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Careers Guidance

March 9th, 2010 by Jo Turner-Attwell

I think the emphasis with careers guidance is often put in the wrong place, on the word career rather than guidance. This means that much of careers guidance is based upon the actual career a student may have rather than guiding the student as they take steps which will eventually leading to their end career. Often the major problem with this is that students look back and realise they closed doors and opportunities for themselves that they had no idea they were closing and make decisions without a thorough knowledge of where their choices will take them.
This is particularly important as the majority of students are not sure of what particular job they would like to end up in and therefore when making decisions the optimum choice keeps options as wide open as possible. It is also at key choice or transition points that considering career options becomes important. Therefore career and education guidance should be focused on these key times. Within the English education systems these fall at the end of Year 9 for GCSE choices, the end of Year 11 for Post 16 options and the end of Year 13 when students reach the age of 18.
I find much of current guidance to be based on students looking at potential careers. My problem with this system is that from my experience students see their choices from the point of view of their current surroundings so through subject-based perspectives and only within the parameters of the decisions they are currently making. Such specific guidance seems to miss the focus of students towards careers and provide them with abstract information they will struggle to relate to their situation within a school environment.
However currently these conclusions are drawn from the experiences and opinions of myself and the people around me and I hope to do some wider work work on establishing if this really is the case.

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