Become a qualified Career Practitioner
with a Graduate Certificate of Career Development


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Course Overview


Fully Online


8 months part-time
Complete one subject
every 8 weeks

Next Intake

2022: January,
March, May, July,
August and October



Course Versions

Did you know that we have developed three versions of the Graduate Certificate of Career Development? We currently offer a General Program (current page), a version specifically adapted for Secondary Educators, and a Tailored Workforce Development version. Follow the relevant links below to find out more.

Do you currently
work in Secondary

Discover our Graduate Certificate in Career Development that has been specifically adapted for Secondary Educators.

Do you want to develop your
to become qualified
Career Practitioners?

Enquire now to discuss the design of a tailored learning experience for your workforce.
Did you know that we are able to tailor this course to suit the
needs of your organisation?

Academic Excellence and Industry Relevance

Through an innovative partnership between James Cook University and Career Ahead, the Graduate Certificate of Career Development curriculum was fully redesigned in 2020, integrating leading academic theory with elements of industry best practice.

This Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) endorsed course contains four subjects, completed one at a time, to optimise learning immersion. These subjects explore career development theories, provide the opportunity for applied professional practice and regularly include workshops with subject matter and industry experts.

The learning experience is designed so that students engage in interactive and evidence based activities, to enhance their knowledge, skills and professional practice capabilities.

Course Highlights

Study one subject at a time, every 8 weeks
Flexible learning, fully online
Relevant and contemporary curriculum
Unique industry and university partnership
Commonwealth Supported Places available*


You can start the course with any subject, and study the subjects in any order.

Career Development
Theories and Tools


A critical pillar of career development professional practice is foundational knowledge in career counselling theory. Building on leading theoretical frameworks, students work with a range of career development tools, including psychometric instruments, career choice diagnostics and skills inventories.

Career Development
Professional Practice


Aligned to the understanding and application of the CICA Professional Standards, this subject builds students’ capability to work as a professional Career Practitioner. This subject includes an online intensive workshop where students translate learnings into practical experiences, applying the knowledge and skills acquired to ‘real-plays’ and complex career development case studies.

The Labour Market and
the Future of Work


Given rapid changes in the world of work, students build their knowledge of current and future workplace trends. The focus is on the development of substantial expertise in accessing, analysing and applying labour market data, allowing students to generate critical career management insights to apply in their practice.



A ‘hands-on’ subject, providing students with the opportunity to develop counselling micro skills through applied learning activities. This subject involves translating learnings into practical experiences, ensuring that students are ready to apply counselling models to a range of career development scenarios.

We’d love to hear from you

Contact us today to discuss your options

How are we different?

University & Industry

The partnership between James Cook University and Career Ahead offers future career practitioners a contemporary, academically rigorous and applied learning experience.

The course combines the academic excellence of JCU, with the ‘real world’ experience of Career Ahead. Graduates benefit from this partnership beyond graduation, with ongoing access to resources and support from the highly qualified JCU and Career Ahead teams.


We understand that attending lectures and completing study tasks can be challenging with busy lives. To create flexibility for students, this course is delivered fully online.

The learning experience offers engaging and practical weekly tutorials, self-paced learning activities, informative industry seminars and intensive skill development workshops. We want our students to be present, engaged and importantly ‘work ready’ at the end of the program.


Our course produces highly skilled, work ready practitioners, who can ‘hit the ground running’; capable of supporting clients in the achievement of their career goals. The practical learning approach equips students with the skills and knowledge required for contemporary professional practice.

Students graduate with highly developed capabilities, expert knowledge and a portfolio of resources, enabling them to succeed in a range of work environments.

Unique Course Delivery Mode

Our unique carousel delivery mode enables students to focus on a single subject, allowing for deep engagement and learning immersion. New students can commence the program every 8 weeks, each time a subject commences, staying on the carousel until four subjects are completed. Although this is an online program, enabling self-paced learning, each subject is supported with a weekly tutorial run by a knowledgeable subject facilitator, regularly featuring subject matter and industry guests. In addition to weekly tutorials, both ED5908 and ED5910 include intensive workshops, delivered remotely, providing students with supported skills practice.

Student Testimonials

CICA Endorsed

JCU has received endorsement from the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) for the Graduate Certificate of Career Development. This means the curriculum aligns to the professional, ethical and educational standards of the peak professional body. Graduates are eligible for professional membership of a CICA Member Association and have the ability to use the title of Career Practitioner.

Career Opportunities

JCU Career Development Graduates are highly sought after for rewarding positions including:

Private career guidance and coaching

Education based career development roles

Outplacement or career transition consulting

Wellbeing or career advisory roles in professional sport

Career guidance in disability or employment services

Career counselling for community or government programs

Students may also go on to study the Master of Guidance and Counselling. Receive a two subject credit for this course when you complete your Graduate Certificate of Career Development.

When can I start?

We teach one of the Graduate Certificate’s four subjects every 8 weeks, meaning that you have six opportunities each year to get started.

Study Period Subject Code Start Date Subject
81 ED5910 10th January 2022 Career Counselling
82 ED5907 7th March 2022 Career Development Tools and Theories
83 ED5908 2nd May 20222 Career Development Professional Practice
84 ED5909 4th July 2022 The Labour Market and the Future of Work
85 ED5910 29th August 2022 Career Counselling
86 ED5907 24th October 2022 Career Development Tools and Theories

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Course Fees


Fees are based on 2021 figures and are subject to change. Plus Student Services and Amenities fee.

How can I apply?

Additional information, including application criteria and fees can also be found on the JCU website.