Are all schools the same when it comes to future career paths - Career HQ
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Are all schools the same when it comes to future career paths

Are all schools the same when it comes to students’ career paths?

Holland Codes are widely used in career education and counselling as a simple guide to work personalities. The theory behind them being that someone’s choice of job or career is often an expression of their personality, and people will do better in careers that reflect their personality best. 

The six types of Holland Codes are; Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. Or more simply put; Doers, Thinkers, Creators, Helpers, Persuaders and Organizers. At CareerHQ, our CareerHQ Compass tool uses these Holland Codes to group all the jobs by their Holland Codes, and users then choose careers which suit them.

We deal with schools all over Australia, and most particularly in NSW, and the anonymous data we gather from our users gives us a map of the Holland Code profile of each group of students who use our tool.

We’ve recently looked at four different student cohorts that we work with, comparing students from an inner Sydney high school, a regional NSW independent school, a high school on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and an independent school in Sydney’s Hill District. Often assumptions are made about student groups based on the school they attend or the area they live in. Our data shows that whilst each student group is clearly different, some common themes run through many student groups.

There were some notable similarities between schools, with two schools having a strong artistic (creators) profile and the other two both being social schools (helpers). All four schools have an artistic grouping within their top three characteristics. Given that creativity is consistently listed as one of the desired skills employers are seeking, this bodes well for NSW’s future employees.

Three of the schools also have a helpers profile in their top four. Given the recent pandemic, where students were isolated and largely only connected through an online presence, it’s impressive to see that they are a socially minded group who want careers that help others and give something back to their communities.

When looking at the top chosen careers from each of the schools, there again are some similarities with two schools selecting Lawyer as their top job. This was chosen by the Hills District Independent School, which is a common top choice at many schools, and also by the Northern Beaches High School. The Inner Sydney High School selected Games Tester, which is an unusual top choice from any of the schools we work with. The Regional Independent School’s top choice is Professional Athlete, which again, is a popular choice in many schools. 

What is unusual about these top choices is that all three jobs selected are classified as Enterprising (persuaders). Persuaders are leaders who can impress upon others their confidence and enthusiasm for a subject, which is a very positive thought for Australia’s future.

When comparing the Holland Code footprint of the four different schools, there are many similarities which highlight that perceived ideas about students from different schools or from different areas are largely untrue. As Holland Codes are a representation of someone’s own character, they show no bias towards particular schools or locations but only reflect the current student group at the school. Whilst there are clear differences in every school, the correlation across the four schools shows a similarity in student thinking regardless of public or independent, urban or regional. Four schools is a small sample but, from our experience, it could be considered to be indicative of what young adults across NSW are thinking.