Using visual storytelling to increase awareness of career development among post-secondary students
By Kellie Fay
Did you know? “Achieving secure employment is students’ #2 career goal overall.”1 -Brainstorm Strategy Group Inc., 2018
When have you seen a billboard in a school, in a tv commercial or a poster in a bus shelter promoting career development?
How is your institution integrating career development and employability into the curriculum? “Alicia” enters into university directly from high school because her parents want her to have a degree.
Fast forward – Alicia is about to finish her first year of university, which encompassed mostly arts and sciences classes. As the year progressed, her grades declined because she lost interest and didn’t see the relevance or connection of what she was learning to her future. She would sit in the library for hours – aimlessly – not knowing where to turn. She became despondent, she felt alone, anxious and hopeless about her future. Alicia was at a loss about a career direction and started to contemplate dropping out of school.
“Alex” leaves college with a diploma – thinking that it will land him a job in his chosen field. He applied for many positions but wasn’t called for one interview. He doesn’t know how to improve his employability. Consequently, he feels frustrated and blames the college.
Career development reimagined
Senior leadership and faculty value career development and employability of graduates. Career education and employability are integrated as a strategic objective within the institution’s strategic plan. Financial resources are allocated to promote career development institutionally. Faculty integrate career education and employability within their course design and content. For credit career development courses are available for all students.
My vision is to increase the awareness of career development through the power of visual storytelling with – assets – such as infographics, graphic illustrations, animated gifs and mini-short films for the post-secondary sector. Career development visual storytelling would provide an engaging launch for promoting institution-wide career education and employability.
Visual storytelling is a powerful medium for the reason that a substantial amount of information can be communicated in a short period of time. People empathically connect with animated characters and they provide emotional distance. Visual storytelling can be impactful, memorable and can inspire change. It is refreshing and uplifting to learn about the recent skills development and employability initiatives across Canada.2 Moreover, this trend is transpiring internationally as well, namely, the Future of Education and Skills 20303 project.
Still, it is necessary for the profile, promotion and integration of career development to advance. It is prudent for an individual to have a sense of a career direction in order to learn about which skills to develop (including career management skills) and have the know-how to effectively market their learning, skills and experience to future work opportunities.
This infographic is an example of using visual storytelling to communicate as substantial amount of information in a short time and in an engaging way.
Kellie Fay is passionate about career development and is motivated to support individuals on their career journey. She is also a visual artist and innovator. Along with obtaining a Master of Career Development, Kellie will soon complete a Master of Stop-Motion Animation. This unique combination of education and skills are a testimony to Kellie’s ability to actualize her vision to create intriguing resources.
- Brainstorm Strategy Group Inc. “The Weekly Stat.” (Sep 6, 2018) https://twitter.com/brainstormsgi?lang=en
- Brookfield Institute. “Employment in 2030”. https://brookfieldinstitute.ca/project/employment-in-2030/
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “OECD Education 2030”. http://firstname.lastname@example.org