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Career Development, Certificate

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
The University Certificate in Career Development from Athabasca University is a 30-credit (one-year of full-time study) program. It is intended primarily for practitioners who have some related work experience in a human services field. The certificate builds on competencies already developed to enhance the practitioner's effectiveness.


Future Opportunites

A University Certificate in Career Development offered by Athabasca University can lead to employment opportunities as Career Development Practitioners in private sector, educational institutions, social and employment service agencies, and business and industry.

Students can also pursue further education options at Athabasca University or other educational institutions in various areas of study.

Career Development Theory

Discuss each theory below by indicating its

  • basic premises.
  • major concepts and principles.
  • origins.
  • methods.
  • contributions to clients and practitioners.
  • limitations.
  • practical applications, including its generality.

The theories include the following:

  • trait and factor theory
  • work adjustment theory
  • Holland’s theory of types
  • Super’s life-span theory
  • social learning theory
  • career decision-making theory
  • Canadian career development theories

Illustrate how a practitioner can optimize his or her effectiveness by drawing on several theories at the same time.

  • Discuss their own personal beliefs and informal theory of career development in light of the existing theories in the field.
  • Assess a brief case history by illustrating how two different theories would address it.
Career Development Resources

Discuss the following attributes of career development resources:

  • definition
  • role
  • factors to consider when identifying the source of resources
  • classifying resources
  • critiquing resources for the client, the client’s world and the work world

Illustrate the synthesis and integration of career development resource information through a documented case study.

Discuss the Internet’s role in career development as it relates to career development resources.

Discuss the approach of integrating career resources into the framework of career planning.

Working Alliance

Discuss the following features of a working alliance:

  • definition and main components
  • relationship to counselling
  • influence of client and counsellor characteristics
  • strategies for enhancement
  • potential problems including role conflict and role ambiguity, and proposed solutions

Describe a taxonomy of skills for creating a working alliance and demonstrate the use of such skills.

Describe characteristics of an effective collaboration; identify the benefits of, and suggest key skills for developing, such a collaboration.

Outline a model for problem-solving and decision-making, and identify the purpose of each step and the skills associated with each.

Outline the stages of group development and the fundamental factors that enhance such a development.

With respect to partnerships, discuss the following: definition , applicable skills , relationship to the working alliance, collaboration, potential conflicts and the first meeting.

Professional Ethics

Define “profession” and give a list of professions.

Explain the place of moral reasoning in professional life, and apply moral reasoning in professional decision-making.

Discuss and critically evaluate different views on the roles, responsibilities and privileges of the professional.

Discuss different models of professional/client relationships.

Identify and analyze moral dilemmas and morally difficult decisions or practices for the professional.

Discuss “informed consent.”


Identify relevant courses to their particular situation in career development and complete them.

Research a topic in career development by

  • relating it to personal and educational goals.
  • creating a set of mutually agreed-upon learning outcomes and performance standards for the project in consultation with the course instructor.
Possible Career Options

Career development practitioners in private sector, educational institutions, social and employment service agencies, and business and industry.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • More details: 1st day of the month
  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 12 months
  • Credits
    30 credits alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode

Programme Structure

Required Courses
  • Theories of Career Development
  • Creating A Working Alliance
Elective Courses
  • The Career Development Portfolio
  • Developmental Psychology
  • The Psychology of Women
  • Introduction to Feminist Counselling
  • Adolescent Psychology
  • Introduction to Personality Theories and Issues
  • The Psychology of Adult Development
  • Introduction to Counselling
  • Learning Disabilities: Issues and Interventions
  • Learning Through Life
  • Introduction to Theories of Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Experiential Learning and Reflective Practice I
  • Experiential Learning and Reflective Practice II
  • Special Projects in Career Development I
  • Special Projects In Career Development II

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

Academic Requirements

Becoming an Athabasca University student is easy – our open admission policy means if you’re 16 or older, you will be accepted as a student. Paying a one-time application fee lets you register for more than 750 courses, as long as you meet the prerequisites.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

If your native language is not English, you must demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) to take Athabasca University courses. AU accepts the following as proof of English Language Proficiency.

  • Completion of high school in an English-speaking country.
  • Completion of 15 university credits from a recognized English-speaking university, or 1 year at a non-university post-secondary institution with an overall average of 75% (GPA of 3.0).
  • Minimum score of 6 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • Minimum score of 60% on the Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL).
  • Minimum score of 80 on the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) test.
  • Minimum score of 59 on the Pearson Test of English (PTE).
  • Minimum score of 213 on the computer- or paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT), with 4.5 on the Test of Written English (TWE).
  • Minimum score of 80 with an essay score of 20 on the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT).
  • Successful completion of AU’s English Language Proficiency Program with an overall average of 75% (GPA of 3.0).

You can apply to AU anytime. All undergraduate programs enrol students year round. Your program begins when you apply.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    11430 CAD/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 11430 CAD for the full programme and a duration of 12 months.
  • National Applies to you

    7960 CAD/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 7960 CAD for the full programme and a duration of 12 months.
  • In-State Applies to you

    6670 CAD/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 6670 CAD for the full programme and a duration of 12 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
  • Please note: These costs are estimated. AU can and may increase tuition fees annually. Also, the fees were determined by using 3-credit courses to find the program total. The program fee would be different if, for example, a 6-credit course is used in the program in place of two 3-credit courses.


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