A career can be said to be a continuous process in a growing individual’s entire life. In the context of creating a conceptual framework for career development, it is important to acknowledge the recent ideologies inherently associated with career development. Herr (2001) notes the two recent theories that inform career development are: the evolution of career behavior during one’s lifespan and the influence of particular interventions on career behavior. Until recent years, research on career development rarely focused on minority culture groups such as the African Americans. Therefore, traditional career development model does not sufficiently address certain complexities of African American’s in terms of advancing careers. Career theories such as the Social Cognitive Career Theory and the Super’s Development Self-concept Theory would be useful to consider. However, it is important to note that most career theories have been criticized as being applicable to only a small sample of the population and not considerate of the minorities of the population.
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The career aspirations of African Americans are affected by a variety of factors. In terms of education and advancing in their careers, both politically and corporate wise, African Americans have been affected by racism, single-parent families, delinquency and poverty (Parham & McDavis, 1987).
African American women have faced even worse circumstances in career development because they have to contend with sexism.
In consideration of various literatures concerning career choices and advancement of African American in both political and corporate contexts, there are certain barriers that present themselves clearly: little to no models that are culturally relevant to African Americans, varied expectations and aspirations among African Americans, issues of discrimination and prejudice, gender parity and career paths (Rosser-Mims, 2005).
Therefore, African Americans are adversely affected by poor and inappropriate career planning which leads them to lack advancement opportunities that would lead them to qualify to higher levels of achievement.
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- Herr, E.L., 2001. Career Development and Its Practice: A Historical Perspective. The Career Development Quarterly, 49(3).
- Parham, T.A. & McDavis, R.J., 1987. Black Men, An Endangered Species: Who’s Really Pulling the Trigger. Journal of Counseling & Development, 66(1).
- Rosser-Mims, D.M., (2005). An Exploration of Black Women’s Political leadership Development. Retrieved from https://getd.libs.uga.edu/pdfs/rosser-mims_dionne_200508_phd.pdf