Florida state universities and as vocational evaluation vendors under the state of Florida Department of Education.

Examination of means, mean differences, and standard deviations indicate differences in the task ratings between experts and practitioners and between practitioners of these populations. Correlations between practitioners did not reveal any strong positive relationships between tasks, but there was a negative relationship between these two professions when rating the relative importance of teaching counselees self-directed techniques. Even though the results did not pass the tests of assumption for multiple analyses of variance (MANOVA), significant differences are suggested. These differences include a proclivity for career counselors to teach self-direction, and a proclivity for vocational evaluators to provide and present assessments, make recommendations, and perform transferable skills analysis.

Implications for education and professional certification point to a need for additional instruction for vocational evaluators in the areas of report writing, concluding services, and fulfilling the role they play in interdisciplinary activities. Both groups of counselors endorsed the use of basic counseling skills to understand and overcome personal problems, which typically requires licensure.