There has been a tremendous buzz in the media lately about unemployment, the lack of skills and how universities aren’t preparing their graduates for the world of work. To be frank, I take it all with a grain of salt. While there is no doubt that unemployment is a problem, I am still an old fashioned believer that students should pursue their passions and a university degree opens doors. In 2010, University Canada published an entire series of articles about the value of a university degree (http://www.univcan.ca/media-room/publications/the-value-of-a-university-degree/). On average over their lifetime, university graduates earn $1.3 million more than high school graduates and $1 million more than community college graduates. The National Center for Education Statistics (nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_tba.asp) publishes rates of employment by educational level and the university graduates and again university graduates are well ahead of other educational paths. Similar results are found by the U.S. bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm).
The issue for the vast majority of students starting university is that they aren’t yet ready to choose a specific career path and that’s okay. University is a place where students can explore their passions. For years, I took annual road trips to universities to chat with my former high school students. A key question I often asked was “What are you studying now?” Inevitably, the vast majority would tell me about a fascinating course or professor they experienced which changed their path. I am pleased to say that virtually all of them are highly successful and employed. You see, whatever they studied, they learned valuable transferable skills which have opened doors for them. Continue reading *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA
Benjamin Guth loves making a difference so when the rules for Canada’s temporary foreign worker program changed, Benjamin started MobilizeJobs.ca to put unemployed Canadian youth to work. He told Career Buzz listeners (May 27, 2015), “I get to send them on adventures. It’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.”
How the clues apply to you: That podcast also featured the fascinating career story of engineer and successful startup co-founder Jon Fishbein, who shifted careers when he became “really bored” with one of his jobs. His question to himself can be your question to yourself: “Is this the contribution I want to be making?” And another question inspired by Ben Guth: “What is the most fun I can have at work?”
Download and enjoy learning from the whole podcast.
Launch — or relaunch — your career adventure or someone’s you care about by investing an exploratory consultation with one of our amazing team of career professionals.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA
“Too many of the young and jobless have given more thought to what brand of jeans to buy than their career plan,” writes Neil Sandell in an article entitled Career education lacking in Canada in the Atkinson Series on youth unemployment published in the Toronto Star.
It’s not just youth who suffer from lack of career clarification; adults too lack career clarity. We spend 100,000 hours in our careers, so why do we invest so little time – some estimates put it at less than 20 hours for the average Canadian – in focused career planning and exploration?
Sandell says that, for youth, the problem is a combination of unhelpful advice from parents, patchy career education, lack of career exploration experience, among other factors. You can hear more in my interview with Neil Sandell on Career Buzz.
From my perspective leading a busy career management social enterprise, CareerCycles, serving individual clients of all ages and stages, it’s a mess out there. Career management is arguably the most important 21st century skill, and yet the vast majority of Canadians don’t possess a high enough level of that skill, don’t realize they can learn it, and don’t know where to turn.
Continue reading *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA