Theses Doctoral

Learning to Stay Current in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Examining How Career Counselors Make Meaning of the Impact of Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Occupations

Bard Fabricant, Francine

This exploratory case study examined how and if career counselors learned about the impact of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) on occupations, including which actions, activities, and conditions helped or hindered their learning, and what impact this learning had on their professional practice. The data included questionnaires and interviews with 15 participants who worked as career counselors and expressed that learning about the impact of automation and AI on occupations was important in their work. Three primary findings emerged from the study.

The first finding illustrated that participants primarily learned through informal and incidental learning and all participants described the lack of a clear path to learning. This was framed through four subthemes, including learning that emanated from reflection on “Aha!” Moments, learning that involved a process of continuous learning, formal learning that was lacking but desired, and participants stating that they did not seek out the learning.

The second finding revealed that agency, openness, collaboration, and reflective practice helped learning, while limits to time, resources, and opportunities for learning hindered learning.

The third finding showed that such learning impacted participants’ professional practice by affecting their interactions with clients and their professional development as career counselors.

This demonstrated the application of the learning and connected it directly to the work of career counselors. This study contributes to the growing body of literature examining informal and incidental learning in complex and chaotic domains and provides recommendations for research and practice, specifically addressing how the results of this study can be used to support the professional development of career counselors in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Yorks, Lyle
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
November 9, 2022