Career Counseling for Gifted and Talented Youth

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Providing career counseling to youth is not always an easy task; it comes with many obstacles and considerations, especially since it is a critical time in career decision-making and exploration (Gibson, 2005; Anderson & Vandehey, 2012). Through the work of various researchers, this paper provides helpful approaches regarding the guidance of gifted and talented youth in exploring and identifying career opportunities. According to the National Society for the Gifted and Talented (2012), gifted children and youth are those that are capable of performing at extraordinarily high levels and achieve accomplishments at great volume, while exercising exceptional talents in comparison to other children and youth their age. There are several subgroups within the gifted population that have been, and continue to be, researched such as multipotential, unipotential, and early emergers (Milgram & Hong, 1999; Achter, Lubinksi, & Benbow, 1996; Greene, 2003; Kerr, 1986; Maxwell, 2007; Kerr & Sodano, 2003). Several studies have defined multipotential students as those that are able to select and develop any number of diverse competencies to a high or exceptional level and in turn having the ability to thrive in related careers (Milgram & Hong, 1999; Achter, Lubinksi, & Benbow, 1996; Greene, 2003; Kerr, 1986; Maxwell, 2007; Kerr & Sodano, 2003). According to Achter, Lubinski, and Benbow (1996), the concept of multipotentiality derives from a universal psychological theme in the literature surrounding vocational counseling of intellectually gifted students and has become a major facet in the research of working with the gifted population. Unipotential, as defined by Milgram and Hong (1999), refers to individuals who are focused on a specific ability... ... middle of paper ... ...t they be knowledgeable of how race, ethnicity, gender, culture, class, and sociopolitical history can affect the career development and futures of gifted minority adolescents (Kerr & Sodano, 2003; Greene, 2003). In summary, while these research studies have provided clear and applicable considerations to successfully work with gifted adolescents, it is evident that continued research on ways to effectively work with this population is needed. Gifted adolescents are a unique group of individuals that appear to be overlooked and the attention they need in terms of career and personal counseling is often undermined (Kerr & Sodano, 2003; Achter, Lubinski, & Benbow, 1996; Greene, 2003). As a result of current research, it is quite apparent that effective career development and counseling would be most beneficial to this population (Milgram & Hong, 1999; Greene, 2003).

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