What Is Vocational Guidance? (Meaning, Scope, and Objectives)

There are generally 3 types of guidance and counseling in schools— educational, vocational, and personal-social. In this post, we will be zooming into vocational guidance and counseling — its scope, objectives, and techniques.

Nature of Vocational Guidance

Vocational guidance is the assistance given to students in choosing and preparing for a suitable vocation. It is concerned primarily with helping individuals make decisions and choices involved in planning the future and career decisions and choices necessary in effecting satisfactory vocational adjustment.

There are so many vocations as there are so many individuals, and certainly, all individuals 

are not suitable for all the vocations. Every vocation needs a certain background, preparation, and aptitude and only those having them can succeed in it.

The goal of the vocational guidance counselor is to find out what positions and jobs are available and what their requirements are and to find out whether the person in question satisfies those conditions. 

Vocational guidance is most needed at the secondary school stage because, at the end of this stage, students are expected to settle in a desired field through the tertiary education system.

Definition of Vocational Guidance from Different Authors

According to the National Vocational Guidance Association (1924), “vocational guidance is the giving of information, experience, and advice in regard to choosing an occupation, preparing for it, entering upon it and progressing in it.”

The National Vocational Guidance Association approved and adopted a slightly modified definition in 1937. According to this definition, “vocational guidance is the process of assisting the individual to choose an occupation,  prepare for it, enter upon and progress in it.’

Important Note: The National Vocational Guidance Association (NVGA) was founded in 1913. In 1985 NVGA was renamed and became the National Career Development Association (NCDA).  Thus NCDA is the first, longest-running, and most prominent career development association in the world.

Related: Complete History of Guidance and Counseling In America

According to Donald E. Super (1949), vocational Guidance is “the process of helping a person to develop and accept an integrated  and adequate picture of himself and of his role in the world of work, to test this concept  against reality and to convert it into reality with satisfaction to him and benefit to society.”

According to the Conference of International Labour Organisation (1954), vocational guidance is “an assistance given to an individual in solving the problems related to occupational choice and progress with due regard for the individual’s characteristics and their  relation to occupational opportunity.’

According to Crow and Crow, “Vocational Guidance usually is interpreted as the assistance given to the learners to choose, prepare for and progress in an occupation.”

According to Myers, “Vocational Guidance is the process of assisting the individual to do for himself certain definite things pertaining to his vocation.”

According to G.E. Myers, vocational guidance is “fundamentally an effort to conserve the priceless native capacities of youth and the costly training provided for youth in the schools. It seeks to conserve these richest of all human resources by aiding the individual to invest and use them where they will bring the greatest satisfaction and success to him and greatest benefit to society.”

According to John D. Crites, vocational guidance is “a facilitative process, a service rendered to the individual to aid him in choosing and adjusting to an occupation.”

Related: 15 Needs & Importance of Vocational Guidance in Schools and Society

Meaning of Vocational Guidance

Considering the above definitions, vocational guidance is a kind of guidance that is concerned with the vocational needs and problems of individuals.

In a strict psychological and educational sense, we can define it as a process of helping a student get adequate information regarding 

the world of work around him, make a proper choice for his future vocation, and achieve 

maximum success and satisfaction in it.

Related: 15 Importance of Guidance and Counseling In Education

Objectives of Vocational Guidance 

The following are the objectives vocational guidance seeks to achieve:

  1. To assist the students to acquire knowledge of characteristics, functions, duties, and rewards of the group of occupations within the range of his choice
  2. Assisting a pupil to discover his abilities and skills and to fit them into the general requirements of the occupation under consideration.
  3. Assisting the pupil to evaluate his capabilities and interests concerning their worth to him and society.
  4. Helping the individual develop an attitude towards work that dignify whatever type of occupation he may wish to enter.
  5. To give exploration opportunities in different areas of school learning and vocational exploration that will enable the learner to get the feel of several types of activities.
  6. Assisting the individual to think critically about types of occupations and to learn a technique for analyzing information about vocations.
  7. Assisting the mentally handicapped, the physically handicapped or the economically handicapped to make the adjustment that will be best for them in their struggle for a fuller life and personal and social welfare.
  8. Instilling in the students confidence in their teachers and other guidance personnel that will encourage them when he confers with them on personal and vocational problems.
  9. Assisting the pupil to secure the necessary information about the facilities offered by various educational institutions engaging in vocational training.
  10. Providing information for the learner about admission requirements, the length of training, and the cost of attending any institution of higher learning to which he may wish to go after graduation from high school to continue his vocational preparation.
  11. Assisting during school years so that the individual will be able to adjust to the job work conditions and other workers.
  12. Assisting each pupil to appreciate his rightful place in a group of workers and to become a functional member of the team.
  13. Altering the pupil to the long-range training needed to become proficient in most lines of endeavor.
  14. Cautioning each learner concerning fads and pseudo-scientific shortcuts to vocational competency.
  15. Helping the learner realize that success is purchased at the price of effort and that satisfaction on the job derives from doing his work competently.

Related: 9 Goals and Objectives of Guidance and Counseling

Other objectives of vocational guidance include:

  1. To enable them to find out what general and specific abilities, skills, etc. are required for the group of occupations and what the qualification of age, preparation, sex, etc. are needed for entering them
  2. To provide the opportunity for experiences in school and out of school, which may give such information about conditions of work as may assist the individual to discover his abilities and help in the development of wider interest.
  3. To help the individual realize that all honest labor is worthwhile and that the most important bases for choice of occupation are, the special service that the individual can render to society, personal satisfaction in the occupation, and aptitude for the work required.
  4. To assist the individual to analyse occupational information and develop the habit of analyzing such information before making a final choice
  5. To assist the individual to secure such information about himself- his abilities, general and specific, his interests, and his powers as he may need for a wise choice
  6. To assist economically handicapped children to secure financial assistance through public or private funds, scholarships or other means so that they may have opportunities for further education following their vocational plans.
  7. To assist the students to secure knowledge of the facilities offered by various educational institutions for vocational training and the requirements for admission to them, the length of training offered, and the cost of attendance.
  8. To help the worker to adjust himself to the occupation in which he is engaged and assist him to understand his relationship to workers in his related occupations and to society as a whole.
  9.  To enable the student to secure reliable information about the danger of alluring shortcuts to fortune.

Related: Role of Teachers in Vocational Guidance and Counseling

Scope of Vocational Guidance

The scope of vocational guidance is the various activities that must be put together for holistic vocational guidance to take place. Below is the scope of vocational guidance:


Without extensive knowledge about the individual desiring of getting vocational guidance, it would be impossible to effect matching with a suitable vocation.

A successful appraisal is done through the use of various tests and nontest devices alongside appraisal techniques in counseling.

Group Activities

Placing students in group activities is a great way to bring up hidden traits and the potential they, the teachers and the school counselor never know existed in the students.

These discoveries are necessary to make more informed decisions for each student.

Occupational Information

Next to appraisal is the collection and dissemination of information about occupation and the world of work in general to place the right person in the right job at the right time.

This can be done by giving the students pamphlets, journals, magazines, or even through oral individual or group sessions.


Because vocational guidance is not only about choosing a career but also settling into it satisfactorily, counseling is also covered in the scope of vocational guidance. 

Counseling is needed to help students overcome issues that might stand in their way of performing effectively in a career they are naturally suited for. It also arms students with the skills to overcome the challenges that are certain to arise.

Related: 7 School Guidance Services (Scope and Types)


There is no vocational guidance with placement. The goal of all the other activities is effective placement. But placement is not once and for all. As individuals transit life and their needs and priorities change, they will also continually need to be placed in a position that best suits them at each stage. 

This makes vocational guidance a continuous and developmental process all through life.

Follow Up 

Sequel to the previous point, it is needless to say that vocational guidance cannot continue if the individual isn’t effectively followed up by the guidance personnel. This is made easier today with the introduction of ICT in counseling.

Vocational Guidance At Different Stages

Elementary Stage

Not much can be done at the elementary stage in terms of vocational guidance. However, the teacher as a guidance worker can do the following:-

  • Create a love and respect-positive attitude for normal work.
  • Train the use of the hands of the child.
  • Create the habit of neat and systematic work.
  • Create and achieve hand-eye coordination.
  • Encourage neatness in work.
  • Encourage the development of good relationships amongst themselves.

Secondary School Stage

This is the most intense stage where vocational guidance is needed. Definite guidance can be given at this stage. Some of which are:

  • Students should be helped to know themselves. The entire process depends upon it.
  • Students should be helped to make the right choices
  • Accurate information about the world of work should be given

Related: How To Organize A School Guidance and Counseling Program

Tertiary Education Stage:

Some of the activities that can be done at the college level to aid vocational guidance include:

  • Assisting students to relate their studies to the vocations that would be open to them at the end of their college career.
  • Assisting them to make a detailed study of the careers, which they would like to pursue.
  • Assisting them to acquaint themselves with different avenues of work.Assisting them to acquaint themselves with avenues of higher studies.
  • Assisting them to know about the various programs of financial assistance scholarships and fellowships for improving their prospects.

All these are done through the Students Personnel Services (SPS).

Related: 15 Challenges Affecting Guidance and Counseling In Schools


Vocational guidance and counseling cannot be sidelined if the school system must be holistic. All stakeholders in the school must team up for it to be successful.

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