Abstract Occupational identity is a central concept of career development, by providing a sense of direction and meaning across career development. This study aimed to examine how this concept can be associated with career processes through model formed by a set of socio-cognitive factors. The participants were 358 college students at a Brazilian university who completed measures of occupational identity, environmental supports and barriers, self-efficacy, goal progress, and academic satisfaction. Analysis indicates that the occupational identity status was partially well predicted by the combination of self-efficacy to cope with barriers, supports, academic satisfaction, and goal progress. These results highlight that students with a positive sense of competencies to deal with barriers and adequate levels of academic satisfaction would easily establish an occupational identity.