The stability of aspect-based career preferences and of the recommended list of occupations derived from them

Itamar Gati*, Tony Gutentag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Career-related preferences (e.g., team work, independence, length of training, income), which are an elaboration and extension of vocational interests, are one of the cornerstones that guide individuals to promising occupations recommended for further exploration. These preferences are informative and can serve individuals and their career counselors only if they are reliable and stable. Study 1 tested the two-week reliability of 31 career-related preferences of 213 freshman students and the two-year stability of the preferences of 132 of these students. Both the within-aspect preferred levels (e.g., only indoors most preferred, but mostly indoors also acceptable) and the importance of the aspects were elicited. The median within-participant two-week reliability was.85 for preferred levels and.64 for aspect importance; the median two-year stabilities were.75 and.51, respectively. In Study 2, the preferences elicited in Study 1 were used to derive a list of recommended occupations compatible with each participant's preferences at Time 1, Time 2 (2. weeks later), and Time 3 (2. years later), using a compensatory-model-based fit index. The percentage of identical occupations in the lists of the top ten recommended occupations was quite high - 62% for Time 1 and Time 2, and 54% for Time 1 and Time 3. The theoretical and practical implications of the reliability and stability of recommendations based on aspect-based career preferences are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Career counseling
  • Career decision making
  • Career-related preferences
  • Prescreening
  • Reliability
  • Stability


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