Careers advice under attack

Once again, last week a national newspaper carried a ‘careers advice is rubbish’ story. This time it was from the Independent. The writer, Phillip Hensher wheeled out all the standard clichés and added nothing new to the debate on standards in careers advice.

A few years ago, it seemed there’d be a story about the poor quality of teaching in this country every couple of weeks. Surveys were published, clichés rolled out and the vast majority of decent teachers in the country got to feel demoralised for a few days.

Over the past couple of years, it seems to have been the turn of careers guidance professionals, and sometimes careers guidance products and software.

I also saw a story from the New York Times covering similar ground. So it seems this is an issue that doesn’t just relate to the UK.

I think it would be useful to find out what people expect from their careers guidance interactions. Some work has to be done by the individual. The adviser cannot do everything for the client. Their job is to help them to help themselves.

It would be silly to think the quality of guidance and of the products that aid that guidance is beyond comment. But these stories, with anecdotes we’ve all heard before, don’t add anything to the discourse.

It’d be really interesting to hear comments from people on both sides of this debate.

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