Wondering Where Your Degree Might Lead You?


I just saw this on SecondaryCEIAG’s blog and it really struck a chord with me. Firstly it’s an excellent video with a clear and powerful message around careers choice and happenstance.

Secondly it did leave me with a few extra thoughts though:

  1. Why is planning so pervasive and what can we do to engage students with happenstance more?
  2. Will happenstance alienate some people who are already engaged it planning and leave them worse off?
  3. How can we help students understand what they should be doing so they actively engage with chance?
  4. How does it re-frame our services?
  5. Don’t you need to plan and take action now for some careers? i.e. you can’t become a lawyer without a LLB, a Doctor without medical training etc.

2 thoughts on “Wondering Where Your Degree Might Lead You?

  1. Thanks Thomas, I like this. As you say, it does raise some interesting questions. I think there are some students who are not engaged with the traditional career planning approach who might be more enthused by the ‘stay open, take action and keep learning’ message; and I don’t think that this necessarily excludes students who do have a clear plan. I think the key is focusing on *planned* happenstance – i.e. we need to be clear this approach isn’t just about drifting or ‘keeping your options open’ and hoping that something will come along, but requires a positive engagement with your future and active participation and reflection in learning activities. This could be in a very broad sense or within quite a specific area e.g. “so I’m planning on being a lawyer, but I am going to explore and be open to the various opportunities and employers within this field”. But it’s a message that needs to be put across carefully so that it doesn’t become an excuse not to do anything because “there’s no point in planning ahead anyway”.
    Those who tend to focus on a rigid ‘rational career planning’ approach could do with being open to more breadth and flexibility, and those who are burying their heads in the sands might see this as a way of starting to engage with their future without feeling they are having to make concrete decisions about the rest of their life.

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