Development Of A Career Guidance System In Russia: Topical Problems


Currently, educational system in Russian Federation faces new challenges, the most significant one among which is the issue of developing a well-thought-out multi-level concept of career guidance in education. Career guidance is considered to be a pedagogical task. The authors show that despite the efforts of the state, social institutions, scientific community and separate educational institutions, career guidance system development still encounters a number of difficulties. It is necessary to highlight specific theoretical and practical problems to improve career guidance. On the other hand, an integrated approach to pedagogical problems related to career guidance is necessary for the creation of a unified strategy of the development of various areas of career guidance at all levels of educational system in Russia. The authors emphasize that the underdevelopment of the career guidance system leads to problems at various levels (personal; family, society, state, employment, etc.). It is noted that the problems of career guidance should be dealt with (and mainly are) in line with pedagogical disciplines, while educational standards attribute career guidance to psychological problems. In practice, career guidance should be developed as a prolonged, multi-level system of assistance to students in choosing a career. The key to the development of an effective continuous career guidance system is seen as a break with traditionalism (the use of modern information technologies), stage-by-stage development of career guidance at universities, creation of modern teaching and methodological aids for career guidance.

Keywords: Career guidancechoice of educational routforms of career guidancepedagogical problemsprofessional self-identification


Transformation of a traditional society into an informational (post-industrial one) is accompanied with rethinking and change in established social institutions, including the institution of education (Bell, 2004). Pedagogical community is faced with new questions and challenges, the main of which is the question of relevance of the future profession to personal, state, market and social needs. We regard career guidance as the activity of the concerned individuals or social communities aimed at assisting in the professional self-identification of a person.

The degree of relevance and importance of career guidance is determined by the significance of problems that arise in the absence of career guidance (or its insufficiency):

  • Personal (existential) crisis due to the mismatch of the place of study (or work) with one's own preferences.

  • Low degree of involvement in the educational process or professional activity which minimizes performance.

  • A high degree of disagreement between labor market and professional demands of individuals; unemployment. Lack of qualified labor force in some professions or, on the contrary, oversaturation of labor market.

Awareness of career guidance system development comes together with the understanding of the need to develop new criteria for assessing higher education institutions. And one of the main indicators here is the career guidance activity of an educational institution.

Problem Statement

Analysis of career guidance history of development shows that it is currently evolving into an independent discipline, as part of scientific knowledge. The process of building of its scholarly apparatus, practices of career guidance, establishing of a system of professional pedagogical assistance in choosing a professional route - all these aspects are in the process of formation. As a consequence, a complex of problems arises, which, in turn, requires an integrated approach. First of all it is necessary to structure the problem of career guidance, to propose a classification of issues associated with the development of career guidance system.

Research Questions

Study of the problems of career guidance is carried out in line with other sciences (pedagogy, psychology, sociology). To what extent does this interdisciplinary scientific research contribute to the development of career guidance itself as an activity and as an independent discipline? What are the prospects for the scientific approach to career guidance, given the increasing number of side-issues research (case-studies)?

What are the prospects for the development of forms of career guidance in the system of education in connection with change in the approach of modern man and society to education, as well as to professional self-identification?

What is the further vector of career guidance development in the educational system in Russia? What problems impede building a well-thought-out and effective multi-level career guidance system?

Purpose of the Study

To structure the problem field of career guidance (as a pedagogical task) by suggesting classification and analysis of specific problems caused by the formation of career guidance as the most important component of the educational process.

Research Methods

To reveal the stated problem, we used such general scientific methods as analysis and synthesis, analogy, deduction and induction, modeling. Since we regard career guidance as an object of interdisciplinary research, and a multi-level activity in which various social institutions are involved, it seems appropriate to use a systematic approach. Results of the study are also based on personal experience in teaching and the practice of professional counseling in an educational institution of the system of universities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation.


Problem field of career guidance

Introduction of career guidance in the system of education as a necessary type of pedagogical process is the task of paramount importance. However, some representatives of pedagogical community, some government officials responsible for education and, sometimes, some parents of students and their immediate environment do not always realize the crucial importance of career guidance. In the meantime, insufficient attention to issues of professional self-identification of students leads not only to personal, but also to social problems.

Much depends on the correct and informed choice of a professional route, and, on the contrary, underestimation of career guidance leads to various kinds of problems. It’s a fact of life that to solve problems you need to realize them first of all, understand the essence of the difficulties that arise. The problem field of career guidance can be structured in the following way.

Difficulties in choosing a profession affect:

  • the student himself;

  • parents, the immediate environment of the student;

  • educational institution;

  • society as a whole (public institutions);

  • labor market participants;

  • state.

It is worth noting that lack of professional assistance in the conscious choice of future profession causes problems at both personal and social level. On a personal level, these can be such specific problems as:

  • dissatisfaction with current life circumstances due to the wrong choice of career for subjective reasons;

  • psychological problems: existential crisis, depression caused by internal conflict connected with problems of professional self-identification. Such conditions fail to contribute to the formation of an active life position and search for new educational and professional opportunities.

  • for the student’s parents, who most often act as “career consultants,” in the circumstances of an undeveloped career guidance system, there are problems of psychological nature as they need to provide assistance in choosing a profession but don’t have qualified knowledge necessary for a professional consultant.

At the social level, absence of effective system of career guidance leads to such consequences as:

  • low level of professional qualification due to the lack of personal interest in the future profession of the student;

  • unemployment, lack of “social demand” for certain professions, oversaturation of the labor market, need to outsource qualified specialists from abroad — these and other problems are caused, among other factors, by the underdeveloped career guidance in education system;

  • economic uncompetitiveness on a national scale;

  • in higher educational institutions, where little attention is paid to career guidance, problems may arise with students academic attrition, students transfer from one faculty to another (or a change of specialization), so there are certain difficulties with the organization of educational process.

Interrelation of problems at the personal and social levels is obvious. Getting a profession to which there is no “calling”, and subsequently working in an erroneously (thoughtlessly) chosen field leads to dissatisfaction of both the subject of choice and society, which expects everyday interaction with professionals, people who are responsible for their professional activities.

Classification of problems indicating the need for development of career guidance in the education system

If we focus on career guidance as a pedagogical problem (task), then here we can distinguish a complex of pedagogical problems, which we classify into problems of theoretical and practical nature.

Theoretical problems of career guidance.

Career guidance today is distinguished in an independent field of humanitarian knowledge, while its theoretical foundations were laid in such sciences as pedagogy and psychology. Theoretical studies on career guidance are also being undertaken in such scientific areas as sociology, economics, and social philosophy, which indicates the interdisciplinary nature of career guidance (Fursov, 2013).

Distinguishing career guidance into an independent discipline requires consolidation of researchers working in various fields of science. It is also important to expand communication within scientific community both nationwide and internationally (Shafranov-Kutsev, Efimova, & Semyonov, 2018), which is becoming more complicated today (at least for the Russian Federation) due to the geopolitical situation. The initial step towards expanding communication within scientific community is creation of local scientific groups of theorists and practitioners engaged in career counseling in educational institutions (Kaplan, Tarvydas, & Gladding, 2014). Formation of such communities is especially important for universities that train specialists for which career guidance is particularly relevant (for example, the system of universities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia). At the same time, the development of career guidance as an independent discipline will be facilitated by the introduction of such a major as “career guidance” in higher education institutions, and this profession, we think, should be developed on the basis of pedagogical (non-psychological) universities, which is indirectly confirmed by the data presented in Table 01 .

To clarify the relevance of research on career counseling of a particular specialty, we conducted analysis of dissertations containing the following word combinations in their headings: “career guidance”, “vocational guidance”, “choice of profession”, “professional self-identification”. In the period between 1991 and 2019 (post-Soviet period), the search engine “electronic catalog” of the Russian National Library (Retrieved from shows 117 results (abstracts of dissertations) Correspondence of the dissertations on career guidance and the specialties for which the work is done, is shown in the table.

Table 1 -
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As we see, career guidance issues are studied mainly in the context of pedagogical, psychological and sociological disciplines. More than half of the dissertations on career guidance problems are completed in pedagogical specialties. At the same time, in the codes of pedagogical specialties presented by the State Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles, career guidance is only briefly mentioned in the code of specialty 13.00.02 ("Theory and Methods of Teaching and Education"). While in the code of specialty 19.00.03 ("Labor Psychology, Engineering Psychology, Ergonomics") a rather wide range of topics related to career guidance is offered. As we see, there is a certain discrepancy - most research papers on career guidance refer to research in the field of pedagogy, despite the fact that the State Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles, which is responsible for issues of state scientific certification, relates the problems of career guidance to psychological sciences.

Another feature of modern theoretical research on career guidance is the researchers’ focus on particular issues (case-study approach) while there’s evident need for serious synthesis research.

Practical issues of career guidance.

The development of career guidance in the educational system of the Russian Federation is at the stage of its formation. The need to intensify career guidance work is shared by many people who are somehow involved in the field of education. However, there are a number of difficulties that hinder the improvement of career guidance in the system of education. Among these difficulties, the following ones can be distinguished:

  • Traditionalism. Lagging of educational technology from the accelerating pace of social development. Inadequate use of the Internet, social networks, mobile applications, etc. In this regard, it is worth paying attention to the development of online career guidance platforms (Ahmed, Maurya, & Khalane, 2018). It cannot be said that digital resources are not used to assist in professional self-identification, however, cases of their application are most often private initiative projects, while the use of modern technologies in the training system has yet to be developed (Frolova & Kunicyna, 2017).

  • Lack of a multi-level career guidance system. The effectiveness of career guidance can be achieved, among other things, through the development of career guidance work not only in school education, but also in educational institutions of secondary vocational education and in higher educational institutions. We support the development of a prolonged, continuous career guidance system (Tarlavskij, 2016). Practice shows that not all last year students of higher educational institution can definitely decide on the choice of future profession - largely due to the lack of professional assistance in professional self-identification.

  • Insufficient theoretical support for career guidance in educational institutions. Lack of textbooks on career guidance (approved by the Ministry of Education), teaching aids for teachers (both subject teachers and professional consultants) indicates the marginalization of teaching activities related to the choice of profession.

  • The need for an integrated approach in career guidance. Building a career guidance system in an educational institution should be based on the use of career guidance tools in a complex, that is, it is necessary to put into practice both various traditional forms and methods (professional selection, professional counseling, professional information (education), professional tests), as well as modern ones (narrative method (Reid, 2005)) and also the use of interactive digital technologies (Niles & Garis, 1990; Polupan, 2018). In the educational process of special subjects it is necessary to use an interactive approach, to focus on solving specific practical problems which specialists face in their work.

  • Career guidance at a higher educational institution should be divided into stages. Conscious and successful choice of a student’s future profession can be facilitated by building a career guidance system throughout the entire period of study. The first stage of career guidance is the first approach to the profession (1-3 year students), the second stage is career guidance of students going through specialization.

Work on theoretical and practical problems of career guidance must be carried out in a complex. The development of career guidance in Russia will undoubtedly be facilitated by building a multi-level career guidance system in the education system. Such a system should aim at stimulating rational, thoughtful education embracing school education, secondary education vocational institutions and higher education institutions. In universities, the introduction of a staged approach to career guidance is highly promising.


Professional orientation is one of the urgent and vital pedagogical tasks. The development of career guidance in Russia is currently hampered by certain problems which we have identified (not claiming to be comprehensive) in our study. We tried to classify immediate pedagogical difficulties associated with career guidance, highlighting problems of a theoretical and practical nature.

Development of career guidance in the training system is a promising direction of pedagogical process, and the vector of further development is seen in building a multi-level concept of career guidance. This task, however, must be preceded by the insight into specific problems which students, teachers, society, the state, potential employers, and other interested parties encounter. The main pressure points of the problem field of career guidance are lack of confidence in the development of career guidance as an independent discipline and the mismatch of pedagogical efforts in practical issues of assistance in professional self-identification. An integrated approach to solving career guidance problems should be based on the desire to develop a continuous, well-thought-out, modern and scientific approach-based career guidance system in educational institutions.


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26 August 2020

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Educational strategies, educational policy, teacher training, moral purpose of education, social purpose of education

Cite this article as:

Klimov, A., Zhigalik, M. A., & Titov, E. V. (2020). Development Of A Career Guidance System In Russia: Topical Problems. In S. Alexander Glebovich (Ed.), Pedagogical Education - History, Present Time, Perspectives, vol 87. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 627-634). European Publisher.