Clueless about their future and how students can find a Pathway forward.
Life used to be simpler. We could just go through school and settle for any jobs that came our way.
The information age, along with social media, exponentially expanded our collective awareness. Students today grow up exposed to the limitless options available to them in the world, like being an influencer, Youtuber, entrepreneur. Yet they only see the surface of each of these pathways.
The ‘clueless’ persona of students is the most common one we see in our years of work with schools. It is for this specific group of students that we have designed our signature ‘Pathways’ programme, all the way in 2017. The programme has only been refined in the past years, and here are some key facts about it.
Pathways is our signature career exploration programme that helps students learn about various career pathways. Experts from the industry lead students through hands-on activities that simulate actual work experiences. The focus is to highlight key insights about each industry, so that students may spark a new passion, or resonate with a strong sense of purpose.
Our Pathways Format
Schools can choose up to 14 industries that include Business, Early Childhood Care & Education, Healthcare, Game design, and more.
Most schools run our Pathways programme for Sec 2–4s during their yearly Career Day. Alternatively, some schools have chosen to spread it out, having 2–3 industries each month throughout the school year.
In each of these industry sessions, the working professionals we invite paint the picture of their industry by having students participate in hands-on activities and simulations, on top of the presentations they give. It is because of this immersive experience that students often come forward with deep questions to better understand the industry, and see if it suits them.
Programme Impact on Students
Students who experience Pathways grow in their knowledge of career options. They learn to see that jobs are all interconnected, and how a person’s career will take twists and turns. That they don’t have to limit themselves to only one path when many pathways are available.
They will get to see clear distinctions between industries, and roles within each industry. Hearing from the working professionals also gets them to see how their education leads into their potential careers, and how the pathways are more diverse than they could imagine.
It’s eye-opening and helps me know what happens in different careers. The sessions were engaging, educational, and also relevant. — Sec 3 student
On top of that, our experiential activities will allow them to learn about the soft skills required in the specific industry and jobs they are exposed to. For instance, students exposed to the psychology industry will learn to practice empathy and active learning. Being able to recognise the soft skills needed will be highly beneficial for them to excel in their work.
Choosing the Right Programme for Your Students
If you are planning to help students explore their future plans as part of your Education & Career Guidance (ECG) efforts for your students, here are some key questions to ask.
Are the speakers involved currently working in the industry they are sharing about?
The most passionate and authentic speakers are often still working in their industry. They will also possess up-to-date insights, and be clear on the future trends of the industry.
What is the average age of the speakers?
Speakers between the age of 25–35 are best able to connect with students. They also share about the latest labour market trends and can help students forecast what their future holds.
Speakers above the age of 35 are often in managerial or senior positions. Students often find them harder to connect with, and the advice given by them tends to be less applicable for those thinking about the first steps in their career.
Do students get to have hands-on learning?
Students have little to no experience in what coding, sales, planning, negotiating is like. Giving them a chance to experience these skills (even at a basic level) will give them the experiential vocabulary to truly understand which skills are needed most in each industry. This is one key way for them to know what their career interests may be.
Is there a focus on gaining awareness of the career and industry? Or is it just a skills workshop?
It will be critical that your students focus on learning insights, instead of just skills. A swimming class helps you learn to swim, but it doesn’t provide enough information to help you choose to be a swimmer as a career after all.
Is the provider you are looking at specialised in ECG?
Creating impactful ECG programmes requires a deep commitment to learn about the limitless careers that exist, and be able to condense that complex reality into digestible insights for students. Only organisations that specialise in ECG have the focus needed to create impact in this domain.
We hope this article provided you with insights into our Pathways programme. Reach out to us anytime, we would love to understand your ECG needs and offer something tailored to those needs.
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