by Susan Forseille, Thompson River University, posted on January 31, 2018
At the recent Cannexus2018 Conference there was an abundance of exceptional career development information. One of my key takeaways from this year’s conference was the need to be more strategic and intentional in career development support for PSE students. With this in mind I returned to BC and did a little more investigative work on the topic. Below are examples of progressive practices I found that speak to recent Canadian conversations on the need for evidence based research on the impact of career education on student's career development, and notable practices outside of Canada.
Qualitative Research on Careers Education
- A 2016 research paper (O'Riordan, Rio, and Wieczorek) illustrates the impact of credit bearing careers education (at the University of Dundee, Scotland) on the destinations of graduated students six months after graduation. Their research found that nearly 90% of students who took a careers module knew what they need to do to reach their career goal. The career modules included a career planning option (delivered face-to-face or online), or an internship module. The research also found that students taking career modules increased the likelihood of graduate success and feeling more prepared to graduate. This research offers some strong quantitative evidence on the value of career education. Click here to read more.
Embedding Career Curriculum into Existing Courses: Great Britain
- The University of Birmingham (UK) has one of the most innovative and progressive career education strategies I have come across. Last year I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Elunid Jones, Director of Student Employability, and past president of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Service (ACGAS). She shared information on Kickstat, an initiative that embeds career education curriculum into existing credit courses. Career Education pedagogy is interwoven in over 40 courses with the help of career educators titled Enterprise Educators. These educators come with a strong teaching background (pedagogical grounding) with career theory knowledge. They create career education modules, assist with the initial teaching, and coach/train tutors, but do not normally teach the career content. Jones shared other PSE have been adapting this methodology, and at the time of our conversation many other schools had entered into discussion phases with the University of Birmingham.