In thinking about research and online career counselling a question that comes to mind for me is – how do we career practitioners know what impact the use of online career services are having?
It’s a question that is being studied all over the world. Tannis Goddard said, “The use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) as a service is less explored than the use of ICT as a resource. And Gati and Auslin-Peretz state “…at present, specific theoretically driven, evidence-based interventions aimed at helping deliberating individuals progress in their career decision making are less prevalent than assessments.
A Canadian study – CareerMotion – aimed at improving the career-decision-making of young workers. The project provided young workers with job search and career planning tools tailored to their needs. The end result? CareerMotion “…provides rigorous evidence on whether the labour market competencies of graduates from colleges and universities can be improved by using Web-based technologies. 
The International Scene
Scrolling through the session abstracts from the IAEVG 2012 conference makes for fascinating reading. There is a lot of interesting work and research being conducted. My main focus was on the theme – “Modern Technology for Future Oriented Inclusive Guidance Services and Delivery” though I plan to go back and do some more reading on the others.
I learned about:
– Best policies and practices in providing ‘distance career counselling’
– Online mentoring support systems for career related learning
– Outcomes and impact of ICT based career information, advice and guidance
– Role of social media in the provision of Career counselling
Two projects that stood out to me:
– A Web application in Israel to help “underdog” job seekers – working at finding ways to present candidates to recruiters that “shadows” discriminative criteria.
– e-Portfolios in the Netherlands and a new tool that shows available vacancies suitable for a client’s e-Portfolio in an occupational map. Cool.
You can read the abstracts from these presentations here https://www.iaevg-conference-2012-mannheim.com/programme/session-abstracts/
Through another international source a project that came to my attention was a Women’s Career Counselling project. The project included 12 partners in 8 European countries. The aim was to reach out to women who were in the process of professional reorientation. This multi-language project provided for “a forum moderator, career consultants in the counselling centre and counsellor mentoring, both by nominated, experienced counsellors and by peers…stimulating active networking, experience exchange and empowerment through examples of excellence within the existing network.”  Talk about shifting the paradigm I mentioned in earlier posts.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the International work group on “Transformational Technology” presented a follow-up report at the International Symposium on Career Development and Public Policy in December 2011. The report notes global challenges and opportunities with respect to virtual career service delivery. Despite the prevalence of technology in our lives it seems that virtual career development service delivery “..is still an exotic topic…” that needs to be researched more in-depth.
The report also states, “There is a need to demonstrate to policy makers how virtual career service delivery can help them achieve public policy goals in education, employment, and social equity.”
Which brings us back to the question I started with. There’s still a lot of work to be done.
Dawn Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate of Worldwide Therapy Online Inc. http://www.therapyonline.ca
 Goddard, T. (2010) Online Career Counselling: Developing a Pedagogy for e-career learning. Retrieved on 12 October 2012 from http://www.training-innovations.com/files/Online-Career-Counselling_Jiva2010.pdf.
 Gati, I & Asulin-Peretz, L. (2011) Internet-Based Self-Help Career Assessments and Interventions: Implications for Evidence-Based Career Counseling. Journal of Career Assessment, 19:259 – 273.
De Roof, S, Hui, T. S., & Vincent, C. (2012) Career Motion: How web-based technologies can improve the career choices of young people. SRDC Retrieved on 26 September 2012 from http://www.careermotion.ca/en/files/1313/2639/2243/en_cmreport.pdf
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA