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The 21st century HE careers professional

February 2021

This HECSU-funded work by researchers at the University of Nottingham and University of Derby sheds light on the current experiences and perspectives of HE careers professionals

Key findings

  • One of the biggest changes to careers professionals' roles in recent years (and specifically in recent months) has been technology.
  • The need for practitioners to be digitally literate, creative in using technology and active on social media has become a professional requirement.
  • 92% of survey participants agreed that 'being more creative/adaptive' was one of the important key skills they had to develop over the past 5 to 10 years.
  • Developing pedagogical knowledge has increasingly become an essential part of the role.
  • Most felt the future would consist of a hybrid model whereby more activities would move online, particularly employer and recruiter events.
  • Within many institutions, practitioners felt that careers services generally were not valued for what they do. As a result there were some concerns as to the long-term future of services.

Download the full report

The 21st Century HE Careers Professional

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    30  pages
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Download the full report

Download PDF file The 21st Century HE Careers Professional

About the report

This HECSU-funded research report aims to explore the changing role of careers professionals. The study focuses on the following key questions:

  • How do careers professionals in HE define and describe their role?
  • How do they feel the role has changed over the last ten years?
  • How do they think their roles might change and evolve over the next five years?
  • What skills/knowledge and competencies are needed to meet the evolving role?

The research offers some thoughts as to how professional career guidance within the HE context can be strengthened and how the expertise of staff could be better maximized.

The authors are Dr Nalayini Thambar, Dr Siobhan Neary and Franka Zlatic.

Funding for this research was awarded by HECSU prior to its merger with Jisc in May 2020.

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