Improving Careers Science: Ten Recommendations to Enhance the Credibility of Vocational Behavior Research


With the 50th anniversary of the Journal of Vocational Behavior, careers science has “come of age.” From time-to-time, as a science matures, it is important to take stock of its approach to answering empirical questions—to ask whether or not “how we know what we know” is well founded and would lead one to conclude a firm grounding in rigorous, robust, and reproducible science. Over the past ten years, the field of psychology as a whole has experienced what some have called a “credibility revolution.” That is, there is an increased focus on the way in which psychological research is conceptualized, conducted, reported, and applied. In the present article, I lay the groundwork for extending this credibility revolution to careers science. To inspire such a revolution, I provide ten recommendations, which serve as a means toward increasing the credibility of careers science and vocational behavior research. These ten recommendations reflect features of the research process which, if adopted universally, would bolster the credibility of careers science. The aim of this work is to offer guidance for moving the next 50 years of vocational behavior research forward in a way that inspires greater confidence in what our science offers, both theoretically and practically, to careers researchers and practitioners, and to the impact that this field has on society as a whole.

Journal of Vocational Behavior
Cort W. Rudolph
Associate Professor of Industrial & Organizational Psychology