A Proven New Approach To Career Education - Career HQ
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A Proven New Approach To Career Education

Many government dollars and resources and numerous assessment tools and approaches have been used to assist students, young career makers and schools and tertiary education providers to work out  “what should I do for a career and/or what should I study”.

Yet the search continues to go on for an approach that is endorsed and valued by students and education providers; and offers a consistency and equality of opportunity for students irrespective of their family backgrounds and locations.

We are CareerHQ have been doing something to remedy this over the last six years.

We were initially motivated by research in 2013 that showed that the three main concerns for young people were

  1. What to do for a career?
  2. How could they be able to buy their first home?
  3. Who was going to be their partner for life?

In recent years, an increasing incidence of mental health issues in young people has added to the importance of assisting them to address their anxieties.

We further observed that most existing career assessment and support tools tell young people what they should do for a career or study. This doesn’t work any longer.

Our approach is based on some simple principles:

  1. We don’t tell people what to do. We give them the tools to work out what suits them best.
  2. We believe in the ability of young people to think for themselves if given the appropriate tools to help them (and we have been proven right by over 7500 students from year 9 up).
  3. While capable of doing their own thinking, young people need help to understand the full range of career opportunities available to them in a rapidly changing world.
  4. Students and career makers are more likely to enjoy and stick at their work and study if they pursue jobs and courses that involve things they like doing and are good at (now also validated by USA research).

Preparatory research also showed that Careers Advisers in schools and tertiary education providers

  1. Lack resources, budgets, and often commitment from their leaders. “Our school spends more on the year end formal than career education.”.
  2. Find it difficult in larger educational organisations to give personal attention to all students. “I have to take an approach of only helping those students who come to me for assistance”.
  3. Appear to operate in cultures where there tends to be a bias towards encouraging students to pursue university studies (and to get the Year 12 marks to facilitate this).

In addition, governments at Federal and State level

  1. Offer plenty of information across multiple websites to seek to help schools, students, young career makers and career changers but nowhere is it pulled together and made easy to access and use for schools, tertiary education providers and individuals. And this hasn’t improved over the last eight years.
  2. Have no meaningful data to inform career education policy and programs. And in particular, no-one has made any serious endeavour to listen to what students and young career markers want in the way of career education and support, and what they are planning to do after school.

Six (6) years later and after our approach and tools have been extensively used by over 7500 students (Years 9-12)  across over 150 high schools in New South Wales, and by early career makers and changers, we are confident that we have an approach to career education that works for everyone….. and provides data to inform policy and program initiatives at Federal, State and local government levels.

Furthermore, it has been proven to work for city, regional and rural people, and for indigenous, non-indigenous and other ethnic groups.

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We help individuals to address four (4) key questions:

-Who am I?

-What am I suited to?

-Why am I suited?

-How do I get the job or career that I prefer?

And 92% of NSW high school students endorse our tool and 80% say it offers them greater clarity and confidence in relation to their career options.

We help schools and tertiary education providers to:

-Offer career education platforms and tools on their own websites using their own identity.

-Benefit from a cloud-based platform, which we called the Teacher or Facilitator Dashboard which enables effective and efficient management of large student numbers.

-Obtains data from the Dashboard on students’ career and study preferences to enable more targeted assistance to students, and to provide input to educational curricula and programs, including work experience.

We help governments and educational bodies to hear the voice of young Australians by providing data on their thinking, preferences and needs.

And we help local communities to profile and understand their young people, and apply this to enhance and shape local employment programs and initiatives.

After six years and extensive use across 8500 individual users, we at CareerHQ are ready to share our approach, data and recommendations to a broader audience. And by doing so, to contribute to the better shaping of career education and support in line with what young people want and need.

We will share these in a series of articles over the next 2-3 months, so stand by to better understand the opportunities for us all to make a difference in career education.