How Have Events Of 2020 Influenced Career Education In 2021
As everyone knows and has experienced, 2020 has been an eventful year: bushfires, droughts, floods, a global pandemic and governments now focused on trying to stimulate economic recovery and more jobs, especially for younger people.
These events will not pass without lasting impacts on the world of work. Those of us involved in career education, in fact in education generally, might usefully and consider what are the influences that will impact on the way we support students, graduates and first job seekers in 2021.
We suggest that five (5) key factors that might influence career education in 2021 include:
1. It’s going to be harder to find first jobs of choice for two (2) years.
We need to assume that young adults are not going to find it as easy to find employment in their preferred jobs or industries in 2021 and 2022.
However, there are some career paths and industries that will continue to offer at least as many job opportunities as pre-COVID.
Students and first job seekers will need to be more informed, purposeful, and flexible in making their study and employment choices.
2. COVID has moved the world of work ahead three (3) years.
We are CareerHQ suggest that one of the main impacts of COVID is that it has added to trends that were already occurring. Online shopping, working from home, working flexible hours and for several employers, and the challenges for people with general degrees or qualifications finding employment without work experience were all coming. But they are now here sooner and bigger.
Now jobs and career paths are emerging that didn’t exist 3-4 years ago, and we all need to move with these developments. We are trying to support you by regularly adding these new jobs to our CareerHQ database of over 940 occupations.
3. Different industries offer different degrees of opportunity and security.
More than any other year, 2020 has highlighted different industries and jobs to young people.
Font line healthcare workers, bushfire scientists, delivery drivers, and social support workers are just some jobs that have been more publicly highlighted. And healthcare, online business, transport and supply chain, agribusiness and the public sector have been more evident to most as industry sectors that have been more resilient and secure through the pandemic.
Data we collect from students indicates that some of them are building this into their thinking in making study and career decisions.
How do we help our young students understand industry developments and the relative levels of opportunity and risk they offer? And how much should this influence their decisions as opposed to their doing what they are good at and like doing?
4. Students looking for their first jobs need to explore how their skills can apply to a wide range of jobs.
Within the work scene of the next few years, we suggest that students leaving school, TAFE and university will need to explore how the skills they have obtained as part of their chosen subjects or coursework can be applied to a wide range of jobs. Their major subjects or coursework does not need to dictate their step into employment. Taking too narrow a focus could prevent students from identifying and considering less obvious job opportunities, especially when more limited choice of preferred jobs is likely to exist in 2021 and maybe 2022.
Our CareerHQ Compass and Occupations Database are some of the tools that can help students to open their minds to broader options.
5. Students ideally need to be given career management skills for life.
Events of 2020 have highlighted that career educators can probably best assist their students by providing them with the skills to not only make study and first job choices but to also help them navigate the world of work throughout their life.
Is our primary job as career educators to give students to students off to a chosen job or course or to provide them with the “scaffolding” (thinking tools and skills) to support them throughout their careers?
It would be best, and it’s possible, to offer them both. And as 2020 has highlighted those people equipped with the thinking processes and tools to navigate life’s challenges and opportunities might be more prepared and resilient for the ups and downs of life.
Last week’s announcement that every NSW public school pupil will be tracked for five (5) years after they graduate and principals will be issued targets to count the number of students who end up unemployed seems to add even more significance to both the roles of career educators and adjusting to the sorts of influences outlined above.