Dr. Anthony Mann, Senior Policy Analyst in the Directorate for Education and Skills at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), recently authored an article on educaweb.com that spoke to the important findings of the study, How Young People Explore, Experience and Think About Their Futures: A New Look at Effective Career Guidance. This extensive report by the OCED compiled data from 12 separate longitudinal studies across multiple countries to assess the effectiveness of career guidance activities among primary and secondary students.

In the article, Dr. Mann establishes that he believes career guidance has never been more important to young people than it is right now.

Kuder® is fortunate to leverage an accomplished group of career development specialists who serve as subject matter experts and faculty members for our organization. Dr. Spencer Niles, the Senior Vice President of Kuder’s faculty, shares similar beliefs to Dr. Mann, and states, “We know that if a student has a sense of hope and sees career possibilities that excite them, they become better students.”

The 5 Key Conclusions

The results of the study, which Dr. Mann co-authored alongside other notable career development professionals, were presented as five unique conclusions that ultimately seek to serve today’s educational leaders in bringing exceptional tools and resources to students preparing for the world of work:

  1. Trust and Invest in Career Guidance: Students who were provided with postsecondary planning resources and tools achieved higher employment rates, earnings, and satisfaction with their job ten years after they were originally surveyed as part of these longitudinal studies.
  2. Engage with Employers: Common assumptions on the benefits of early career exploration were confirmed, and it became especially apparent that the involvement of employers in career preparation activities such as job fairs, internships, job shadowing, etc. was beneficial to this process.
  3. Encourage Opportunities to Volunteer: While students have long since been advised to take a part-time position while pursuing an education, researchers were surprised to learn that teens who volunteer their time while in school had a strong correlation to attaining better employment outcomes many years later.
  4. Start Sooner: There was an overwhelming amount of data to support the study’s fifth conclusion – career guidance should begin when students are much younger during their elementary school years to help develop their sense of understanding about different jobs and challenge any biases that may exist in their minds about what career paths are available to them.
  5. Connect School to Work: Despite their varying personal backgrounds, qualifications, and demographics, it was determined that students who were able to form a clear relationship between their education and future career goals performed markedly better than those who pursued academic programs while they were uncertain of their career wants or goals.

It is this fifth and final conclusion that is perhaps the most important of all as it highlights an essential need within every student. How school systems and educators respond to this need is even more critical. Dr. Niles underlines this by saying, “We have to help parents, administrators and school boards understand that this is a process that is relevant to your students – that (Career Readiness programs) not only engage them in school but really motivate and excite them about future possibilities.”

Read the full educaweb article.