Is it true that different schools produce different students?
At CareerHQ we deal with schools all around Australia, and most particularly in NSW. Looking at the data we gather, we thought it would be interesting to compare different cohorts of students. We’ve taken a sample of data from 4 schools across NSW, using a mix of urban and regional, and independent and public schools.
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. So is it true that different schools produce different students?
In a skills driven and increasingly online world, it’s encouraging to see that students still largely see themselves as a group that helps people and likes to engage with others. The deep impacts of COVID could easily have changed this to a group of young people who are more introverted and less interested in social goals but it hasn’t.
Students from all the schools were confident in their ability to engage with people and help others. Creativity and leadership were also uniformly chosen by students as skills they possess. However, when it came to selecting what skills students would most like to improve the results were split between schools. Maths and creativity being the most selected ones. We see this type of contradiction often, where students perceive one of their strongest skills as also one they are keen to improve upon.
Holland Codes/Career Personalities
Our chosen schools highlight very different cohorts who display different primary Holland Codes summarising their career personalities. The inner Sydney school and the Northern Beaches schools both show a strong Artistic Holland Code, whereas the Hills District school represents a largely Social group and the regional school an Enterprising cohort.
The preferred industries footprint for two of the schools were very similar, one a high school in central Sydney and the other a high school on the Northern Beaches, where students showed a strong interest in advertising and the arts, media and digital media, design and architecture, and sports related sectors. The other two schools showed quite different chosen industries for the students. One, a K-12 independent school in the Hills district where healthcare and medical, community and social services, and information and communication technology roles were favoured. And the other, a K-12 regional independent school where sports, office and administration, and healthcare and medical industries were favoured.
The top careers chosen by our selected schools again showed some similarities, however in a different pattern to their industry choices. The top job of Lawyer was picked by two schools, the Hills district independent school and the Northern Beaches high school. The regional independent school chose Professional Athlete, and the Inner Sydney school high school selected Games Tester.
Whilst the profile of every school varies, many of their career and skill interests are repeated across different student groups. Obviously students are affected by the school they attend and the economics of the area they live in. However it is clear that assumptions about students’ skills, interests and future pathways should not be based on these things as many similar themes run through most student groups regardless. This suggests that career education can be approached in a common way across schools even though students have some differences in their skills sets and career preferences.