Careers education and guidance
Careers education and guidance

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Careers education and guidance

1.2 What is a ‘career’?

Understanding the key terms in CEG is vital to understanding your role in it. Very few students go into full-time jobs at 16 and the concept of ‘career’ as a job for life is irrelevant to the twenty-first century labour market. Click on 'View document' below to read a careers overview, which explores this further.

View document [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

A more useful concept of career is a person's pathway through learning and work. Planning that journey should start in lower secondary school at the latest, when students have to make subject and course choices. They need to make choices that reflect their interests and strengths, while making sure they don't close any doors to possible future pathways. They will need your help, whether in formal careers lessons, in one-to-one guidance interviews, in preparing for work experience, or just in a passing question as they go out of the door at the end of a lesson or during a tutor period.

Now look at Activity 1.

Activity 1

This is best undertaken with a group of colleagues. Record a short extract from any well known soap or drama, e.g. Casualty, The Bill. Then, with colleagues:

  • List the jobs you see being performed.

  • Which have the longest training, and which the shortest?

  • Which allow for a relaxed and interesting lifestyle? Which ones do not?

  • Which jobs would you say are ‘careers’ and which are ‘just a job’?

  • Consider how you would define the terms: job, occupation and career? How do they compare with the definitions given in ‘Key terms from careers education and guidance’ in the link below?

Click 'view document' below to read 'Key terms for careers education and guidance', which may also be useful.

Click on the link to open Careers Education Guidance and Work-related Learning: A briefing for teachers in initial training from the Careers Education Support Programme (2005). Read pages 3–4, answering the questions on page 3.

This will help you to begin to understand the essential difference between careers education and careers guidance. Note the aims of CEG, and think of one thing you already do in your teaching to contribute to each.


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