New research: How digital technology is informing career choices

Remember the days when you went to the careers adviser at school to receive guidance on your future career path?  I do – I completed a survey and was told I should be a fish farm manager. Aged 14, that didn’t feel very relevant. Today, careers advice looks very different – with apps and digital platforms playing a more dominant role in the careers advice process.

New research conducted by FreshMinds for the Association of Colleges and Find a Future into careers advice for young people has been published today.  As part of research, we uncovered some great examples of how digital technology is helping young people to make decisions about their future. Here are our pick of the best three:

Careers Coach

A searchable online database, Careers Coach, from EMSI enables students to locate information on jobs in their local area. They can search for jobs by salary type and level of education and they can also find out what subjects and skills are needed for each particular job. The website provides a central information hub, helping users understand more about the local and national profile of specific roles and explaining the steps needed to get onto the careers ladder. The site also has a function that enables users to create their own CV.

Barclays LifeSkills

Barclays LifeSkills is a new website, complete with its own app, which can be used by young people, parents, teachers and businesses. Through easy-to-use tools and quizzes, the app focusses on the skills and interests of the user to help them identify relevant jobs. Barclays LifeSkills also acts as a hub to provide resources for teachers, information for parents and businesses to offer work experience. LifeSkills is a great example of driving offline action through online engagement. It gamifies the careers advice process by rewarding involvement. Users can collect points for every activity they complete and when they have enough points they become eligible for local work experience placements. Activities include reading information, identifying skills or creating a CV. Importantly, the website and app are not stand-alone tools, but are part of a wider package of activity, including curriculum-linked teacher-led activities, school workshops led by Barclays volunteers and work experience opportunities for students.

National Careers Service

The National Careers Service website and app both provide information about job roles, careers advice and how specific skills are be best used. You can search by job profile to understand more about that working environment, income and entry requirements and create an action plan to set you on your career journey. Using this site effectively takes a bit more effort than our other examples, as its various assessments are time-consuming. However, the result is a downloadable report providing a useful reflection on your own skills and suggestions on which jobs to pursue.