Original Research

Priorities in 21st century career counselling: Implications for counselling psychology training

Kamilla V. Rawatlal
African Journal of Career Development | Vol 4, No 1 | a59 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajcd.v4i1.59 | © 2022 Kamilla V. Rawatlal | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 June 2022 | Published: 28 September 2022

About the author(s)

Kamilla V. Rawatlal, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Background: The call to decolonise and transform the curriculum for social responsiveness in South African higher education is seen as a priority.

Objectives: This study explores revising the career assessment and counselling curriculum on the professional masters (MA Counselling Psychology) programme.

Method: Utilising a qualitative design and exploratory approach, the research aimed to address the objectives through gauging master’s students’ perceptions of the applicability of the course, through thematically analysing evaluation transcripts received during and 2021, were thematically analysed. Patterns and themes that emerged indicate how the revised curriculum can support intervention at the individual and systemic levels.

Results: Themes identified were the influence of traditional career counselling theory, accessibility to assessments, a need to expand theory to include social constructivism and post modernism at the individual level. At the systems level, engaging trainees as socio-ecological advocates, integration of mental health to intervene with ‘at risk’ groups, post the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic intervention and the 4th industrial revolution (IR) highlighted a need to adopt a public health agenda.

Conclusion: Critical consciousness raising at the systems was highlighted as paramount to informing intervention and to strengthening Counselling Psychologist trainees’ identity to develop a sense of agency in promoting social responsiveness.

Contribution: The role of the training course to address transformation priorities, intervene with post-modern realities, such as the unstable job market in the 4th IR, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, and assert the uniqueness of career counselling and assessment as a specialisation area of Counselling Psychology forms the basis of the study contribution.


curriculum; higher education; transformation; public health agenda; critical consciousness; COVID-19; 4th IR.


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Crossref Citations

1. Graduate students’ perceptions of the career construction interview
Natalya A. Lindo, Dan Li, Citlali E. Molina, Marianna Branch, Charmaine Conner, Hannah Robinson, Rebecca Werts
British Journal of Guidance & Counselling  vol: 52  issue: 2  first page: 334  year: 2024  
doi: 10.1080/03069885.2023.2288123