What is Career Development Software?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois
Woman holding a disc
Woman holding a disc

Career development software is a great way to explore different career options quickly and easily. This type of software is growing in popularity as a cost-effective option for career centers. The software is preloaded with information about the academic credentials, work experience, salary and forecast demand for a huge selection of careers.

The target client group for career development software can be divided into two categories: students and experienced workers. Software targeted toward students provides a broader set of career options and considers education to be the driving force. Software for experienced workers give more weight to work experience, on-the-job training and career progression than to formal education. This might be because of the time lapse between the completion of the training and the date when the software is used.

The primary features of career development software include personality and value tests, evaluation of working styles, setting career goals and creating action plans. In addition, links to job banks, up-to-date statistical data and the ability to save personal profiles are common optional features. Many people who use this type of software are exploring different career options to develop long-term plans.

Most career development software is designed to work on either an individual computer or through access to the Internet. Both models have risks and benefits. Programs installed on individual computers provide a greater degree of data protection, but the software can become out of date fairly quickly.

The Internet-based model provides access to updated software, but data entered is stored on the supplier's system and could result in privacy breaches. Users are issued a unique user name and password that allow access to stored data profiles. Additional services can include purchasing the services of a professional career counselor to review system results and provide feedback on action plans.

Career development software is very location-specific and time-specific. For example, software intended for use in North America will not include data on job futures or educational requirements for careers in Europe. Anyone selecting a software program should review the issue date and make sure that the data is updated for free on a regular basis.

The regular use of this type of software is recommended for everyone as part of a long-term career management plan. Career counselors find that most adults will experience at least seven career changes in the course of their working lives. The use of this type of software can help ease those transitions and provide new options.

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