Holland Theory Vs Krumboltz’s Theory

These two theories have some distinctions. Krumboltz Social learning theory of career choice is based on social learning. He believes that the career choice are basically a product of several learning experiences. It is made possible by a number of encounters with institutions, people as well as the events in the environment of a particular environment(Mitchell, 1996). In other words, Krumboltz suggest that people choose careers depending on what they have learnt.

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He proposes that there are four main factors that are an influence to a person’s career choice. These include environmental events and conditions, genetic influences, task approach skills as well as the learning experiences. The consequences of these named factors and in particular the learning experiences lead many people to develop some beliefs about their role in life as well as the nature of the careers they have(Mitchell, 1996). These choices, he says, whether they are realistic or not may influence work related behavior as well as influence the career choice. The learning experiences, particularly observational learning which stems from the significant role models such as teachers and parents have a very powerful influence on the career decisions of any particular person. This thus makes some careers more attractive than others.

Krumboltz suggests that positive modelling, reward and reinforcement is more likely to lead to development of an appropriate career behavior as well as the career planning skills. Krumboltz was able to see this theory as a way giving an explanation of the origin of career choice as well as a guide to how the career practitioners might be able to tackle the career related problems. The practitioner thus has to start with the understanding of how a client came to their career related view of themselves as well as the world and what is problematic or limiting about this particular view(Mitchell, 1996).

Once the establishment of this has been made, the client and the practitioner identify the career relevant learning experiences, skill building and modelling which might help them in reframing their views. The practitioner can thus use the Krumboltz approach to deal with the career problems and not just the occupational selection.

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On the other hand, the Holland’s career typology theory which is an off-shoot of the trait factor theory does not agree with the idea that one’s career can be acquired from learning. He focuses on the individual’s characteristics as well as the occupational task. He believes that people have six major personalities which fall into the categories discussed above. These include artistic, investigative, realistic, enterprising, social and conventional(Holland, 1997). He suggests that certain characteristics are attracted to particular jobs. The work environment that the person works depicts well their personality and are clustered in the same six categories. He believes that even though a person may be made up of all the six personalities, one of them has to be paramount. These personalities can be matched with similar combinations of the work environment by use of the problem-solving approach(Holland, 1997). The closer one matches their personality and their job, then the satisfaction becomes higher.


To sum it up,unlike in Krumboltz approach of solving career issues, Holland Career Typology normally takes a cognitive, problem solving approach so as to solve the career planning issue. This approach has been so influential in vocational counselling(Holland, 1997).

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