A career is defined as the individual’s path through education and work. Career learning is the learning process connected to developing the students’ career competencies. Career competencies can be defined as:
"The ability to understand and develop one’s self, to explore life, learning and work and to navigate life, learning and work during times of change and transition. It’s about being aware of what you’re doing but also what you can do, and being aware that the individual is formed by her way of life and actions but also influences her own opportunities for the future” (Thomsen, 2014)
As a teacher, your role in career learning is therefore to facilitate learning processes and activities that develop the students’ ability to navigate their careers in times of change and transition.
By including career learning as an active part of your course, you can highlight the relevance of the subject and degree programme to the labour market and to society more generally. You can also help students become more aware of and articulate their own competencies, which in turn can help the students clarify and reflect on:
Career learning can be incorporated into a degree programme using the didactic career learning model. This model focuses on three dimensions:
Here we describe these dimensions separately, but, in practice, they will overlap. The amount of time, focus and emphasise devoted to each dimension will depend on the teacher, degree programme and subject. The model can be used for an individual course or for an entire degree programme.
The dimension ‘taking the subject into the world’ involves taking the degree programme, course and subject expertise – in other words, the knowledge generated inside AU’s yellow walls – out into the world. There are many good reasons to take a subject out into the world. For example:
You can take the subject into the world by:
These options often have to be actively chosen by the student – usually at the expense of other opportunities or subjects on the degree programme. It is important to consider how the experiences students gain out in the world can be connected back to the subject or degree programme, since this is often overlooked.
The dimension ‘bringing the world into the subject’ involves bringing the knowledge that is generated outside AU’s yellow walls into the course, subject expertise and degree programme. There are many good reasons to bring the world into the subject. For example:
By bringing the world into the subject, emphasis is placed on transforming the subject from a knowledge and research subject to a subject in practice.
You can bring the world into the subject by:
For this dimension, we could also say ‘body’ or ‘person’ instead of ‘mind’. The most important thing is that the students themselves are the starting point for career learning. There are many reasons for getting the subject into the mind. For example:
The subject can be taken into the mind through meta-reflections and multi-subject reflections on the student’s knowledge, skills and competencies. You may like to consider the following questions:
These reflections can be integrated as questions that are asked throughout the course or degree programme, for example in the student’s portfolio, as forum questions in Brightspace, or as individual or group reflection exercises in class.
If you would like to incorporate more career learning into your degree programme or course, you can start by obtaining an overview of what you are already doing on your course and what is already offered as part of the degree programme. When you decide to focus more on career learning in your course, you can start by considering which dimension you wish to work on and which specific teaching activities can support this.
The mapping tool below will help make clear what the students are already being offered – and what you can hopefully offer students in the future in regard to their career learning. The tool can be used for an individual course or for an entire degree programme.
Udfyld de tre cirkler, som omfavner modellen:
Fill in the three circles that surround the model.
In the inner circle, write everything that you are already doing in relation to each dimension.
In the middle circle, write everything that you would like to do going forward.
Bridgstock, Ruth. 2009. ‘The Graduate Attributes We’ve Overlooked: Enhancing Graduate Employability through Career Management Skills’. Higher Education Research & Development 28 (1): 31–44. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360802444347.
Felby, L. C., Olsen, A., Christensen, M. M., & Thomsen, R. (2020). Karrierevejledning og karrierelæring for social retfærdighed. Aarhus University Press. Pædagogisk Indblik No. 8. https://dpu.au.dk/fileadmin/edu/Paedagogisk_Indblik/
Law, Bill. 1999. ‘Career-Learning Space: New-Dots Thinking for Careers Education’. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling 27 (1): 35–54. https://doi.org/10.1080/03069889908259714.
Hooley, T., Watts, A. G., Sultana, R. G. and Neary, S. (2013). The 'blueprint' framework for career management skills: a critical exploration. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 41(2): 117-131
Thomsen, R. (2014). Karrierekompetence og vejledning i et nordisk perspektiv: Karrierevalg og karrierelæring. NVL & ELGPN concept note. Nordiskt Nätverk för Vuxnas Lärande (NVL). http://www.nordvux.net/content/id/11580/karrierevalg-og-karrierelring-nvl-elgpn-concept-note