The Career Fair As a Vehicle for Enhancing Occupational Self-Efficacy.

Career development objectives, as codified in the American School Counselor Association’s National Standards, can be overshadowed by the growing emphasis on academic standards, testing, and accountability so thematic of national educational and public policy initiatives. The career fair vehicle, which proactively employs the wisdom of social cognitive learning and self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1995), may be well suited to this challenge. In this study, 139 predominantly high school-aged adolescents attending a career fair were exposed to a variety of mostly female professionals discussing and demonstrating their professions. Pre- and post-test analysis of occupational self-efficacy, or confidence in performing the duties associated with a range of occupations, revealed that this variable was strongly influenced in the short term. The authors discuss these results in the context of self-efficacy theory as well as implications for school counselors engaged in career development. **********

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