CERIC announces award of project to examine foundational skills in grades 4-6

CERIC’s Career Development in Children: Identifying Critical Success Conditions and Strategies project has been awarded to an international team of academic researchers led by Dr Lorraine Godden, Ironwood Consulting and Carleton University; Nicki Moore, University of Derby, and Dr Heather Nesbitt and Dr Stefan Merchant, Queen’s University. This project will examine how foundational concepts and skills that are introduced and developed by classroom teachers connect to career-related learning in Canadian elementary schools.

The project stems from a Request for Proposals that CERIC released last fall to identify the foundational elements that students in grades 4-6 need to thrive in all phases of life and career planning. It is clear that introducing career concepts within the early years, whether formally through designed programs or informally through play-based learning, can have a long lasting and impactful presence. But in the absence of the formal infusion of career into curricula, what options are available within the education structure to ensure that children can sustainably develop the tools they will need to navigate a world of work we cannot yet imagine?

The starting point for the research is that teachers are the linchpin, engaging with students at every age and stage. Teachers guide various learning and play activities that foster foundational skills (eg, healthy habits, social and emotional skills, self-confidence, empathy, team work, critical thinking, self-awareness, emotional regulation) but these are not usually undertaken from a career development perspective. Yet, in later grades, both teacher and student are expected to connect the dots to help students make sound educational, career and life-planning choices.

CERIC’s interest in this project is three-fold:

  • To understand the landscape of what is happening in elementary education across Canada related to introducing/building career related foundational skills
  • To use a mixed-methods approach to explore the impact of these conditions and strategies on career development foundational skills
  • To develop a teacher’s aid toolkit that validates teacher practice

Researchers will gather data from educators, parents and grade 4-6 students in public school settings across Canada. Diverse perspectives (including Indigenous communities, immigrant communities, francophone communities, special needs educators, and urban, rural and remote communities) will be included to deepen understanding of individual and collective beliefs, perceptions and interpretations concerning career-related education.

This project builds on earlier CERIC-supported research from Memorial University that investigated the career development process of children, aged 3 to 8 (pre-K to grade 3). It produced two guides – one for Educators and one for Parents – to empower them to support young children during this critical period of play, fun and fantasy.

newspaper with covid-19 headlines2020

New literature search on “Career Development During COVID-19 and Beyond” released

It is undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented health and economic impacts. Simultaneously, the world is facing new realities in the labour market. CERIC’s latest literature search, Career Development During COVID-19 and Beyond, explores challenges that career professionals and their clients face and how to cope with uncertainty during these difficult times.

  • Impact of COVID-19 on career development
  • Employee engagement during the pandemic
  • Remote career counselling and virtual resources
  • Job search and career planning for recent graduate students
  • Post-pandemic world of work

This new literature search marks CERIC’s 60th, with others focused on Career Counselling Competencies, Ethical Issues in Career Development, Future of Work, Job Satisfaction and Career Development, Economic Benefits of Career Guidance, Generational Conflict in the Workplace, Mental Health Issues in the Workplace, and more.

Featuring comprehensive listings of key research and articles in career development, literature searches highlight critical points of current knowledge. As a student, academic or practitioner in the field, literature searches are helpful if you are researching the latest thinking or proven best practices. They are also valuable if you are considering a submission to CERIC for project partnership funding in order to gain an overview of major work already done in your area of interest.

person typing on a laptop2020

Complete the CERIC Career and Employment Services Recovery Pulse Survey

CERIC is seeking input on the actual and anticipated impact of COVID-19 on career services across Canada as we move into a recovery period. Professionals in the field are asked to take a moment to complete this 4-minute CERIC Career and Employment Services Recovery Pulse Survey by Friday, June 12, 2020.

The last few months have brought unprecedented change to every aspect of our economy and society – and career services is no exception. We want to know the implications of this new reality for career service professionals.

This survey is intended to gather vital intelligence around shifting conditions and provide a snapshot of the emergent state of the career development field in Canada and, importantly, how career services are being re-imagined.

Results will be shared with the broad career development community and other stakeholders. Survey participants will be helping to tell the story of the public good that career and employment professionals offer in this period of massive workforce upheaval.

Recognizing that the ground continues to shift, we plan to repeat this pulse survey again at the end of the summer and during the fall to track changes over time.

person learning next to a laptop2020

Webinars in June on job search for newcomers and computing careers for students

CERIC is offering two new free webinars in June to support career professionals and their clients.

Navigating Computing Career Pathways in 2020: What Advisors Need to Know, presented by with Janet Miller, Randy Connolly & Faith-Michael Uzoka | Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET

Responding to a strong demand for computing graduates in Canada and a changing technology landscape, Randy Connolly, Janet Miller and Faith-Michael Uzoka of Mount Royal University, have released the second edition of the CERIC guide Computing Careers & Disciplines: A Quick Guide for Prospective Students and Career Advisors. This 2nd edition is developed to meet an evolving need among career advisors who support students interested in technology at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. It aims to address the questions of why student should consider computing when choosing a career, and what kind of education and career pathways they can expect when they do.

Prof Randy Connolly has been teaching at Mount Royal University since 1997 and holds the rank of Full Professor (Computing). He is the author of three textbooks, the most recent of which is used by thousands of students at over 100 universities worldwide. Dr Janet Miller is a counselling psychologist with expertise in mental health, leadership, and post-secondary student success. Dr Faith-Michael Uzoka has taught Computer Science and Information Systems at various universities since 1992. He is a Full Professor (Computing) and Research Development Officer at Mount Royal University.

Job Search and Career Exploration During COVID-19 Recovery: Providing Guidance to Newcomers, presented by Yilmaz E. Dinc  | Thursday, June 18, 2020, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET

Building on recent data and insights on the impact of the pandemic on the labour market, and adopting a newcomer inclusion lens, this free webinar will address how career development professionals can provide evidence-based guidance and tips to newcomers on effectively searching for jobs and pursuing career development and advancement opportunities. These insights and practical strategies will help career professionals to support newcomers in their career journeys during a time of economic uncertainty.

Dr Yilmaz E. Dinc is the Research and Evaluation Manager at TRIEC. He specializes in research and cross-country project management with a focus on immigration and international development, including workforce participation of underrepresented groups and immigrant inclusion.

Learn more about these webinars and register today.


Design thinking to redefine your career: new CERIC literature search

“Design thinking is an innovation methodology – a series of steps for generating options, testing strategies, and getting feedback.” (Fast Company). In CERIC’s new literature search, Design Thinking for Career Development, we explore important research and practices on how career professionals can apply design thinking to better support their clients.

Topics covered in the literature search include:

  • Definition of design thinking
  • Research and best practices on design thinking
  • Design thinking for career planning and career management
  • Design thinking and equity and inclusion
  • Employee engagement and design thinking
  • Design thinking for entrepreneurship

There are now 59 literature searches available, including Career Counselling Competencies, Ethical Issues in Career Development, Future of Work, Job Satisfaction and Career Development, Economic Benefits of Career Guidance, Generational Conflict in the Workplace, Mental Health Issues in the Workplace, and more.

Featuring comprehensive listings of key research and articles in career development, literature searches highlight critical points of current knowledge. As a student, academic or practitioner in the field, literature searches are helpful if you are researching the latest thinking or proven best practices. They are also valuable if you are considering a submission to CERIC for project partnership funding in order to gain an overview of major work already done in your area of interest.


Request for Proposals on value of career development within experiential learning

The need to effectively bridge the gap between the classroom and the world of work has ignited interest in experiential learning. CERIC is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to invite interested resource developers to submit a detailed proposal on the linkages between experiential learning and career development. In particular, CERIC’s interest in this project is to develop an easily accessible resource that supports building reflective practice for career development into an experiential learning program for anyone currently delivering or considering delivering such a program.

There is growing optimism that experiential opportunities will introduce learners to the notions of work and the workplace, and in turn expose them to a variety of skills development opportunities. Yet, with a recent proliferation of experiential learning opportunities available at all levels of education as well as outside formal education, it is not clear how programs are connecting experiences to career management skills, specifically combining direct experience with focused reflection. Understanding what elements of reflective practice are beneficial to career development success may be valuable to learner, education at all levels, employers and community alike.

The purpose of this national initiative is to:

  • gain a better understanding of the intersections between career development and experiential learning;
  • determine how and where gaps can be best filled;
  • develop an easily accessible resource that supports building reflective practice into an experiential learning program and facilitating (greater) awareness of using such practices to enhance EL for the career management of program participants; and
  • highlight the beneficial value of reflective practice inherent in career development, how this can enhance the intrinsic value of experiential learning, regardless of setting, and how this can be incorporated into current programs.

Deadlines for this RFP are as follows:

  • Request for Proposals released: May 4, 2020
  • Intent to submit: June 12, 2020
  • Proposal deadline: August 6, 2020
  • Anticipated Award of contract: October 15, 2020
  • Project initiation: Late October, 2020

To learn more about the Scope of Work, Target Audience, Deliverables, Budget and Duration, and Eligibility Requirements, please download the RFP. For any inquiries, please contact CERIC Executive Director Riz Ibrahim at riz@ceric.ca.


Webinars focus on gap years and remote experiential learning during uncertain times

Current times come with a lot of uncertainty, including for many students who might feel unclear on when and how they will return to their educational paths. CERIC is offering two upcoming free webinars on May 13 and May 15 with expert presenters who will explore what options students have and how career practitioners can support them.

Going Remote with Experiential Learning and Work-Integrated Learning: A Practical Outcome-Based Approach, presented by Lorraine Godden & Carolyn Hoessler | Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET

What is work-integrated learning (WIL) when workplaces are remote? What is front-line experience when locations are essential staff only? How to host a placement student in these times? These are the questions we are facing. This practical session is about getting to “this is a possible option” by identifying priority outcomes, the design options that remain, and assessment/feedback and activities that could align.

Lorraine Godden of Carleton University specializes in understanding how career and life planning, work-integrated-learning, and other educational multidisciplinary and public policies are interpreted and enacted into educational programming and public policy interventions. Carolyn Hoessler specializes in designing relevant experiences, assessments and evaluation, and untangling key influencing factors to inform clear paths forward. As founder of Higher Education & Beyond, she works with teams (re)designing learning in higher education and professional development locally and nationally.

Gap Years as an Answer to Educational Disruption: Tools and Ideas for Professionals and Parents, presented by Michelle Dittmer | Friday, May 15, 2020, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET 

Gap years have always been a tool for promoting mental health, closing financial barriers to post-secondary, and providing clarity for life’s next steps. Whether you are a parent or a career practitioner working with students, in this webinar you will equip yourself with up-to-date data, ideas and tools for supporting your clients and families through deciding if a gap year is the right fit, its benefits and disadvantages in current times.

Michelle Dittmer, founder of the Canadian Gap Year Association, is an educator and youth advocate. She has taught elementary through college, developed international service learning programs, nurtured educational partnerships, and developed youth policy. She founded the Canadian Gap Year Association to raise the profile of the gap year as a solution to mental health, lack of clarity and the skills gap.

Learn more about these webinars and register today.


Report explores literature on when, where and how youth make career decisions

An initial report prepared by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) as part of a CERIC-supported research project – which aims to clarify when, where and how youth initiate and craft their career aspirations – is now available. The report, “The role of career education on students’ education choices and postsecondary outcomes: Theoretical and evidence base preparation” consists of an extensive literature review drawn heavily from a previously unpublished report funded by Employment and Social Development Canada. SRDC has updated the earlier work to inform the analysis it is undertaking as part of the CERIC research project, an empirical exploration of the long-term effects of career education interventions involving 7,000 Canadian youth in three provinces.

To ensure the construction of the most appropriate analytical models reflecting the latest evidence on successful career development strategies for youth, SRDC has examined the existing literature to consider (a) the stages of youth decision making and the key influences at each stage, (b) the role of career education in supporting post-secondary decisions, and (c) the kinds of career education resources available, taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of these sources.

The report has four parts:

  • First, it considers the context for supporting career development decisions in the 21st century: what is influencing the demand for information and support for career decisions among Canadian youth, giving particular consideration to NEETs (youth who are Not in Education, Employment or Training) and PINEs (Poorly Integrated New Entrants);
  • Second, it reviews mainstream theories and models in the literature for career development/educational decision making – including lessons informed by behavioural economics – for youth. This section explores the extent to which there is consensus in the literature on the ages and stages in the career decision-making process for young people in Canada;
  • Third, it emphasizes what is known about where career education and resources fit into the overall career decision-making process for youth in both the K-12 and post-secondary systems, including the role of labour market information and the role of intermediaries; and
  • Finally, it prepares the ground for producing evidence-informed recommendations for the forthcoming empirical analysis that support youth and those who influence them (parents, counsellors, peers) as they make decisions about post-secondary education and career choices.

The impetus for the project is that while Canada is an international leader on many indicators of K-12 education performance (OECD, 2019) and has among the highest rates of post-secondary education (PSE) attainment of all OECD countries, it still has a significant proportion of youth who leave the formal education system ill-equipped for their transition to the world of work. Transition “derailment” can take many forms from students leaving high school before graduating to PSE graduates who struggle to demonstrate the skills required by employers.

The project explores the key reason behind this: that Canadian students typically exit education with insufficient career education and first-hand experience of the labour market. If students leave high school without a basic idea of who they want to become and are under- or mis-informed about the relevant opportunities open to them, they will not plan appropriately and find themselves making poor choices. The chances of ending up in precarious employment or unemployment can increase. The situation can become chronic if they cycle through periods of work, poorly focused re-training and unemployment.

To tackle such problems, educators as well as policy and program decision-makers are likely to want to develop measures to target youth at different stages of their educational and early labour market careers. Well-designed supports to career decision making would ideally be delivered in ways that help youth grow into discerning consumers of education, who know when and how they should invest in their futures for optimal impact on their later lives. Such refinement and customization of career education need to be founded on the best evidence concerning how such interventions fit into youth’s decision making, which is where this project is intended to make a contribution.

This project will utilize new data to examine how the piloted early career education interventions in SRDC’s BC Advancement Via Individual Determination (BC AVID) and Future to Discover (FTD) programs affect the evolution of high school students’ career decision making. This project makes use of two rich longitudinal data sources created through the linkage of education records to surveys of youth and parents to examine the career expectations and decisions of students for five years since Grade 10.

From the literature review, SRDC researchers conclude that the research on youth career decision making is still in its infancy. There is limited evidence on the effects of youth career education on the long-term evolution of their career decisions. Also missing from the evidence is how career education helps especially vulnerable youth facing multiple barriers in their transition to the labour market.

The report summarizes the implications of this review for the project:

  • Social cognitive career theory is an important paradigm from which to consider career development because it sheds light on the importance of environmental and contextual factors. For example, parents, career counsellors, teachers and peers are all groups that can influence career decision making among youth.
  • Because of behavioural biases and tendencies among youth, career decisions are not always rational even if relevant and valuable career education and information are available. The empirical analysis should consider the effects of this in interpreting the results.
  • Age or stages of career development are important as they determine brain maturity, which affects decision making.
  • Institutional and social factors also influence the decision-making process.
  • Multivariate models and longitudinal models would help in the analysis, though the focus should be to take advantage, wherever possible, of the randomized control trials embedded in the datasets in assessing the long-term effects of career education on career path development.

SRDC is a non-profit research organization, created specifically to develop, field test and rigorously evaluate new programs. SRDC’s two-part mission is to help policymakers and practitioners identify policies and programs that improve the well-being of all Canadians.

The final report is expected to be ready in the coming months.


New 2020 edition of French guide to computing careers for students and advisors now available

CERIC has released an updated version of its French-language guide to computing careers, responding to strong demand for computing graduates in Canada and a changing technology landscape. Authored by Randy Connolly, Janet Miller and Faith-Michael Uzoka of Mount Royal University, the second edition of Disciplines et carrières en informatique : guide rapide à l’intention des étudiants et des conseillers en orientation provides the latest information on types of computing careers and the academic pathways to get there. The 2020 edition of the English version of the guide, Computing Careers & Disciplines: A Quick Guide for Prospective Students and Career Advisors, was released earlier this year.

The new guide describes the five main computing disciplines as defined by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), as well as expands on six other popular computing specializations. These descriptions are designed to help support prospective students, parents, academic advisors and career counsellors in making sense of the maze of computing disciplines and post-secondary options. For each of the main disciplines, the guide provides an overview of job tasks, as well as listing core courses, sample degrees, and other pathways at Canadian colleges and universities, including many in Quebec and other French-language institutions.

The colourful, graphic-rich guide expands on the content of the popular first edition from 2017 to answer these three questions:

  • Why should you consider computing when choosing a career?
  • What kind of computing jobs are out there?
  • What kind of education pathways will guide you to the computing career you desire?

The guide builds on findings from a CERIC-funded international research project that surveyed thousands of students and faculty from Canada, the US and Africa. Research showed most undergraduate students did not understand the differences between computing disciplines. The guide was also developed to meet a need among career advisors supporting students interested in technology at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. The guide assists students to make decisions around computing education and career paths that align with their values, interests and skills. In particular, the guide helps equip students with adequate discipline information prior to application for program admission or prior to when they are required to choose a major.

The updated guide seeks to dispel myths about computing careers. Contrary to stereotypes, computing is often highly social. It also supports flexible lifestyles, can be creative and allows for work abroad. The guide also underscores that computer work is highly varied and is more than just programming.

The five different computing disciplines described in the guide are:

  • Computer Engineering – concerned with the design and construction of computers and computer-based systems
  • Computer Science – covers the widest range of computing topics from its theoretical foundations to the development of new computing technologies and techniques
  • Information Technology – prepares students to meet the computer technology needs of business and other organizations
  • Information Systems – focuses on integrating information technology solutions and business processes
  • Software Engineering – the discipline of developing and maintaining large software systems

Specializations include: network technology, data science, bioinformatics, game development, multimedia + web development and cybersecurity.

The guide highlights that there are many pathways to most computing careers. This includes three- and four-year degrees, two-year diplomas and one-year certificates in addition to stand-alone training or post-degree specialization. The guide also notes that computing careers can be confusing to navigate, as program titles don’t always map to the five discipline areas or to job titles in the workforce.

The new edition of the guide has been enhanced with alumni profiles and additional resources. More content can also now be found on a companion website, computingcareers.ca.

In addition to the French PDF that can be downloaded for free on CERIC’s website at ceric.ca/informatique (English is at ceric.ca/computing), print copies are available at $10/copy through CERIC for bulk orders of 10 or more. Contact sales@ceric.ca for more information.


CERIC to publish French edition of popular Career Theories and Models at Work book

Career Theories and Models at Work: Ideas for Practice, edited by Nancy Arthur (University of South Australia), Roberta Neault (Life Strategies) and Mary McMahon (University of Queensland) and published by CERIC, has gained popularity across Canada and beyond, generating interest from career development professors, researchers and practitioners around the world.

For the past few months, an international team of professors and doctoral students have been working on a project to translate the book into French. The French edition will be titled Théories et modèles orientés sur la carrière : des idées pour la pratique. All 43 chapters of the original edition will be translated with the addition of a preface reflecting the conceptual and regulatory distinctions in career counselling practices among the Francophonie in Canada, Europe and elsewhere in the world.

Readers will be able to discover a diversity of recognized and emerging theories and models of career development. Providing a theoretical perspective on the conception and practice of guidance and career counselling, each chapter includes a case study accompanied by a suggested intervention, with the aim of helping students, practitioners and researchers working in French to better design concrete applications of theory in the context of practice.

The publication consists of contributors from four continents and nine countries, including Australia, Canada, England, Finland, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. The featured authors include the original theorists and those who have adapted the work in unique ways to inform career development practice.

Louis Cournoyer (University of Quebec at Montreal) is co-ordinating the French-language translation of the book, with the collaboration of Patricia Dionne (University of Sherbrooke) and Simon Viviers (Laval University). The team of academics reviewing the French translation includes Sabruna Dorceus (University of Sherbrooke), Émilie Giguère (Laval University), Liette Goyer (Laval University), Philippe Jacquin (University of Moncton), Lise Lachance (University of Quebec at Montreal), Jonas Masdonati (University of Lausanne), Shékina Rochat (University of British Columbia), Jérôme Rossier (University of Lausanne) and Michel Turcotte (Laval University).

“From Parsons, to Holland, then to Super, to the more integrative, cultural, contextual and systemic models of today, the theories of career counselling and development, as well as their intervention models, have evolved considerably for more than a century,” says Louis Cournoyer, Professor-Researcher at the University of Quebec at Montreal. This welcome, awaited and necessary book provides a rich and up-to-date portrait of the theories and models that can fuel the academic and continuing education of current and future professionals in career development. Cournoyer adds: “CERIC must be recognized and thanked for its commitment to invest in the translation and revision into French of such a work. This initiative will allow French-speaking students and professionals, in Canada, in Europe and elsewhere in the world, to acquire the most practical theories and models of intervention in their language!”

The English version of the book was released in January of 2019 at the annual bilingual Cannexus National Career Development Conference in Ottawa. To further disseminate knowledge from this resource, CERIC has hosted free webinars with authors from the book over the past year. The first French-language webinars are being offered with Louis Cournoyer, April 24, on An Adaptive Decision-making Approach to Career Counselling, and with Simon Viviers, April 27, on Psychology of Working Theory: A Transformative Approach to Work and Career.

The French edition of the book is expected to be available for January 2021.

To learn more about accessing or supporting this publication, please contact marketing@ceric.ca.