New CERIC study identifies “impressive” post-secondary career service models

A new national CERIC study has identified seven publicly funded Canadian universities and colleges with the most “impressive” models of career services. The study, undertaken by Dr Peter Dietsche and Jim Lees of PSE Information Systems, also examines the level of institutional commitment across the country to providing career services for post-secondary students.

In conducting the study, comprehensive information on career service was obtained from as large a sample of Canadian colleges and universities as possible using a mixed-methods research design. An online survey of 180 institutions during October/November 2016 resulted in responses from a total of 67 institutions. The 67 institutions consisted of 32 colleges (48%) and 35 universities (52%) drawn from all Canadian provinces and territories except for Nunavut, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island.

The Insight into Canadian Post-Secondary Career Service Models report characterizes institutions that have an impressive model of career service delivery as those that: evaluate services regularly, measure outcomes, are proactive in delivery, and collaborate extensively with campus stakeholders. The universities and colleges found to exemplify an impressive model are: Wilfrid Laurier University, Queen’s University, Simon Fraser University, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mount Royal University, Fanshawe College and Nova Scotia Community College.

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Future-proof: Preparing young Canadians for the future of work

Published by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, the Future-proof report looks at how to prepare youth for a changing work landscape impacted by the evolution of technology and the expanding “gig economy.”

Technological trends are reshaping Canada’s workforce. With a large number of jobs at risk of automation in the near future, including those held by some of the most vulnerable segments of Canada’s population, youth are facing higher skill and experience requirements than ever before. As a result, Canadian youth joining the labour market must come equipped with a broad suite of technical and soft skills to succeed.

Divided into three main chapters, this report explores the impact of technological trends on youth entering the workforce, what the future of work looks like and the requirements for new skills and experience, and how Canada can equip youth and help them prepare today for the jobs of tomorrow.

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New employer initiatives provide critical work experience for youth

A pilot program designed by the Toronto Financial Services Alliance will create 10,000 new work-integrated learning opportunities for post-secondary students by the end of 2020. It includes the support of 10 financial services employers, seven Ontario colleges and universities, and three levels of government.

Called ASPIRE, the program aims to provide students with hand-on experience to jumpstart their careers, and grow the pipeline of in-demand skills needed in the sector. To support the creation of new work-integrated learning opportunities – from internships and co-ops, to capstone projects, incubators and accelerators – ASPIRE will provide guidelines for managers to improve the student experience, business skills training to enhance students’ “work-readiness”; and facilitated networking opportunities.

The program is also intended to serve as a social leveler, giving students from all backgrounds access to the world of work. ASPIRE is the first of several work-integrated learning sector pilots initiated across the country by the Business/Higher Education Roundtable to make work-integrated learning a fundamental part of the Canadian undergraduate experience.

RBC also announced Future Launch, its own 10-year, $500-million commitment to help young people gain access to the skills, job experience and career networks needed for the future world of work. As part of the initiative, RBC has created The Launching Careers Playbook, a digital resource focused on three distinct modules: I am starting my career; I manage interns; and I create internship programs. The Playbook shares the design principles, practices and learnings captured from the RBC Career Launch Program over three years.

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Redirection documentary examines later life career shifts

A new CERIC-funded documentary examines career shift, transition and occupational change in later life. Called Redirection: Movers, Shakers and Shifters, the film shares the stories of five people who have shifted into second or third careers at age 50 or older. It is part of a national Redirection research project on Work and Later Life Career Development led by Dr Suzanne Cook of York University.

The term “redirection” refers to a new stage of career that is emerging. Redirection is an alternative to retirement as working life is extended. This shift is occurring due to social, demographic, economic and policy changes in Canada.

In the 33-minute documentary, participants describe the issues and challenges faced during their transition into new work. Some people can be forced into job change during later life; some people may want to work for personal fulfillment, whereas others may need to generate an income.

Both the film and a Companion Guide can be used by career development professionals in counselling or workshops with older clients.

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Recent survey reveals the diversity of Canada’s millennial generation through their social values

A national survey released by the Environics Institute for Survey Research reveals a bold portrait of Canada’s millennials (those born between 1980 and 1995), that for the first time presents the social values of this generation, and the distinct segments that help make sense of the different and often contradictory stereotypes that so frequently are applied to today’s young adults.

Survey results show that millennials cannot be lumped into a single group defined by their age, or by other demographic characteristics such as gender, region or socio-economic status. They are a diverse part of Canadian society, made up of six social values “tribes,” each reflecting a distinct worldview and approach to life. While millennials may share some common experiences and aspirations as befits their stage in life, there are notable differences in outlook and life path across these tribes, be they “Engaged Idealists,” “Bros and Brittanys,” or “Lone Wolves.”

The study was conducted in partnership with The Counselling Foundation of Canada, RBC, the McConnell Family Foundation and Apathy is Boring.

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More than half of working Canadians want a degree/diploma do-over

A recent survey from Monster Canada found that more than half (52%) of working Canadians would choose to pursue a different degree or diploma, if they could go back in time. The findings also show that most working Canadians feel qualified, or overqualified, for their jobs, especially millennials and those in the 55 to 64 age group.

The survey, conducted by Leger, found that six in 10 working Canadians agree that their most recent/current job is directly related to their education, and 60% say their degree was worth obtaining. Even though the majority of working Canadians feel their degree was worth it, of those who felt their degree wasn’t worth obtaining, one in five (21%) said instead of beginning their post-secondary schooling again, they would go straight into the workforce.

Women are more likely to choose a different route with slightly more working women (54%) reporting that they would pursue a different degree/diploma if given the option, compared to 51% of men. Gender differences can be explained by the fact that women may experience career paths that are not linear due to life events such as starting a family and going on maternity leave.

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