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

CERIC has released an updated 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 Computing Careers & Disciplines: A Quick Guide for Prospective Students and Career Advisors provides the latest information on types of computing careers and the academic pathways to get there. The new guide is available for free download now and will be launched at the Cannexus National Career Development Conference in Ottawa next week.

Computing Careers and DisciplinesFriendly and approachable, 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.

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. A revision to the French version of the guide is under way and expected to be ready this spring.

In addition to a PDF that can be downloaded for free on CERIC’s website at ceric.ca/computing, print copies are available at $10/copy through CERIC for bulk orders of 10 or more. Single copies will be for sale at the Cannexus20 conference only. Contact sales@ceric.ca for more information.

The guide authors will be presenting at Cannexus20 on Computing Disciplines 2.0: What Career Advisors Need to Know on Monday, January 27.


Cannexus20 National Career Development Conference is less than three weeks away

Cannexus is Canada’s largest bilingual National Career Development Conference and will take place January 27-29, 2020 in Ottawa. The conference will bring together more than 1,200 professionals from education, community, government and private sectors to exchange information and explore innovative approaches in career counselling and career and workforce development.

cannexus20 final programme

The final conference programme is now available online and features:

Three new publications from CERIC will debut during the conference:

These resources either are or will also be available for free download on the CERIC website.

Conference registration remains open with discounts for members of supporting organizations, groups and students.

Cannexus is presented by CERIC and supported by The Counselling Foundation of Canada and a broad network of supporting organizations and sponsors.


New CERIC literature search examines career implications of AI

How do I future-proof my career? Many jobseekers are asking themselves this very question today as technology continues to transform the labour market. Career service professionals need to understand the opportunities and challenges that automation brings to the workforce. In the new CERIC literature search Artificial Intelligence and Career Development, we look at the implications of AI for career service professionals in their practice.

Topics covered in the literature search include:

  • The impact of AI on the future workforce
  • AI and career coaching and training
  • Research and practices on AI-based career assessment tools
  • The rise of soft skills and emotional intelligence in the workplace
  • AI and career readiness among students
  • HR and recruiting with AI

There are now 56 literature searches available, including Career Development Theory and Career Management Models, Economic Benefits of Career Guidance, Parental Involvement in Career Development, Labour Market Trends, 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.


CERIC guide will address impact of career development practice on client mental health

CERIC will publish a book in the new year that makes the case that career development practice is a mental health intervention, and provides skills and strategies to support career development practitioners in their work. Written by Dave Redekopp and Michael Huston, Strengthening Mental Health Through Effective Career Development: A Practitioner’s Guide explores how practitioners do far more than help people prepare for, enter and navigate career pathways – they change people’s lives in ways that improve mental health and overall well-being. This resource will launch at the Cannexus20 National Career Development Conference in January and be available for purchase or free download.

Based on a CERIC-funded research project with international partners Life-Role Development Group Ltd., Simon Fraser University and Career Education Association of Victoria (also known as Australian Centre for Career Education), the guide shows ways to connect career development services to clients’ mental health concerns while clearly working ethically and within the boundaries of their role and competence. Practitioners will be equipped to improve their career development services, broaden their view of client concerns to include well-being outcomes as part of a whole-person approach to career/life planning, and strengthen their collaboration with healthcare service providers. The authors also emphasize their focus is mental health, not mental illness, and address this distinction in the book.

In the wake of a global mental health movement involving organizations, schools, post-secondary institutions, managers, employees and parents, the guide encourages career development practitioners to recognize that they have always influenced mental health in their work; the big changes are in understanding and communicating the value of career development intervention and its role in supporting positive mental health.

“As a career development practitioner, we know you have watched many clients or students transform. They came into your service or classroom lethargic, emotionally flat, tentative, and reactive. At some point – maybe while reviewing their strengths, clarifying their preferred future, researching work possibilities on a career website, job shadowing, learning how to study, or working through their résumé – something big happened,” Redekopp and Huston write in their introduction.

“Perhaps they found their footing on a career pathway, became more comfortable in their own skin about who they are, recognized that there were many potential places in the work world for them, or learned a strategy to help them cope with the things in life coming at them. You may not even know what the trigger was, but you know someone who was languishing is now taking life on, seeing meaning in what they are doing, seeing clearly who they are, and feeling hopeful about their ability to handle the future.”

The guide will support career practitioners to:

  • Consider the mental health impact of their services
  • Be intentional about the mental health impact of their services
  • Improve the mental health impact of their services
  • Evaluate the mental health impact of their services, and
  • Communicate the mental health impact of their services to relevant stakeholders, including policy-makers

The book has been written primarily for those who see themselves as career development practitioners, namely those who help clients or students, 1-to-1 or in groups. This includes academic advisors, career coaches, guidance counsellors, employment specialists and human resources practitioners working with a broad range of clients. Additionally, the book is intended to be of use to the supervisors and managers of career development practitioners, particularly those responsible for service evaluation, fund development, community engagement and service marketing. Researchers and academics will also find a robust and testable model of career development and mental health relationships as well as descriptions of specific interventions to better achieve positive mental health outcomes within career development practice.

Based in Edmonton, author Dave Redekopp is the national award-winning President of Life-Role Development Group Ltd. He has devoted more than 30 years to the development of better career development and workplace concepts and practices. Most recently, his research has focused on the links between career development and mental health. Co-author Michael Huston is a long-standing associate at Life-Role Development Group as well as a career development practitioner, and Associate Professor and Counsellor at Mount Royal University in Calgary. His research interests include adolescent stress and coping, career development as mental health intervention, and counsellor and career development practitioner education and training.

Advance praise for the book is coming from career development luminaries and mental health experts, including Mark Savickas, David Blustein, H B Gelatt, Norm Amundson, Denise Bissonnette, Bill Borgen, Kris Magnusson, Roberta Neault, Pete Robertson and Dr Joti Samra. The book has also received support from Knowledge Champions: Ryerson University, Wilfrid Laurier University, Australian Centre for Career Education and Simon Fraser University. Thanks to their backing, each delegate at CERIC’s Cannexus conference (January 27-29, 2020 in Ottawa) will receive a free copy. The book is expected to be available for pre-sales in early January via Amazon and Chapters.Indigo in both print ($28.95) and ebook ($19.99) formats. A free pdf will be offered for download after the launch.

Redekopp and Huston will be presenting a session at Cannexus, on Monday, January 27, 2020, on “Career Development & Mental Health: Coping Becomes Hoping.” The session will dive into the content of the new guide and address how career development processes bolster well-being.


Celebrating the one year anniversary of CareerWise

On November 27, 2018, CERIC took a big leap into the next generation of content and learning with the launch of the new CareerWise website, Your source for career development news and views. Our French-language content site, OrientAction, a partnership with Quebec-based partner, GRICS, was also reimagined and relaunched at the same time.

The new CareerWise website replaces CERIC’s ContactPoint site, a pioneer on the web that served Canada’s career development professionals for more than 20 years. The revamp is based on extensive analysis of online user behaviour, best practices from the web’s most-read content sites, ansd focus group feedback and ongoing consultation with career professionals across the country. The changes reflect the evolving ways that people find and interact with information online while continuing CERIC’s commitment to offer web content for Canada’s career professional communities in a current and engaging manner.

The CareerWise (careerwise.ceric.ca) and OrientAction (orientaction.ceric.ca) sites provide:

  • The one-stop shop for professionals working in career development to stay up to date with continuous learning from trusted content that advances knowledge and skills
  • Quick and easy access to the most important career development information, resources and conversations, and actionable insights to apply at work
  • A career development content hub where you can: scan the latest news; search areas of interest; see what’s trending; connect to thought leaders; and contribute your knowledge

Over the past year, popular topics on CareerWise have included:

In our Podium guest blogs and In the Know resource and event listings, we’ve covered these subjects, and many more.

CERIC is committed to finding ways to keep making CareerWise better. If you want to tell us what CareerWise has meant to you or ideas for how we can better meet your needs, share on social media with the hashtag #MyCareerWiseStory.

If you want to receive career development-related news, please subscribe to receive our newsletter CareerWise Weekly. If you’ve been thinking about writing for CareerWise, check out our Submission Guidelines and send an email to Editor Lindsay Purchase at lindsay@ceric.ca.


New Action Plans based on CERIC’s Guiding Principles of Career Development released

CERIC has published a series of six Action Plans for professionals working with different client groups that provide practical discussions and activities based on the Guiding Principles of Career Development. Called Career Work in Action, the plans are authored by Karen Schaffer and Juliana Wiens, career counsellors based at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

The purpose of the Action Plans is to provide professionals with insights and ideas for working with clients that align with CERIC’s popular Guiding Principles of Career Development, designed as a colourful and engaging infographic. With a goal of bringing greater clarity and consistency to our national conversations about career development, CERIC launched the Guiding Principles during Canada Career Month in November 2016. Since that time, CERIC has worked to disseminate the Guiding Principles and develop resources and tools to support their application, culminating with the new Action Plans.

Action Plans cover the following client populations:

  • Youth: High school students, primarily in Grades 10-12, who are having to make career/ education-related decisions. These students may be engaged, highly engaged or disengaged
  • Post-Secondary Students: Students between the ages of 18-25, who come to post-secondary either directly from high school or after a short gap period. Many points also apply to mature students
  • Educated and Underemployed: Often recent graduates trying to find work in their field or move beyond entry-level roles but also includes workers who are precariously employed and mothers returning to work
  • Unemployed Long Term: Mature adults who have been unemployed for one year or more and who want to work. Unemployment could result from struggles with illness, time spent caregiving or a prolonged, unsuccessful job search
  • Newcomers to Canada: Adults who have come to Canada in order to re-establish themselves. Some will have chosen to immigrate in order to access opportunities, while others will have had to flee unrest or unsafe conditions
  • Transitioning to Retirement: Those between the ages of 55-67 who have fairly uninterrupted work histories. These individuals are most often middle to upper class, though it is acknowledged others in this age group do not have the luxury of retirement

Each Action Plan begins with situating the client population within the Guiding Principles to identify where their complexities and challenges lie, and then suggests discussion questions and activities that professionals can use when providing career support. The intended users of the plan are a broad spectrum of professionals – both inside and outside of the career development field – who may provide career-related support to those with whom they work.

With a focus on “How do we help?,” questions and activities in the plans are grouped around five key areas of career work, according to an Organic Career Support Framework presented by the authors. Suggested discussions and activities provide relevant conversational starting points, opening questions, concrete interventions and fun activities for each of the key areas of career support. The five key areas are:

Self-exploration – Helping clients figure out who they are and what they want

Decision-making – Supporting clients at key points of decision-making

Support through transition – Encouraging, coaching, supporting, advising through transition

Future thinking – Helping clients think ahead, anticipate future challenges and strategize around how to respond

Mental health ­– Providing support around mental health and well-being issues as they relate to career

Earlier this year, CERIC released a companion document to the Guiding Principles that outlines a selection of the extensive research that underpins them. Guiding Principles of Career Development: Anchored by Evidence lists expert quotes and references from a cross-section of journals and reports that illustrate the Principles’ currency, relevance and validity. The resource provides stakeholders with the theoretical grounding behind the Principles.

Action Plan authors Schaffer and Wiens will be presenting a session at the Cannexus National Career Development Conference on January 28, 2020 titled “An Experiential Journey Through the CERIC Guiding Principles.” The session will delve into how the Action Plans translate Guiding Principles into practical client interventions. This is a chance to experience the Guiding Principles as a reflective tool for professionals and learn new action strategies together with colleagues.

Download the Action Plans for free at ceric.ca/principles. A limited print run will be available for purchase at Cannexus for $10/copy.


Gamification for career development? CERIC’s new literature search explores the impact of interactive play on learning

Gamification is “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals”. (Gartner, 2014). What does gamification mean to career service practices? CERIC’s new literature search, Gamification and Career Development, highlights the concept and implications of gaming in career education.

Topics covered in the literature search include:

  • Concepts, tools and applications of gamification
  • Gamification and employee engagement
  • Use of gamification in the recruitment process
  • Gamification for millennials and non-millennials
  • Career counselling apps
  • Gamification vs game-based learning
  • Utilizing gamification in career assessment
  • Design and evaluation of gamification

There are now 55 literature searches available, including Career Development Theory and Career Management Models, Economic Benefits of Career Guidance, Parental Involvement in Career Development, Labour Market Trends, 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.


McTavish bursaries awarded for Cannexus20 conference

In recognition of Elizabeth McTavish’s valuable contribution to the career development field, CERIC is awarding six bursaries to community-based counsellors for Cannexus20, courtesy of The Counselling Foundation of Canada.

CERIC received a total of 44 applications and wishes to acknowledge all the organizations that applied. Recipients of this year’s Elizabeth McTavish Bursary come from across the country, including Prince Edward Island, Quebec, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Bursary winners this year represent organizations that support youth, Indigenous peoples, newcomers, and people with mental health challenges.

The bursaries are awarded in honour of Elizabeth McTavish who began working with The Counselling Foundation of Canada in the late 1960s and served as Director of Counselling and as Executive Director of the Foundation for 25 years. As an early pioneer in career development, she believed that community-based organizations could play a significant role in providing career counselling and employment services on the front lines.

A bursary provides a full registration for the Cannexus conference plus $500 for expenses. The Cannexus20 conference takes place January 27-29, 2020­­ at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa.


Complete your 2019 national Survey of Career Service Professionals

The 2019 Survey of Career Service Professionals is a national survey run by CERIC, a charitable organization that advances career development in Canada. With the start of Canada Career Month, the survey is now open!

This comprehensive survey will take approximately 25–30 minutes to complete. Your responses will help CERIC, and the field at large, to better understand your interests and challenges, as well as your professional development and information needs.

This survey is only run once every four years – and presents a critical opportunity to take a snapshot of the profession and how it has changed over time. It was previously run in 2011 and 2015. In 2015, over 1,000 practitioners completed the survey and provided rich data that helped to inform CERIC’s work – from the research projects we fund to the learning we offer you.

Complete Survey Now

Preliminary findings will be released at the Cannexus20 National Career Development Conference (January 27-29, 2020) and shared throughout the year.

For taking the time to complete the survey, you can enter into a draw to win one of the following prizes:

  • 1 of 5 copies of the Career Theories and Models at Work book
  • 1 of 3 free registrations to a paid CERIC webinar series
  • Grand prize: 1 complimentary registration to Cannexus20

We also request that you forward this survey to your career services colleagues and networks and ask them to complete it as well.

You can also complete the survey in French.

Thank you in advance for your participation!


CERIC to host a series of roadshows during Canada Career Month

CERIC is pleased to be partnering with local associations and organizations across the country to present several roadshows throughout November for Canada Career Month.

These FREE breakfast meetings will engage career development professionals as well as related stakeholders in the communities where they work and provide networking and learning opportunities linked to new CERIC research and resources.

The following dates have been confirmed for the roadshows:

Vancouver, BC:

Calgary, AB:

Ottawa, ON:

Toronto, ON:

Waterloo, ON:

CERIC wishes to thank the many local partners who are collaborating with us to host roadshows and share information with their members and networks.

If you’re interested in attending, simply follow the links to register or if you would like to partner with CERIC to host a future roadshow in your community, please contact Cyrielle Filias at cyrielle@ceric.ca.