Access to Summary report
In this seminar four NICEC Fellows examine the changing work of career practitioners in higher education, in response to the changing needs of students and how their institutions design career services. What challenges do career practitioners identify in their work? How is their changing work impacting on their professional skills and identities?
Julia Yates (City University) and Wendy Hirsh discuss how career practitioners in HE institutions across the UK see students presenting their concerns in one-to-one conversations, how practitioners interpret and respond to student needs and where practitioners identify challenges in their work and to their professional skills.
Siobhan Neary (International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby) and Nalayini Thambar (University of Nottingham) examine the evolving role of career development practitioners in higher education and the impact of these changes on the skills they need.
Career practitioners in higher education: work changes, challenges and professional identity
· Julia Yates, City University and Wendy Hirsh, NICEC Fellow – Career concerns presented by students and how career practitioners interpret and respond to them
· Siobhan Neary, Head of International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS), University of Derby and Nalayini Thambar, Director of Careers and Employability, University of Nottingham – The evolving 21st century HE careers professional
DESCRIPTION OF SEMINAR
Julia Yates and Wendy Hirsh have used a survey and follow up interviews to examine the career issues of students as observed by career practitioners working in HE institutions across the UK. The research investigated how career practitioners see students presenting their concerns in one-to-one conversations; how practitioners interpret and respond to student needs; where practitioners identify challenges in their work; and the implications for their own professional skills in the context of how their institutional career services are organised.
Siobhan Neary and Nalayini Thambar examine the role of career development practitioners working in higher education which has significantly evolved over recent years in the UK. This has been influenced by the increase in student fees, a greater focus on employability and the impact of metrics used to ‘assess’ the quality of the student experience. This research project, using Whitchurch’s concept of the third space professional (2015) presents a landscape where the decentralisation of services and embedding of careers work within the curriculum is creating a new quasi-academic role for higher education careers practitioners as previously defined boundaries become more transparent. The research undertaken against the COVID-19 backdrop presents the challenges practitioners face resulting from the varying value placed on careers services across institutions and an increasing focus on one to many rather than one to one interventions. The research presents the skills and knowledge practitioners identify as being required to be effective, specifically the importance of digital literacy and strategic relationships in establishing recognised and effective practice.