Seattle and Beyond: Keynote Interviews with David Blustein and Rosie Phillips Bingham

By Peter Manzi

Seattle and Beyond: A Keynote Interview with David Blustein

NCDA: What is the title of your keynote address?
Dr. Blustein: "The Growing Internationalization of Career Development and Career Counseling: Opportunity for Inclusiveness or Stagnation".

NCDA: What do you think counselor educators need to know regarding the education and training of career development professionals in the next ten years?
Dr. Blustein: I think that the entire field of career development is shifting very intensively due to two major factors:

1. Globalization and the changing nature of the world of work. This is particularly relevant to workers with relative access to the resources, who used to have more stable careers.

2. The need for greater inclusiveness in our work is finally becoming the norm in our field. Building on the advances of the feminist movement, multicultural initiatives, and the growing social justice perspectives in counseling , we are becoming aware that our field needs to expand significantly to embrace those with less volition in their lives than our typical clients and students.

NCDA: What do you see as the "hot" (urgent, up and coming, etc.) issues for career counselors in the US today?
Dr. Blustein: I think that the issues I noted above (globalization and the need for greater inclusiveness) are the most compelling issues. I also believe that our field is going through a major change in how we approach counseling issues in that we are no longer dividing up people in discrete problem areas. Increasingly, career problems are being viewed as part of our overall struggle and striving for a meaningful life.

NCDA: What role can state and national governments play in facilitating the career development of members of our society?
Dr. Blustein: I think that this is a major growth edge for our field. Recent efforts in developing and refining the National Career Development Guidelines is a key illustration. Our next step, which I think is urgent, is to present compelling data that links career adaptability to other indices of adaptive functioning. One particularly pressing issue is the need to provide data that supports work-based learning and career planning interventions for at risk high school students. There is some preliminary evidence about this connection; if we can consolidate these findings and present them to government leaders, we can obtain more funding for career interventions and enhance opportunities for students who have been left out of the American dream.

NCDA: What should those attending the conference look for and hope to gain by attending the conference in Seattle?
Dr. Blustein: I think that this is a critical conference for NCDA; our president, Barry Chung, has worked hard on developing a truly international agenda. Having the conference in Seattle underscores our need to face east as well as west in our work and in our cultural evolution. This conference is one of the best professional experiences in our field.

Seattle and Beyond: A Keynote Interview with Rosie Phillips Bingham

NCDA: What is the title of your keynote address?
Dr. Bingham: Career Development at the Intersection of Multiple Identities

NCDA: What do you see as the "hot" (urgent, up and coming, etc.) issues for career counselors in the US today?
Dr. Bingham: It is important for career counselors to have exposure to the following global issues, while at the same time remembering career development theories and understanding the local cultures where individuals work at a given point in time. These issues are often discussed in a similar manner in countries around the globe. In fact these issues have generated an entire lexicon in Japanto describe the move from the early career decision and subsequent life time employment to a common system of job hopping and part time employment. The new word for this phenomenon is "Freeters"; and "NEET" (Not in Education, Employment of Training) for those young adults who have given up job hunting (Obana, 2007). Chinais more and more capitalist and thus will face many of the same problems as those experienced in the United States.

  1. We already know that we are attempting to train individuals for jobs that may not exist in five years and for jobs that will exist in five years but do not currently exist.
  2. We must still contend with how to fully integrate everyone into our career/vocational world in some kind of equitable fashion. That means that we must resolve issues of illegal immigrants and discrimination against categories of citizens of the United States
  3. We must understand and solve issues around the distribution of the population, worker demand and career advancement for all groups: baby boomers, Generation X, millennials, etc.
  4. The contract between workers and companies has changed. It is important to understand what the new contract's impact is on the career development of current and future workers.

NCDA: What do you think counselor educators need to know regarding the education and training of career development professionals in the next ten years?
Dr. Bingham: In some ways the answer to this question is as simple as counselor educators understanding that the education and training of career development professionals takes place in a multicultural context. Today we know that the context includes race, ethnicity, social class, ability status, religion, sexual orientation and so on. In ten years those things will be even more important as each country experiences the global society and an even more technological society. Career counselors will need to understand more about business as they prepare to help individuals navigate the career journey because in the United States workers will have to take more personal control for their well being, health, benefits and retirement as they decide on work and careers. In fact it may become increasingly more important to talk about work vs. a career. That means the concept of life long learning and managing change may be just as important as the initial career decision.

Educational and training programs that have a more diverse student body are responding to some of the above changes because those students are influencing the research agenda. Some researchers have also taken up the international vocational research agenda. Programs will need to be more intentional about partnerships with businesses and the communities in which they reside. Such partnerships will generate new internship sites and create a more dynamic research environment. Programs that venture out in this manner will survive and thrive.

NCDA: What role can state and national governments play in facilitating the career development of members of our society?
Dr. Bingham: Governments at the state and national level can encourage educational systems to begin the career exploration process as early as possible and recognize that the work life of citizens is as important as learning math. Governmental agencies can play a role in providing research grants to help understand and explain big picture issues as they relate to vocational, environmental, cultural and economic change.

NCDA: What role can members of NCDA and state counseling and career development associations play in shaping policy and services for those needing career counseling and related services?
Dr. Bingham: NCDA members and other professionals can become more politically active in order to influence the policies that keep career counseling on the front burners of our elected officials. Each group needs to have political advocates that can help maintain two-way communication between career counselors and clients and politicians who influence public policy. Of course, this action implies that members remain relevant and viable with the practice and science of career counseling.


NCDA: What should those attending the Seattle conference look for and hope to gain?
Dr. Bingham: Attendees should make it a point to go to sessions they would not normally attend so that they can learn even more and perhaps develop some new ideas or fresh approaches to the delivery of service or the creation of research topics. If they get inspired they can motivate their colleagues back home to join them in a new learning experience that was inspired by the conference.



Peter A. Manzi, Ed.D., NCC, NCCC, MCC, CDFI is a Career Counselor, Consultant and part-time faculty at Walden University. Currently he serves NCDA as Chair of the Public Relations Committee. He can be reached at parmcede@hotmail.com

David L. Blustein, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of Doctoral Training in Boston College's Department of Counseling, Developmental and Educational Psychology. He can be reached via e-mail: blusteid@bc.edu http://www2.bc.edu/~blusteid/

Rosie Phillips Bingham, Ph.D. received her doctorate from The Ohio State University and is Vice President for Student Affairs and a professor in Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research at the Universityof Memphis. She can be reached at rbingham@memphis.edu.

Dr. Bluestein will give the Keynote Address at the Opening Session of the NCDA Global Conference in Seattle on Friday July 6, 2007 at 1:15 pm.

Dr. Bingham will be the Keynote Speaker on Saturday July 7, 2007 at 9:00 am.

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