The report “Hidden Sector, Hidden Talent: Mapping Canada’s Career Development Sector shares the groundbreaking results of a CERIC-funded project to investigate the full scope of the people and systems providing career services and supports to Canadians. Produced by Challenge Factory in partnership with the Canadian Career Development Foundation, the study identifies who does career development work in Canada and where.  

To date, Canada’s career development sector has been largely invisible to Canadians, policymakers and employers. In producing an evidence base for Canada’s career development field, the Hidden Sector, Hidden Talent report showcases the socioeconomic impact of career development, increases understanding of career development professionals’ learning needs, and supports advocacy for public awareness and recognition of the value of career development.  

Among the key findings of the study: 

  • There are likely 40,000 to 60,000 career development professionals in Canada, depending on how the sector’s membership is defined. 
  • There are an estimated 797 to 1,635 organizations providing career services in Canada, with the higher end of the range likely the stronger answer based on research findings. 
  • The Sector Scoping Model identifies 10 types of organizations and 15 personas representing people who are part of the sector (e.g. Practitioner Penny, Career Educator Emir). 
  • A preliminary assessment of EDII-related (equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigeneity) data indicates that career development professionals who deliver career services do not always reflect the demographics of the learners and clients they serve. 

Overall, the report issues two sets of impact questions and 62 recommendations for advancing career development in Canada. 

The Executive Summary highlights key findings from the report. The full Hidden Sector, Hidden Talent report includes five sections: 

  • Sections 1-2: Context for understanding the findings, knowledge sharing and learning that follow.  
  • Section 3: A national portrait of the sector, focusing on federal and national jurisdiction elements.  
  • Section 4: Profiles of the career development ecosystems in each of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories.  
  • Section 5: A high-level discussion of the career development sector’s impact in Canada.