• Mansour K. Mansour, PhD

Towards Personalized Learning and Career Path: Utilizing Career Readiness and Technology

Table of Contents

Purpose and Motivation

OECD Career Readiness Project Results

Career Guidance Theory and Models

Timeline of career theories and models

Selected Career Guidance Theories

Career Counselors: Education, Competencies, Standards, & Skills

Steps to Become a Career Counselor

2015 NCDA Code of Ethics

Ethical Use of Social Networking Technologies (SNTs) in Career Services

NCDA Minimum Multicultural Career Counseling Competencies

Career Counselor Assessment and Evaluation Competencies

The National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) Framework

Additional Resources

Skills to Discover your Career Path

Career Planning Process

Tools for Career Planning

Entrepreneurship as a Choice

P21's Framework

Career Readiness & Utilizing Technology Platforms

Digital Skills for Career Counselors

Gen Z: Career Readiness and Technology

Utilizing Technology Platforms for Career Readiness


References & Resources

Purpose and Motivation

The purpose of this article is to provide a guide for policy makers, decision makers, governments, schools, employers, families, and other stakeholders on how to best prepare young people to compete during and post the Coronavirus (COVID-19) labor market utilizing career readiness and technology.

Despite the disruption the COVID-19 Pandemic brought to the economic sectors globally and in particular to the Education Sector, many education leaders and organizations are still locked in the traditional ways of handling things. Which is an utter failure of their responsibilities and failing of the future generations. There are lots of talks, studies, and reports of the need to be innovative in our approach to education but the reality is that those leaders & their respective organizations are still trapped in their own limitations as well as the one size fits all learning strategy.

Almost everybody talks about the 21st Century Skills (example P21's Framework), but few address the need for the skills to discover one's career path early on during teenage years. P21’s Frameworks for 21st Century Learning were developed with input from teachers, education experts, and business leaders to define and illustrate the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in work and life, as well as the support systems necessary for 21st century learning outcomes. They have been used by thousands of educators and hundreds of schools in the U.S. and abroad to put 21st century skills at the center of learning. The graphic below provides the elements of this framework. While the graphic represents each element distinctly for descriptive purposes, P21 views all the components as fully interconnected in the process of 21st century teaching and learning. Use the link above to learn more about the P21 Framework and the definitions of its elements.

In a recent study, the Career Readiness project, conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it was indicated by the study report that "young people have never left education more qualified or ambitious, but in many countries they face persistent barriers in securing good work. Young people often struggle in comparison to older people because they typically have less understanding, less experience and fewer useful contacts than older people in the search for work." The report indicates the following on the ratio of youth to adult unemployment:

  • "In 2019, across the OECD, young people under 25 were 2.5 times more likely to be unemployed than older people.

  • In Costa Rica, Hungary, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the UK, young adults are three to four times more likely to be unemployed than older people.

Modern societies expect individuals to navigate choices and manage their own careers, but results from the OECD's 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) show that students in many countries are poorly prepared to develop the individual agency needed for their transitions. Students vary considerably in the extent to which they are able to visualise and plan their futures, with the most disadvantaged at greatest risk."

It is worth mentioning that the OECD study was designed to provide new advice to governments, schools, employers and other stakeholders on how to best prepare young people to compete in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) labor market. The project reviewed existing studies of national longitudinal datasets, undertook new analysis and demonstrated how young people’s employment outcomes are linked to the ways in which they as teenagers (and as depicted by the graphics below):

  • think about their futures in work,

  • explore their potential futures,

  • and experience workplace within and outside of schools.

Effective education systems ought to equip young people with the tools and resources they need to critically connect their classroom experiences to future imagined selves, underpinning the agency through their transitions which many societies now demand. Career readiness is a shared responsibility. Families, schools, employers and governments all have roles to play.

Moreover, the 2021 OECD’s report on the job market, the Employment Outlook 2021, points out how a slow rebound in jobs involves a high risk of long-term unemployment - and how governments’ answers have been to build on skills to contain the situation. The data collected indicates that the youth employment gap, in particular, has increased drastically in 2020, with nearly 3 M more young people across OECD countries being NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) compared to 2019. Adults are not in a better situation: there are 14M more people inactive in the OECD countries today, compared to 2019: this means people who are neither working or seeking work. The average duration of unemployment has also grown in the 6 to 12 months category.

All the studies and data aforementioned and many others point to the need of effective Career Guidance programs. In this article, I will be providing resources and guidance to the following topics related to Career Readiness:

  • Present the results of the OECD Career Readiness Project

  • Career Guidance Theory and Models

  • Career Counselors: Education, Competencies, Standards, & Skills

  • Skills to Discover your Career Path

  • Career Readiness & Utilizing Technology Platforms

OECD Career Readiness Project Results

In reference to the OECD Career Readiness project mentioned above, the aim of the project was to identify patterns of teenage attitudes and activities that are associated with better transitions into employment by analyzing multiple national longitudinal datasets. The paper titled "Indicators of teenage career readiness" and published on October 27, 2021 looks for further evidence of the link between teenage activities, experiences and career-related thinking and adult career outcomes by analyzing 10 new datasets from eight countries. Overall, the results of this paper find further evidence that secondary school students who explore, experience and think about their futures in work frequently encounter

  • lower levels of unemployment,

  • receive higher wages,

  • and are happier in their careers as adults.

The findings of that paper are analyzed together with the evidence from the two previous working papers of the Career Readiness project, concluding that there is international evidence to support 11 out of the 14 potential indicators that were explored as indicators of career readiness.

Moreover, the first OECD Career Readiness international conference "Disrupted Futures: International lessons on how schools can best equip students for their working lives" included 33 papers from 14 countries. The conference was attended by 521 people from 59 different countries. The conference was held over three days, from October 27-29, 2021. During the opening plenary session (see the video below), OECD Director of Education and Skills, Andreas Schleicher, with his colleagues Catalina Covacevich and Anthony Mann presented findings from an unprecedented review of national longitudinal datasets from ten countries (Australia, Canada, People’s Republic of China, Denmark, Germany, Korea, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay). Use the link above to see the full conference program with abstracts and videos.

Analysis explores how teenage attitudes and experiences relate to employment outcomes ten years later. The work confirms 11 indicators of better employment outcomes linked to how students explore, experience and think about potential futures in work, providing new insights for countries and schools looking to optimise career guidance. Following the presentation of the results, an expert panel discussed the implications for policy and practice and the session concluded with a presentation on how schools can engage effectively and efficiently with employers.

The following is a list and description of the nine insights from the OECD Career Readiness project. Please refer to the report titled "How youth explore, experience and think about their future - A new look at effective career guidance" for more on those insights

Insight 1: We can now be confident about the characteristics of more effective career guidance.

Longitudinal data highlight activities that link with more positive employment outcomes for students. New OECD analysis, combined with reviews of existing longitudinal literature, find evidence of beneficial outcomes in three of more countries linked to 11 of the 14 potential indicators. Students who explore, experience and think about their futures in work often experience lower levels of unemployment, receive higher wages and are happier in their careers as adults. Beneficial results are found in relation to both students who continue to tertiary education and those who enter the labour market directly from school. The findings are strongest in countries where high proportions of secondary school students are in general, rather than vocational education. Countries are encouraged to develop longitudinal resources and to ask young adults how useful they feel their schools were in preparing them for work.

Insight 2: Too few students show signs of being "career ready".

PISA 2018 tells us that the career thinking of many students is narrow, confused and influenced by gender and socio-economic background. Labour market signalling about jobs is weak, raising concerns in a period of labour market change due to automation, COVID-19 and the growth of "green jobs". Countries increasingly expect students to navigate their own way through complicated education and training choices, but PISA tells us that their individual agency to do so is often constrained by lack of relevant information and experiences.

By age 15, on average, across OECD countries, only:

  • 58% of students have spoken to a guidance advisor.

  • 39% visited a job fair.

  • 41% participated in a workplace visit or job shadowing.

  • 18% had undertaken all three activities.

PISA is the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment. PISA measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges.

Insight 3: Career guidance should begin well before age 15.

Effective guidance is as much about personal reflection as it is about access to information, and because career opportunities are influenced by study choices, attitudes towards learning and educational experiences from the beginning of schooling, guidance should begin well before aged 15. Students need time and encouragement to explore, experience and think about their futures in work and how they relate to their educational choices. From primary school, children should be helped to understand the value of learning in different fields of study as well as links between education and employment, and to challenge stereotypical career thinking through direct encounters with people working in non-traditional roles.

Insight 4: Students should extensively explore the world of work.

Through secondary education, students should explore their occupational interests through counselling, career-interest exercises and discussion including with subject teachers. Guidance activities that involve employers are particularly important in broadening and informing student attitudes. Career talks (notably the carousel format), workplace visits, job shadowing and exercises focused on developing the skills needed in recruitment have been shown to be especially effective. Such activities should be regular, contextualised and initially mandatory to optimise the chance of students encountering new and useful information. As students get older, more personalised activities will help to challenge, enable and confirm career thinking.

Insight 5: Students should experience the world of work.

First-hand experiences of the workplace help students explore and confirm their career aspirations, gain valuable experience and develop useful networks. Such activities can be expected to be especially valuable if they relate to career ambitions and take place before key decision-making points and in the years prior to the conclusion of secondary education. Excessive part-time working (more than 10-15 hours a week) should be a concern to schools as it can undermine academic achievement.

Insight 6: Students should be encouraged and enabled to think critically about their futures in work.

Students with their clear, high and considered job ambitions and who see the link between their education and later employment, can be expected to do better in work as young adults. The importance of career thinking as an indicator for adult employment underpins the need for guidance being led by well-trained and impartial counsellors, skilled in engaging with young people through secondary education.

Insight 7: More research is still needed.

Evidence is insufficient in relation to three areas, each of which has been explored in only a small number of studies:

  • School-based career reflection activities (exploring)

  • Work placements (experiencing)

  • Career originality (thinking)

While initial findings and wider evidence suggest that these are aspects of teenage lives that can ultimately be connected to long-term employment outcomes, it is not yet possible to highlight them as indicators. Further research is encouraged to confirm and understand how beneficial impacts can be optimised.

Insight 8: For governments, guidance has a central role to play in the recovery.

New information is becoming available on the characteristics of more effective career guidance. Beneficial effects are found in times of both high and low youth unemployment. As students stay in education longer and the labour market becomes more turbulent, the need for effective career guidance grows. Governments have an important role to play in clearly articulating expectations of schools, ensuring the supply of trained counsellors and encouraging and enabling employers to work with schools. As students from more disadvantaged backgrounds typically need greater support, schools serving them should anticipate greater resource availability.

Insight 9: The OECD's work continues.

A continuing Career Readiness project will draw further on this new data to focus particularly on effective guidance interventions to address inequalities and enhance access to "green jobs", the identification and dissemination of effective practice in schools that aligns with empirical findings, the use of online technologies in career guidance and reviews of national practice to enhance provision.

Career Guidance Theory and Models

Dr. John D. Krumboltz, Professor of Education and Psychology at Stanford University, who is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science says in his article titled The Purpose of Career Counseling:

"I no longer think that making a career decision is the goal. Instead the goal should be to launch the client on an exploratory task of talking with lots of people, helping other people with whatever tasks they faced at the moment, reading interesting articles about future occupational trends, applying to whatever jobs happen to be open now, interviewing people who are happy with the work they are doing now, and never making a permanent occupational choice. Career exploration should be a constant, thoughtful alternative."

There are numerous career theories and models, and no single one is sufficient to describe the broad field of career development. In this section you will find introductions to some of these core theories, and their key ideas. According to the which is owned and maintained by the Tertiary Education Commission in New Zealand, "Career theories typically fall into one of three categories which, while not mutually exclusive, can be a useful form of classification:"

Theory of Process

Theories of process relate to interaction and change over time. This can be characterised by theories in which there are a series of stages through which people pass.

Theory of Content

Theories of content relate to the characteristics of the individual and the context they live in. The influences on career development are thought to be either intrinsic to the individual or originate from the context in which the individual lives.

Theory of Content and Process

Theories of content and process have been formed in response to a need for theory to take into account both of these key areas. These theories encompass both the characteristics of individuals and their context, and the development and interaction between them.

Timeline of career theories and models

The website offers the following timeline of how career theories have evolved over time:

Early 1900s

Theory: Person-environment fit, trait factor

Names: Parsons, Williamson, Holland

Vocational guidance is accomplished first by studying the individual, then by surveying occupations, and finally by matching the individual with the occupation.

Late 1950s

Theory: Developmental

Names: Ginzberg & Associates, Tiedman, Super, Gottfredson, Roe

Career development is a process that takes place over the life span. Career development activities should be designed to meet the needs of individuals at all stages of life.


Theory: Client-centred

Name: Rogers

​Career development is focused on the nature of the relationship between the helper and client. It encompasses the core conditions of unconditional positive regards, genuineness, congruence and empathy.

Late 1970s

Theory: Social learning

Name: Krumboltz

The individual's unique learning experiences over their lifespan develop primary influences that lead to career choice.


Theory: Post-modern

Name: Kelly, Cochran, Jepsen

​Truth is discovered subjectively through dialogue rather than through objective testing. This approach emphasises the individual’s experience and decision making through exploring personal constructs and the client’s narrative about their life.


Theory: Neuro-linguistic programming

Names: Richard Bandler, John Grinder

​A way of coding thinking, language and behaviour based on the principle that changing the way one thinks can change behaviour.

Theory: Happenstance

Name: John Krumboltz

​Chance events play a role in every career. The goal for clients is to generate beneficial chance events and have the ability to take advantage of them.

Theory: Narrative therapy

Names: Michael White and David Epston, Gregory Bateson

​Clients are encouraged to separate themselves from their problems (ie, the problem becomes external). The client makes sense of their experiences by using stories.

Theory: Te Whare Tapa Whā

Names: Dr. Mason Durie

​Māori health is a balance between four interacting dimensions: te taha wairua (the spiritual side); te taha hinengaro (thoughts and feelings); te taha tinana (the physical side) and te taha whānau (family).


Theory: Coaching

​A model of practice. All parts of the client’s life are taken into account through regular sessions.

In particular, the following are overviews of six theories. Please refer to the links provided for additional information on those theories.

Selected Career Guidance Theories



John Holland's Theory of Career Choice (RIASEC) maintains that in choosing a career, people prefer jobs where they can be around others who are like them. They search for environments that will let them use their skills and abilities, and express their attitudes and values, while taking on enjoyable problems and roles. Behaviour is determined by an interaction between personality and environment.

​Albert Bandura is well regarded for his Social Cognitive Theory. It is a learning theory based on the ideas that people learn by watching what others do, and that human thought processes are central to understanding personality. This theory provides a framework for understanding, predicting and changing human behaviour.

​Parsons states that occupational decision making occurs when people have achieved:

  • an accurate understanding of their individual traits (aptitudes, interests, personal abilities)

  • a knowledge of jobs and the labour market

  • rational and objective judgement about the relationship between their individual traits, and the labour market.

At the core of this theory is the fact that unpredictable social factors, chance events and environmental factors are important influences on clients’ lives. As such, the counsellor’s role is to help clients approach chance conditions and events positively. In particular, counsellors foster in their clients:

  • curiosity to explore learning opportunities

  • persistence to deal with obstacles

  • flexibility to address a variety of circumstances and events

  • optimism to maximise benefits from unplanned events.

Super argues that occupational preferences and competencies, along with an individual’s life situations, all change with time and experience. Super developed the concept of vocational maturity, which may or may not correspond to chronological age: people cycle through each of these stages when they go through career transitions.

Māori health is underpinned by four dimensions representing the basic beliefs of life – te taha hinengaro (psychological health); te taha wairua (spiritual health); te taha tinana (physical health); and te taha whānau (family health). These four dimensions are represented by the four walls of a house. Each wall is necessary to the strength and symmetry of the building.

Career Counselors: Education, Competencies, Standards, & Skills

What does a Career Counselor do? The Online Counseling Programs website answers this question as follows: "Through the utilization of tools, assessments, and the evaluation of skill levels, career counselors help individuals make decisions about their careers paths, teach job search skills, and work on conflict resolution techniques for application in the workplace. Working with a wide array of clients in various stages of their life, counselors with a career specialty will also provide support to those already entered into the workforce on improving their current career. From the start, career counselors help college students explore their interests, strengths, and skills in relation to academic majors and degree paths."

Steps to Become a Career Counselor

Moreover, the Online Counseling Programs website provides the following suggested list of steps to becoming a Career Counselor:

Steps to Become a Career Counselor

Step 1: Complete a bachelor’s degree in a behavioral, social science, or human services field.

Earning your bachelor's degree in a counseling or human services related field can lay the foundation that allows you to learn about human development, counseling skills, and even career development.

Step 2: Earn a master’s degree in counseling.

Career counselors obtain their master’s degree in counseling or career services with coursework concentrations on career theories, career development, counseling theories, and the psychology of human development.

Step 3: Complete graduate and postgraduate internship experience for certification/licensure requirements.

As a crucial aspect of accredited counseling degrees, graduate and postgraduate supervised counseling experience allows students to dive into their future licensed role as a career counselor.

Step 4: Pass any required exams for certification/licensure.

Some states and/or counseling programs require the passing of a counselor exam for graduation or certification/licensure such as the National Counselor Examination (NCE) and/or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). Check the available licenses and required examinations for counselors in your state through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

Step 5: Apply for and earn additional certifications.

The National Career Development Association (NCDA) offers credentials for traditionally trained counselors and others to pursue education as a career development facilitator, career services provider, master of career services, career counselor, and clinical supervisor of career counseling, and career counselor educator. These certifications fine tune graduate coursework to best assist clients seeking career guidance and planning.

Step 6: Continue your education and stay up to date on career counseling trends and changes.

To maintain state licensure as a professional counselor, career counselors must obtain continuing education credits through workshops, conferences, presentations, and/or research to name a few formats. In addition, those with NCDA certifications are also required to pursue professional development in the field of career services.

Career Counselors are expected to adhere to a set of standards and to possess a set of competencies and skills to professionally perform their duties. In particular, I will be making reference to the following: Code of Ethics, Ethical Use of Social Networking Technologies in Career Services, Minimum Multicultural Career Counseling Competencies, Career Counselor Assessment and Evaluation Competencies, and the National Career Development Guidelines set by the National Career Development Association (NCDA). NCDA provides professional development, publications, standards, and advocacy to practitioners and educators who inspire and empower individuals to achieve their career and life goals. The National Vocational Guidance Association (NVGA) was founded in 1913. In 1985 NVGA was renamed and became the National Career Development Association (NCDA). Thus NCDA is the first, longest running and preeminent career development association in the world.

2015 NCDA Code of Ethics

2015 NCDA Code of Ethics

The NCDA Code of Ethics contains nine main sections that address the following areas (Click here for the full details):

  • Section A: The Professional Relationship - Career professionals facilitate client growth and development in ways that foster the interest and welfare of clients and promote formation of healthy relationships. Trust is the cornerstone of the professional relationship and career professionals have the responsibility to respect and safeguard the client’s right to privacy and confidentiality. Career professionals actively attempt to understand the diverse cultural backgrounds of the individuals they serve. Career professionals also explore their own cultural identities and how these affect their values and beliefs about the working relationship. Career professionals are encouraged to contribute to society by devoting a portion of their professional activity to services for which there is little or no financial return (pro bono publico).

  • Section B: Confidentiality, Privileged Communication, and Privacy - Career professionals recognize that trust is a cornerstone of the professional relationship. Career professionals work to earn the trust of clients by creating an ongoing partnership, establishing and upholding appropriate boundaries, and maintaining confidentiality. Career professionals communicate the parameters of confidentiality in a culturally competent manner.

  • Section C: Professional Responsibility - Career professionals provide open, honest, and accurate communication in dealing with the public and other professionals. They practice in a nondiscriminatory manner within the boundaries of professional and personal competence and have a responsibility to abide by the NCDA Code of Ethics. Career professionals actively participate in local, state, and national associations that foster the development and improvement of the provision of career services. Career professionals are encouraged to promote change at the individual, group, institutional, and societal levels in ways that improve the quality of life for individuals and groups and removes potential barriers to the provision or access of appropriate services being offered. Career professionals have a responsibility to the public to engage in ethical practice. Career Professionals have a responsibility to the public to engage in professional practices that are based on rigorous research methodologies. Career professionals are encouraged to contribute to society by devoting a portion of their professional activity to services for which there is little or no financial return (pro bono publico). In addition, career professionals engage in self-care activities to maintain and promote their emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual well-being to best meet their professional responsibilities.

  • Section D: Relationships with Other Professionals - Career professionals recognize that the quality of their interactions with colleagues can influence the quality of services provided to clients. They work to become knowledgeable about colleagues within and outside the profession. Career professionals develop positive working relationships and systems of communication with colleagues to enhance services to clients. Career professionals may provide coaching and/or consultation to individuals, groups, or organizations. If career professionals perform such services, they must provide only the services that are within the scope of their professional competence and qualifications.

  • Section E: Evaluation, Assessment, and Interpretation - Career professionals use assessment instruments as one component of the career services process, taking into account the client’s personal and cultural context. Career professionals promote the well- being of individual clients or groups of clients by developing and using appropriate career, educational, and psychological assessment instruments.

  • Section F: Providing Career Services Online, Technology, and Social Media - Career professionals actively attempt to understand the evolving nature of the profession with regard to providing career services online, using technology and/or social media, and how such resources may be used to better serve their clients. Career professionals strive to become knowledgeable about these resources, recognizing that periodic training is needed to develop necessary technical and professional competencies. Career professionals understand the additional concerns related to providing career services online and using technology and/or social media, and make every attempt to protect confidentiality and data security, ensure transparency and equitable treatment of clients, and meet any legal and ethical requirements for the use of such resources.

  • Section G: Supervision, Training, and Teaching - Career professionals foster meaningful and respectful professional relationships and maintain appropriate boundaries with supervisees and students. Career professionals have theoretical and pedagogical foundations for their work and aim to be fair, accurate, and honest in their assessments of other career professionals, students, and supervisees.

  • Section H: Research and Publication - Career professionals who conduct research are encouraged to contribute to the knowledge base of the profession and promote a clearer understanding of the conditions that lead to a healthy and more just society. Career professionals support efforts of researchers by participating fully and willingly whenever possible. Career professionals minimize bias and respect diversity in designing and implementing research.

  • Section I: Resolving Ethical Issues - Career professionals behave in a legal, ethical, and moral manner in the conduct of their professional work. They are aware that client protection and trust in the profession depend on a high level of professional conduct. They hold other career professionals to the same standards and are willing to take appropriate action to ensure that these standards are upheld. Career professionals work to resolve ethical dilemmas with direct and open communication among all parties involved and seek consultation with colleagues and supervisors when necessary. Career professionals incorporate ethical practice into their daily work. They engage in ongoing learning and development regarding current topics in ethical and legal issues in the profession.

Ethical Use of Social Networking Technologies (SNTs) in Career Services

Ethical Use of Social Networking Technologies (SNTs) in Career Services

Strategies and Recommendations for Ethical Practice related to Social Networking Technologies (Click here for the full details and the below quoted references):

  • Be Mindful and Thoughtful About the Use of SNTs at All Times - The first theme encourages career professionals to be sensitive to the benefits and challenges that SNT present, and to reflect carefully on what this means for their professional practice before using new technologies. Career professionals are encouraged to “engage in thoughtful reflection regarding their own views, beliefs, and rationale underlying the choices they make around self-disclosure in general, and be certain that this stance is reflected in their online behavior” (Tunick et al., 2011, p. 444). This reflection should consider many aspects including: (a) what information is made available, (b) who will (and will not) have access to that information, (c) what measures will be taken to protect privacy of information, and (d) how disclosure of information may impact their professional work (Benke, 2007; Nicholson, 2011).

  • Keep the Professional and Personal Separate - A second strategy observed consistently across the literature is the importance of career professionals keeping their personal and professional online identities separate (e.g., Humphreys et al., 2000; Lannin & Scott, 2013; NACE, 2009; Shallcross, 2011). Career professionals can then limit their connections with clients to their accounts with professional identities. This then decreases the likelihood of clients receiving messages intended for a personal audience, which could create dual relationship challenges and confusion. In addition to separating accounts, authors offer specific advice related to professional and private accounts.

  • Educate Staff and Trainees - Providing education and training opportunities to support effective and ethical integration of SNTs into professional practice, while keeping personal use of these technologies separate from client interactions, is also much needed. As SNTs become increasingly integrated into our daily lives, career professionals become more likely to use them in an automatic fashion, without critically considering the implications of that use (Zur et al., 2009). Proactive discussion of the ethical implications of the use of SNTs should be integrated into graduate training programs, as well as staff development programs for current career professionals, so they may “gain a respect for and understanding of” (Wandel, 2008, p. 46) the ways that SNTs impact practice. Within these education and training opportunities, opportunities should be provided for “open and thoughtful discussion” (Tunick et al., 2011, p. 445) regarding the use of SNTs, application of core ethical guidelines and codes, common ethical challenges, and strategies for consulting with knowledgeable colleagues when questions do arise (Birky & Collins, 2011; DiLillo & Gale, 2011). This section addresses some areas for additional education that are stressed in the related literature.

  • Educate Clients - In addition to educating staff and trainees, career professionals have a responsibility to educate their clients about the use of SNTs. Related literature focuses calls for client education in two areas: (a) understanding the how SNT impact relationships between the client and career professional, and (b) understanding the benefits and risks of using SNTs within the job search and career management process.

  • Seek Equitable Treatment - Career professionals are encouraged to take deliberate steps to ensure fair and equitable treatment for all clients in relation to the use of SNTs in practice. Two dynamics often emerge in the literature related to fair and equitable treatment of clients, including: (a) who to connect with on social networking sites, and (b) who initiates online relationships. Carefully considering these issues in a proactive manner allows career professionals to plan for interactions, monitor their behaviors, and to be transparent and consistent with clients regarding their choices.

  • Create a Policy for SNT Use Across Your Office or Team - A final strategy that is found fairly consistently across the literature is the advice that, if a helping professionals should create a policy regarding their use of SNTs in service delivery – “a clear purpose and rules of engagement” (Osborn et al., 2011, p. 77) to create a common understanding among clients and colleagues (Barnett, 2008; Kolmes & Taube, 2014; Lannin & Scott, 2013; Lehavot, 2009; Nicholson, 2011; Shallcross, 2011; Tunick et al., 2011; Van Allen & Roberts, 2011; Wandel, 2008). Policies should be written in clearly defined and understandable terms, and communicated in both written and verbal forms (Kaslow et al., 2011). They should be a part of the informed consent process, and easily accessible after initial meetings (DiLillo & Gale, 2011; Kaslow et al., 2011; Kolmes, 2012; Lannin & Scott, 2013). Also, remembering that the membership of online communities changes continuously, recognize that informed consents and social networking policies may need to be presented and repeated often.

NCDA Minimum Multicultural Career Counseling Competencies

NCDA Minimum Multicultural Career Counseling Competencies

To work as a professional engaged in Career Counseling, the individual must demonstrate minimum competencies in nine designated areas. These areas are: Career Development Theory, Individual and Group Counseling Skills, Individual/Group Assessment, Information/Resources/Technology, Program Management and Implementation, Consultation, Supervision, Ethical/Legal Issues, and Research/Evaluation. These areas are briefly defined as follows (Click here for the full details):

  • Career Development Theory - Theory base and knowledge considered essential for professionals engaging in career counseling and development.

  • Individual and Group Counseling Skills - Individual and group counseling competencies considered essential for effective career counseling.

  • Individual/Group Assessment - Individual/group assessment skills considered essential for professionals engaging in career counseling.

  • Information/Resources/Technology - Information/resource/technology knowledge and skills essential for professionals engaging in career counseling.

  • Program Promotion, Management, and Implementation - Skills necessary to develop, plan, implement, and manage comprehensive career development programs in a variety of settings.

  • Coaching, Consultation, and Performance Improvement - Knowledge and skills considered essential in enabling individuals and organizations to impact effectively upon the career counseling and development process.

  • Supervision - Knowledge and skills considered essential in critically evaluating counselor performance, maintaining, and improving professional skills, and seeking assistance for others when needed in career counseling.

  • Ethical/Legal Issues - Information base and knowledge essential for the ethical and legal practice of career counseling.

  • Research/Evaluation - Knowledge and skills considered essential in understanding and conducting research and evaluation in career counseling and development.

Career Counselor Assessment and Evaluation Competencies

Career Counselor Assessment and Evaluation Competencies

The purpose of these competencies is to provide a description of the knowledge and skills that career counselors must demonstrate in the areas of assessment and evaluation. Because effectiveness in assessment and evaluation is critical to effective career counseling, these competencies are critical for career counselor practice and service to students, clients, and other customers. The competencies can be used by counselors as a guide in the development and evaluation of workshops, inservice, and other continuing education opportunities, as well as to evaluate their own professional development, and by counselor educators as a guide in the development and evaluation of career counselor preparation programs. (Click here for the full details)

  • Competency 1. Choosing assessment strategies.

  • Competency 2. Identifying, accessing, and evaluating the most commonly used assessment instruments.

  • Competency 3. Using the techniques of administration and methods of scoring assessment instruments.

  • Competency 4. Interpreting and reporting assessment results.

  • Competency 5. Using assessment results in decision making.

  • Competency 6. Producing, interpreting, and presenting statistical information about assessment results.

  • Competency 7. Engaging in professionally responsible assessment and evaluation practices.

  • Competency 8. Using assessment results and other data to evaluate career programs and interventions.

The National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) Framework

The National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) Framework

Domains and Goals - Domains, goals and indicators organize the NCDG framework.

The three domains (Click here for the full details):

  • Personal Social Development (PS),

  • Educational Achievement and Lifelong Learning (ED)

  • and Career Management (CM) describe content. Under each domain are goals (eleven in total).

The goals define broad areas of career development competency.

Indicators and Learning Stages - Under each goal in the framework are indicators of mastery that highlight the knowledge and skills needed to achieve that goal. Each indicator is presented in three learning stages derived from Bloom’s Taxonomy: knowledge acquisition, application and reflection. The stages describe learning competency. They are not tied to an individual’s age or level of education.

  • Knowledge Acquisition (K) - Youth and adults at the knowledge acquisition stage expand knowledge awareness and build comprehension. They can recall, recognize, describe, identify, clarify, discuss, explain, summarize, query, investigate and compile new information about the knowledge.

  • Application (A) - Youth and adults at the application stage apply acquired knowledge to situations and to self. They seek out ways to use the knowledge. For example, they can demonstrate, employ, perform, illustrate and solve problems related to the knowledge.

  • Reflection (R) - Youth and adults at the reflection stage analyze, synthesize, judge, assess and evaluate knowledge in accord with their own goals, values and beliefs. They decide whether or not to integrate the acquired knowledge into their ongoing response to situations and adjust their behavior accordingly.

Additional Resources

Career Counselors could also refer to the following organizations for additional resources:

  • The American Counseling Association (ACA) which is a not-for-profit, professional and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession. Founded in 1952, ACA is the world's largest association exclusively representing professional counselors in various practice settings.

  • National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) supports the counseling profession through many initiatives at the local, state, and federal levels.

  • National Employment Counseling Association (NECA) is the leading resource for all things related to employment in the USA. NECA was started by Supervisors of Counseling employed by their state Departments of Labor, hence reflects the influenced of national workforce development legislation and policy.

  • Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the US Department of Labor which administers federal government job training and worker dislocation programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.

  • The NCDA website offers additional resources, standards, and guidelines.

Skills to Discover your Career Path

Career Planning Process

The NCDA literature refers to the Career Planning Process depicted in the graphics below. The intention here is to provide an overview of the process and to point to the stakeholders the available resources for further investigation. The Indeed Editorial Team defines Career Planning Process as "Career planning is the process of discovering educational, training and professional opportunities that suit your interests, passions and goals. Before searching for jobs, you should set achievable long-term goals that identify what you want to be doing along your career path at five, 10, 15, 20 years and so on. Then, you can set short-term goals between each stage to ensure you have clear, actionable steps you can take to reach your long-term goals. Career planning allows you to outline your goals and reevaluate them as you progress."

The following is a set of resources that would support the aforementioned Career Planning Process:

Tools for Career Planning

The NCDA website offers a comprehensive list of resources, Internet Sites for Career Planning, to achieve the proposed Career Planning Process. This web page provides information and resources on the following topics:

  • Self-Assessment

  • General Occupational Information

  • Industry and Occupation-Specific Information

  • Education Topics

  • Employment Trends

  • Job Search

  • Special Populations

  • Videos

​The website offers the following set of tools and resources:

  • Plan your career - Choose, improve or change careers.

  • Job profiles - Their jobs database has all the information you'll need to discover career possibilities and explore the job market.

  • Tools - Use our tools to get career ideas, explore study options and make your CV.

  • Job hunting - Learn how to find work, make a CV and apply for jobs.

  • Study and training - Search for a course or training provider

  • Resources - Career resources for educators, career advisers and whānau.

​The Indeed website offers an article titled "The 6-Step Career-Planning Process" which outlines the following steps:

  • Self-exploration and assessment - You first need to understand your needs, strengths, personality, skills, talents and interests to make informed academic and career decisions. You can determine these items on your own by making a series of lists or through a variety of tests.

  • Career research - After you determine your qualities and aptitudes, you can decide which types of careers you are interested in with research. Start with a list of roles and industries provided by your assessments or compile a list of characteristics in the work environment, responsibilities and advancement opportunities you want in your career. Using those characteristics, determine more roles and industries you may want to consider.

  • Exploration and experimentation - After you have narrowed down your list of possible careers, find ways to experience each career in person.

  • Decision-making and career selection - Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of all of your options. You will need to consider many factors, including the possible balances between pay and enjoyment, the pros and cons of relocation, and the work-life balance.

  • Final planning and action - Gather all the information you have learned and determine an action plan. This plan should include background information, such as your employment history, education, level of training, volunteer and other unpaid experience. It should also include your professional licenses or certifications, the results of the self-evaluations mentioned in the first section, and career counselor advice you have received.

  • Job search and acceptance - Use your career plan to begin your job search. Identify specific roles and companies you’re interested in applying to, and compare those preferences and requirements to your career plan. See if there are steps you still need to take or if you’re qualified to apply.

Dr. Jordan Peterson and his colleagues, a group of clinical and research psychologists who are developing and distributing tools to improve the psychological and physical health of interested individuals everywhere, introduced few years back the Understanding Myself assessment tool. The process is based on a personality scale known as the Big Five Aspects scale (developed by Dr. Colin DeYoung, Dr. Lena Quilty, and Dr. Jordan B Peterson in Dr. Peterson's lab) and it extends the Big Five description, breaking down each of the five traits into two higher-resolution aspects.

You will receive a specialized, personalized report after completing the process that will help you understand your personality in great detail, and aid you substantially in your understanding of others. It will help you determine what jobs suit you and why, what sort of people you are likely to find compatible (and incompatible), where your strengths and weaknesses lie and, perhaps most importantly, just how profound the differences between individuals actually are. It isn’t only that we differ in our opinions.

The assessment report will have information about your position along each of the Big Five dimensions of Extraversion (associated with positive emotion), Neuroticism (negative emotion), Agreeableness (the primary dimension of care for others), Conscientiousness (associated with duty, precision and responsibility) and Openness (interest in ideas and aesthetics), including customized descriptive paragraphs for your specific percentile positions. That five-dimensional description will be further expanded upon and developed for each of the ten aspects of the Big Five:

  • Enthusiasm (spontaneous joy and engagement) and Assertiveness (social dominance, often verbal in nature) for Extraversion.

  • Withdrawal (the tendency to avoid in the face of uncertainty) and Volatility (the tendency to become irritable and upset when things go wrong) for Neuroticism.

  • Compassion (the tendency to empathically experience the emotion of others) and Politeness (the proclivity to abide by interpersonal norms) for Agreeableness.

  • Industriousness (the ability to engage in sustained, goal-directed effort) and Orderliness (the tendency to schedule, organize and systematize) for Conscientiousness.

  • Openness (creativity and aesthetic sensitivity) and Intellect (interest in abstract concepts and ideas) for Openness to Experience.

In the video, Dr. Jordan Peterson describes the personality assessment and reporting system they have been working on for several years.

​Self-Authoring Suite

Dr. Jordan Peterson and his colleagues also developed the Self-Authoring Suite which is a series of online writing programs that collectively help you explore your past, present and future.

People who spend time writing carefully about themselves become happier, less anxious and depressed and physically healthier. They become more productive, persistent and engaged in life. This is because thinking about where you came from, who you are and where you are going helps you chart a simpler and more rewarding path through life.

The Self-Authoring Suite is made up of three components:

  • The Past Authoring Program helps you remember, articulate and analyze key positive and negative life experiences.

  • The Present Authoring Program has two modules. The first helps you understand and rectify your personality faults. The second helps you understand and develop your personality virtues.

  • The Future Authoring Program helps you envision a meaningful, healthy and productive future, three to five years down the road, and to develop a detailed, implementable plan to make that future a reality.

Put your past to rest! Understand and improve your present personality! Design the future you want to live! The Self Authoring Suite will improve your life.

In the following video, Dr. Peterson introduces the Self-Authoring Suite:

Entrepreneurship as a Choice

According to the article published on May 26, 2021 and titled, A Definitive Guide To Entrepreneurship: How To Establish Your Own Business, "Global Entrepreneurship Monitor surveyed 65 different global economies and found that there are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world. At the end of the first quarter of 2020, there were 804,398 startups in the USA alone that were less than one year old." The following is a highlight of the main ideas presented in this article.

A Definitive Guide To Entrepreneurship: How To Establish Your Own Business

Michael Dell famously said, “You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.”

The Basics of Entrepreneurship

  • Who is an Entrepreneur? In the 21st century, the definition is an entrepreneur can be a person who has set up his online store or a freelancer who started his agency. Or someone who builds a side hustle and eventually makes it a profitable full-time business.

  • What is Entrepreneurship? The most succinct definition of entrepreneurship comes from Professor Howard Stevenson, the Godfather of Entrepreneurship Studies at Harvard: “Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled.”

  • What is a Startup? Paul Graham, the co-founder of Y Combinator, approaches a startup from ground reality. He explains: “A startup is a company designed to grow fast. Being newly founded does not in itself make a company a startup. Nor is it necessary for a startup to work on technology, or take venture funding, or have some sort of "exit." The only essential thing is growth. Everything else we associate with startups follows from growth.”

  • Stages of a Startup - The depiction of stages of a startup varies according to the metrics and evaluation. Some might evaluate the stages qualitatively, while others depict stages quantitatively. This results in different models depicting the stages of a startup. Refer to the article for the details of the proposed stages.

​Benefits of Entrepreneurship

  • To Economy - Innovative products and services have a cascading effect on economic development. This creates more companies and sectors that support the new startup.

  • To Society - Innovative startups dig deeper into current markets to identify people’s needs and offer viable solutions. This boosts social development.

  • To You - Be your own boss. Entrepreneurship allows you to nurture your vision and make it a reality with a venture.

  • To Students, the Leaders of Tomorrow/Next Gen Entrepreneurs - Entrepreneurship education prepares students for the uncertain future. Today students face complex global, social, and environmental issues. World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Survey reveals that half of today's work activities could be automated by 2055. This will create new responsibilities and demand new skills. But we don't know what they will be. That’s why students need entrepreneurship education to navigate an uncertain future.

​Challenges in Entrepreneurship

  • Entrepreneurship is not all gold; it’s a hard and uncertain path that only the most persevering can tread. If you’re dreaming of establishing your own business, prepare yourself for these challenges in entrepreneurship: abandoning your Job, financing Startup, assembling a team, loneliness, and decision-making.

  • These challenges are not specific as the industry and market vary. If you’re a young entrepreneur, you must continuously iterate to tackle these challenges. Remember, a seemingly tiny decision can have a cascading effect on your business. That’s why it’s necessary to learn and correct the mistakes in entrepreneurship.

​How To Avoid The Mistakes Of Entrepreneurship

  • Don’t Try to Control Everything - When you start your new venture, you’ll have the tendency to micro-manage every aspect of your business.

  • Don’t Hire on the Basis of Cost - Hiring is another critical determining factor in a startup. After realizing that you need a team, the next step is to build a team. Often, a startup suffers from a tight budget, which might make you skimp on the cost of new hires.

  • Think about Marketing - Marketing is about communicating your product to the target market (customers and collaborators). In reality, companies need to invest heavily in marketing.

  • Don’t Put your Product over Customers - “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”—Bill Gates

  • Don’t Think your Know it All - It’s natural to be confident that no one knows the product more than you. You might think that no one can do the job better than you. After all, it’s your vision and passion! But this approach has many flaws. It’s better to consult with an experienced leader or a mentor to gain new insights into the market.

How To Develop Entrepreneurship And Management Skills

  • “Entrepreneurship is having an idea to do something great and not entirely have a plan on how to do it but the drive and willpower to make it work.” - Michael Bloomberg.

  • Entrepreneurs are not born magicians. They learn everything in the pursuit of changing the world. Eric Ries has said this best: “Startup success is not a consequence of good genes or being in the right place at the right time. Startup success can be engineered by following the right process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.”

  • Learn Finance - It’s also imperative to learn how to read and write financial statements. They give you an overview of the balance sheet, income, and cash flow statements. These are also useful for tax purposes and also help in managing future expectations and expenses.

  • Focus on Networking - Networking is the key leverage for entrepreneurs. It allows you to connect with like-minded people that broaden your business perspective. You can even gather several products and market insights if you network with the experts. They can show you the ground report of a niche market, which otherwise would need tens of hours to assemble.

  • Accept and Value Feedback - An entrepreneur often remains stuck in his or her own perception of the work and world. Feedback is the best way to learn the ground reality and think from a different perspective. But these skills require you to remain humble and eager to learn. Perhaps, your idea or product is perfect for your vision but not for the customers.

  • Pattern Recognition - Patterns help evaluate data related to business. Pattern recognition is an underestimated but crucial skill for entrepreneurs. As a young entrepreneur, you should learn how to derive trends from market shifts and user behaviors.

  • Have a Growth Mindset - “Startup is a company designed to grow fast.” - Paul Graham. If a startup has to grow, the person behind it should have a strong growth mindset. A growth mindset believes that intelligence, talents, abilities can be learned and improved. In contrast, the fixed mindset views those traits as inherent and inflexible. Successful entrepreneurs always keep their minds open to new knowledge. They still accept the things they don’t know but are always ready to learn them. Elon Musk doesn't have a formal degree in Rocket Science, but he taught himself with books.

​How To Find A Mentor For Entrepreneurship

  • Let’s see what a billionaire has to say about the importance of mentorship. “If you ask any successful person, they will always have had a great mentor along the road.” That’s Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group with over 400 enterprises. He credits that his uncle taught him invaluable lessons in entrepreneurship.

  • Participate in Industry Events - Startup events are organized at every place and most events can be easily attended virtually.

  • Talk and Learn from Local Business Leaders - This advice comes from Richard Branson. In one of the Mentor Mondays episode, he talks about how he used to pitch his ideas to the businessmen in his domain. Richard used to request their time and ask for advice for his own venture. "Don’t be shy - people are usually flattered by requests for advice. Since they were once in your shoes, they probably had to seek out a mentor at some point themselves.” he adds at the end.

  • Thrive on a Support Community - YouTube, Y Combinator, Mentor Mondays, TED are some of the best resources for entrepreneurs. The forums here are incredibly useful because they let everyone join a conversation.

  • Leverage LinkedIn - LinkedIn, in place of a better analogy, is Facebook for professionals.

​Entrepreneurship Advice From Real Entrepreneurs

  • Elon Musk: "I think it's very difficult to start companies, it's quite painful. A friend of mine has a good phrase for doing a startup: it's like eating glass and staring into the abyss. If you are wired to do it, then only do it, not otherwise. So think of it this way - if you need inspiring words, DON'T DO IT!"

  • Reid Hoffman: “Is this massive and different? It's got to be ten-times different. It's got to be something that changes an industry.”

  • Steve Jobs: “I think you should go get a job as a busboy or something until you find something you’re really passionate about. You’ve got to have an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about; otherwise, you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through.”

Jump off the Cliff

  • Reid Hoffman summed up entrepreneurship in a line: "An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down."

  • You’ll never become perfectly ready to do business. Instead, you’ll have to jump off the cliff and then trudge your way to success.

P21's Framework

Another topic of high importance to mention here is P21's Frameworks mentioned earlier in this guide. the following graphic shows the elements of the P21's Framework. While the graphic represents each element distinctly for descriptive purposes, P21 views all the components as fully interconnected in the process of 21st century teaching and learning. Also included below an overview of the elements of the framework. Refer to the P21's Framework for 21st Century Learning Definitions document for the details.

It is worth noting that to help practitioners integrate skills into the teaching of key academic subjects, the Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) has developed a unified, collective vision for learning known as the Framework for 21st Century Learning. This Framework describes the skills, knowledge, and expertise students must master to succeed in work and life; it is a blend of content knowledge, specific skills, expertise, and literacies.

Key subjects and 21st century themes

  • Mastery of key subjects and 21st century themes is essential for all students in the 21st century. Key subjects include: English, reading, or language arts, World languages, Arts, Mathematics, Economics, Science, Geography, History, Government and Civics.

  • Global Awareness - Use 21st century skills to understand and address global issues, learn from and working collaboratively with individuals, and understand other nations and cultures.

  • Financial, Economic, Business, and Entrepreneurial Literacy - Know how to make appropriate personal economic choices, understand the role of the economy in society, and use entrepreneurial skills to enhance workplace productivity and career options.

  • Civic Literacy - Participate effectively in civic life through knowing how to stay informed and understanding governmental processes, exercise the rights and obligations of citizenship at all levels, and understand the local and global implications of civic decisions.

  • Health Literacy - Obtain, interpret, and understand basic health information and services and using such information and services in ways that enhance health, establish and monitor personal and family health goals, and understand national & international public health and safety issues.

  • Environmental Literacy - Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the environment and the circumstances and conditions affecting it, demonstrate knowledge and understanding of society’s impact on the natural world, investigate and analyze environmental issues, and make accurate conclusions about effective solutions, and take individual and collective action towards addressing environmental challenges.

Learning and Innovation Skills

Learning and innovation skills increasingly are being recognized as those that separate students who are prepared for a more and more complex life and work environments in the 21st century, and those who are not. A focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration is essential to prepare students for the future.

  • Creativity and Innovation - Think creatively, work creatively with others, and implement innovations.

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving - Reason effectively and solve problems.

  • Communication and Collaboration - Communicate clearly.

Information, Media, and Technology Skills

People in the 21st century live in a technology and media-driven environment, marked by various characteristics, including: 1) access to an abundance of information, 2) rapid changes in technology tools, and 3) the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale. Effective citizens and workers of the 21st century must be able to exhibit a range of functional and critical thinking skills related to information, media, and technology.

  • Information Literacy - Access, evaluate, use, and manage information.

  • Media Literacy - Media literacy, create media products, and apply technology effectively.

​Life and Career Skills

Today’s life and work environments require far more than thinking skills and content knowledge. The ability to navigate the complex life and work environments in the globally competitive information age requires students to pay rigorous attention to developing adequate life and career skills.

  • Flexibility and Adaptability - Adapt to change and be flexible.

  • Initiative and Self-Direction - Manage goals and time and work independently.

  • Social and Cross-Cultural Skills - Interact effectively with others and work effectively in diverse teams.

  • Productivity and Accountability - Manage projects, set and meet goals, even in the face of obstacles and competing pressures as well as prioritize, plan, and manage work to achieve the intended result

​21st Century Support Systems

The elements described below are the critical systems necessary to ensure student mastery of 21st century skills. 21st century standards, assessments, curriculum, instruction, professional development, and learning environments must be aligned to produce a support system that produces 21st century outcomes for today’s students.

  • 21st Century Standards - Focus on 21st century skills, content knowledge, and expertise, build understanding across and among key subjects as well as 21st century interdisciplinary themes, and allow for multiple measures of mastery.

  • Assessment of 21st Century Skills - Support a balance of assessments, including high-quality standardized testing along with effective formative and summative classroom assessments and enable a balanced portfolio of measures to assess the educational system’s effectiveness in reaching high levels of student competency in 21st century skills.

  • 21st Century Curriculum and Instruction - Teach 21st century skills discretely in the context of key subjects and 21st century interdisciplinary themes and focus on providing opportunities for applying 21st century skills across content areas and for a competency-based approach to learning.

  • 21st Century Professional Development - Highlight ways teachers can seize opportunities for integrating 21st century skills, tools, and teaching strategies into their classroom practice — and help them identify what activities they can replace/de-emphasize and cultivate teachers’ ability to identify students’ particular learning styles, intelligences, strengths, and weaknesses.

  • Produce Results - Demonstrate additional attributes associated with producing high quality products including the abilities to: work positively and ethically, manage time and projects effectively, multi-task, participate actively, as well as be reliable and punctual, present oneself professionally and with proper etiquette, collaborate and cooperate effectively with teams, respect and appreciate team diversity, and be accountable for results.

  • Leadership and Responsibility - Guide and lead others as well as be responsible to others.

  • 21st Century Learning Environments - Create learning practices, human support, and physical environments that will support the teaching and learning of 21st century skill outcomes, support professional learning communities that enable educators to collaborate, share best practices, and integrate 21st century skills into classroom practice, enable students to learn in relevant, real-world 21st century contexts (e.g., through project-based or other applied work), allow equitable access to quality learning tools, technologies, and resources, provide 21st century architectural and interior designs for group, team, and individual learning, and support expanded community and international involvement in learning, both face-to-face and online.

Career Readiness & Utilizing Technology Platforms

No doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the adoption of new learning and development methodologies as well as the adoption of digital tools that are essential for the survival of our workforce and societies at large.

Digital Skills for Career Counselors

In a recent study published in the World Journal on Educational Technology: Current Issues (Volume 13, Issue 4, (2021) 1061-1072), Self-assessment of the digital skills of career education specialists during the provision of remote services, Ieva Margeviča-Grinberga of The University of Latvia and Agita Šmitiņa of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences concluded the following:

"In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital technologies have inevitably been adopted in the fields of education and counselling so that counsellors had to either partially or fully switch to remote career services. As such, the capacity to easily transition to a partial or full remote service has proven to be a huge challenge for many counsellors in Latvia and the world over. Career practitioners have thereby come under the realisation that they have to acquire different digital skills that are certainly needed to facilitate individual and group career counselling online. It has been noted that the immediate use of technology continues to be an alternative component to face-to-face career guidance, and thus, career guidance professionals use technology in gathering career information, conducting career interventions and assessments amongst many more others."

They added "The study has shown that most of the career guidance specialists have been able to use digital technologies to communicate with students, parents, colleagues, and many more with at least 77% of the specialists use digital tools to organise the consultation process. Although career professionals generally value their skills very well, they still tend to use some of the most common resources and tools. As a result of this, they tend to fail to use as many career counseling opportunities as possible, which has been largely attributed to the average age of counselors. It is therefore suggested that counselors and career guidance practitioners engage in exploring other pertinent digital tools that they can use to enhance the capacity to provide their services remotely."

Gen Z: Career Readiness and Technology

Dr. Kaylee Johnson, Industry Insights Specialist, indicated in her blog titled "GEN Z CAREER READINESS: IS TECHNOLOGY THE ANSWER?" and published on the American Student Assistance (ASA) website the following observations:

  • "Half of career navigation products serve the post-secondary market, while only 19% serve K-12 students. It is unsurprising then that middle and high school students feel uncertain when making decisions about their future education and career aspirations.

  • In fact, our research at American Student Assistance (ASA) shows that a majority of Gen Z students experience feelings of anxiety, nervousness or being overwhelmed when they need to make decisions. One Midwestern high school student told us, “I had no idea whether this was a significant decision [or] what impact either decision had.”

  • As we all know, Gen Z students are digital natives. Research from Pew shows that 95% of all U.S. teens say they have access to a smartphone; on average, this age group checks their devices 16 times per hour, and reports spending 12.5 hours streaming videos on their devices each day.

  • At ASA, we conducted research to understand if there was a way to meet middle and high schoolers where they are when it comes to making important future decisions. We discovered that Gen Z isn’t only using technology for social media and entertainment, but also to help make informed decisions about their futures.

  • Gen Z is spending some screen time exploring career opportunities through their phones and other devices. One in three high schoolers surveyed by ASA is using an app to explore a career field. Additionally, nearly half of the 600 students surveyed report getting information about future careers and fields from social media. Interestingly, a large majority of teens report discussing decisions with their support network, too; however, they first research on their own.

  • With research to confirm our beliefs, ASA quickly recognized that young people in Gen Z are operating from a place of anxiety when making decisions about their futures and they are initially looking for informative sources on their phones or from another device.

  • In addition to self-directed research, Gen Z also relies on their personal connections (parents, friends, and other family) and experts (academic counselors, teachers, other advisors) to make decisions about their education and career pathways. Nearly three-quarters of teens report consulting their personal connections and experts for financial decisions, education and career decisions, and future decisions."

Utilizing Technology Platforms for Career Readiness

The graphics below shows the elements of the proposed integrated technology platforms that organizations would consider to support their career readiness programs. The technology is integrated into one eco-system that utilizes cloud services like MS Azure and AWS, such that achieving a data centric architecture providing real-time data through the various touchpoints with learners, trainers, and other relevant stakeholders. This setup would feed into real time Business Intelligent (BI) dashboards which would allow the organization to make informed decisions achieving learning outcomes and maximizing business results. The below described integrated system would also be complemented with mobile application that would be robust and responsive providing learners with an easy gateway to the available services.

In previous articles and in particular in a recent article, Disrupting Corporate Learning During and Post COVID-19, I proposed the Agile Learning Platform of the Future which is depicted in the following graphics. This would allow for building the community of learners with one stop venue for all their learning and coaching needs and would stimulate learners' engagement and would eliminate silos. Unfortunately, many existing digital learning environments are built around the strategy that learners are recipients of knowledge for the most part. The proposed model would allow learners to be consumers of knowledge and at the same time contributors of knowledge. I like the expression "Learning is fundamentally a social phenomenon."

The graphics below shows a comparison between two types of digital learning platforms: a learning management system (LMS) represented by the Moodle platform versus a social learning platform represented by the Mahara Platform.

I recommend that you refer to the Section, A Practical Approach Utilizing Mastery of Skills and Emerging Technologies to Prepare an Agile Workforce, in my article, Disrupting Corporate Learning During and Post COVID-19, for details of the following concepts that are applicable to career readiness and could be utilized like:

  • Lean Learning

  • Competency Based Learning vs Traditional Learning

  • The Competency and Skills Mastery Model

  • Structure of Outcome Based Training and Supporting Technology

  • Advancing, Assessment, and Verification Process under Skills Mastery Training

  • Change Management and Knowledge Transfer Plan

You could also refer to the transcripts and the video of my webinar, Webinar - Disrupting Corporate Learning During and Post COVID-19, for more information about this topic.

In my aforementioned article and webinar, I suggested using the ePortfolio to support the learning process. The graphics below lists the benefits of using an ePortfolio by learners. It is mentioning that qualification frameworks like the Australian Technical and Further Education (TAFE), City & Guilds, SCOTVEC, the QFEmirates of the United Arab Emirates, and the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) utilize the ePortfolio as an assessment tool where learners use to showcase and provide evidence of their learning.

The graphics below presents a sample portfolio based assessment and the associated verification process.

Knowledge Management implemented in the form of Learning Object Repository (LOR) is another strategy organizations interested in implementing career readiness program could consider. It is worth noting that knowledge management is the process of documenting and distributing important organization or program information internally to improve the effectiveness of your operation. The graphics below lists the organizational benefits of implementing knowledge managment.

The graphics below presents information about the LOR and its terminology.

Organizations and career readiness programs could also consider a number of methodologies and frameworks that would help them manage the change during their digital transformation journey. the following is a list of those methodologies and frameworks:

  • SAMR Model for Technology Integration: SAMR is a model designed to help educators infuse technology into teaching and learning. Developed and popularized by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, the  model supports and enables teachers to design, develop, and infuse digital learning experiences that utilize technology. The goal is  to transform learning experiences so they result in higher levels of achievement for learners. The model is made up of four levels, namely: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition.

  • TPACK Model for Technology Integration: TPACK attempts to identify the nature of knowledge required by teachers/trainers for technology integration in their teaching/training, while addressing the complex, multifaceted and situated nature of teacher knowledge. At the heart of the TPACK framework, is the complex interplay of three primary forms of knowledge: Content (CK), Pedagogy (PK), and Technology (TK).

  • Bloom's Digital Taxonomy for Technology Integration: It is an extension of the original Bloom’s Taxonomy and creates a hierarchy (6 levels) of learning activities in a digital environment. The six levels that described the cognitive processes of learning are: Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating. The levels are meant to represent educational activities of increasing complexity and abstraction.

  • Quality Matters (QM) Rubrics and Standards: QM is a leader in quality assurance for online education and has received national recognition for its peer-based and continuous improvement approach. The QM rubrics and standards cover the areas depicted below in the following graphics:

  • Forgetting Curve: The Forgetting Curve hypothesizes the decline of memory retention in time. This curve shows how information is lost over time when there is no attempt to retain it. The graphics below show the Forgetting Curve and important observations.


The results of the data based research reviewed in this article showed evidence that secondary school students who explore, experience and think about their futures in work frequently encounter lower levels of unemployment, receive higher wages, and are happier in their careers as adults. It is imperative that policy makers, decision makers, governments, schools, employers, families, and other stakeholders should consider career readiness programs to better prepare young people to compete during and post the Coronavirus (COVID-19) labor market. I presented a career readiness model that would utilize technology, digital platforms, and digital tools.

References & Resources

  1. P21’s Framework -

  2. OECD Career Readiness Project -

  3. OECD Employment Outlook 2021 -

  4. OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) -

  5. Indicators of teenage career readiness -

  6. OECD Conference | Disrupted futures: International lessons on how schools can best equip students for their working lives -

  7. How youth explore, experience and think about their future: A new look at effective career guidance -

  8. The Purpose of Career Counseling -

  9. Career theory and models -

  10. Holland’s theory -

  11. Bandura’s theory -

  12. Parsons' theory -

  13. Krumboltz's theory -

  14. Super's theory -

  15. Te Whare Tapa Whā -

  16. How to Become a Career Counselor -

  17. The National Career Development Association (NCDA) -

  18. 2015 NCDA Code of Ethics -

  19. Ethical Use of Social Networking Technologies (SNTs) in Career Services -

  20. NCDA Minimum Multicultural Career Counseling Competencies -

  21. Career Counselor Assessment and Evaluation Competencies -

  22. National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) Framework -

  23. The American Counseling Association (ACA) -

  24. National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) -

  25. National Employment Counseling Association (NECA) -

  26. Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the US Department of Labor -

  27. Planning Your Career, the “Meal” Way! -

  28. Internet Sites for Career Planning -

  29. The 6-Step Career-Planning Process -

  30. Understanding Myself -

  31. 20 Minutes Video on -

  32. The Self-Authoring Suite -

  33. Intro to SelfAuthoring -

  34. A Definitive Guide To Entrepreneurship: How To Establish Your Own Business –

  35. P21's Framework for 21st Century Learning Definitions -

  36. Self-assessment of the digital skills of career education specialists during the provision of remote services -


  38. American Student Assistance (ASA) -

  39. Disrupting Corporate Learning During and Post COVID-19 -

  40. Webinar - Disrupting Corporate Learning During and Post COVID-19 -

  41. SAMR Model -

  42. What is the SAMR Model? -

  43. TPACK Explained -

  44. What is the TPACK Model? -

  45. Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy Verbs For 21st Century Students -

  46. What is Bloom's Digital Taxonomy? -

  47. Introduction to Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy -

  48. QM Rubrics & Standards -

  49. The Forgetting Curve -

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