NCE – Super’s Model


This brief paper utilizes Super’s view of career maturity to an adolescent familiar to me. I provide an over of my assessment of this individual in terms of Super’s 5 components of career maturity and how this model can help assess the child’s needs.


​Super’s Model of career development provides useful insights from a life-span perspective. Many of the insights contained in this theory are based on key figures in developmental psychology including Piaget and Erickson (Sharf, 2012). For example, according to Super’s theory adolescent career development at first arises from curiosity and fantasy play (Sharf, 2012). Additionally, an adolescent’s progression toward career development is moved forward by an increased capacity for abstract thinking and drive towards identity development (Sharf, 2012). As a result, adolescent career development is centered on developing interests, and abilities while exploring various career paths. According to Super, adolescent maturity as it pertains to career development encompasses five key factors, which I will utilize to assess an individual I know personally in the remainder of this paper.

Career Planning

​The first subscale of career maturity for adolescents requires an assessment how much time they take to explore various career options (Sharf, 2012). The individual I am utilizing for this paper is an adolescent male relative, whom I am very close to. He is 15-years-old and a sophomore. Thankfully, he is a very bright boy who studies hard and does very well in school. Additionally, his development is also very reflective Erickson and Piaget’s insights. As a result, due to greater levels of abstract thinking our conversation have deepened significantly. He is definitely asserting independence as well. My goal, has been to encourage the development of real life skills. Therefore, I set clear parameters for him, and give him room to figure his way to fulfill them. This has resulted, in the development of a solid work ethic, and good study skills. Regarding the career planning subscale, this individual is currently working on narrowing down his interest areas. He has chosen to enroll in advanced science and math classes, and hopes to start focusing on getting some college pre-requisites out of the way while in high school. Finally, in order to explore his creative side, his is taking drawing classes at the Joslyn.

Career Exploration

The second subscale of career maturity focuses on their degree of desire and willingness to engage in the process of exploration (Sharf, 2012). In this respect, it reflects their overall attitude toward work. I am aware of adolescents on all ends of the spectrum regarding this specific subscale. As a result, I have come to the conclusion that this subscale not only reflects maturity level but an individual’s hopes for the future. Individuals who are not willing to engage in the process of exploration, in my experience often uninspired. The specific individual I’m focusing on for this assignment, has expressed his concerns about going to college and then finding out he can’t get a job. He also doesn’t want to go to school just “to go to school” to waste our money and his time. It is his hope, to find a way to make a living doing what he loves. In this respect, he is focused on narrowing down his interests with a goal of developing some direction before he begins college.

Decision Making

​The third subscale of career maturity assesses an adolescent’s decision-making process. This requires examining how they make use of the information they have available. This individual is very pragmatic in his decision-making. He is very aware of the idea that college doesn’t always produce a marketable skill. He is not wanting to get a college degree that doesn’t yield some meaningful job prospect once he is done. Additionally, he is well aware of the costs, and is very mindful of this. I’m hoping to help that once this individual turns 16 that he can find a job, and learn more about the value of a dollar, so this idea is driven home further.

World-of-Work Information

​The fourth subscale of career maturity assesses how well they realistically understand the specific job duties associated with their career interests and understanding of the process of applying for jobs (Sharf, 2012). Regarding the individual in question for this assignment, I do believe he has a bit of work to do. His levels of understanding regarding the job duties associated with a career are limited. Additionally has never applied for a job before. Jobs for 15-year-olds are very limited. Having said this, it is my belief that this individual needs to focus on narrowing down his interest areas, before beginning to explore a specific career. I’m considering summer time activities that might provide him these opportunities. The goal is simply find opportunities to explore things related to his interests, and see what piques his curiosity. For example, UNO has a career exploration program through its engineering program. CHI / Alegent Health has a career exploration camp for medical professions. These are ideas I’m running by him currently.

Knowledge of Preferred Occupations

The final subscale of career maturity assesses an adolescent’s understanding of how preferred occupational areas correlate with their own abilities and interests (Sharf, 2012). Essentially, this subscale requires a degree of self-understanding alongside a basic knowledge of key occupational areas. Currently, the individual I’m focusing on for this assignment, has a sufficient degree of self-understanding. He knows what he likes and doesn’t likes. Additionally, he is taking time to continue exploring these interest areas. At the same time, he isn’t as knowledgeable of specific career areas. In order to begin correlating interest and abilities with specific career areas, it will be necessary for him to further define his specific interests.


Sharf R.S. (2006). Applying career development theory to counseling. 6th Ed. Belmont CA:

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