Career Guidance Failure

It was only a small heading in “The Advertiser” and the column that went with it was short, but it came as no surprise to that group of us who are organisational psychologists and career guidance counsellors. The heading read, “Drop out rate shock.” It went on to say that one in three university students considered leaving their course before graduation.

Although the attrition rate is actually somewhere around 20%, this statistic belies the fact that a significant proportion of university students, as well as those in TAFE colleges and vocational or training institutes, are dissatisfied and de-motivated. Maybe they did actually complete their course for a degree, a diploma or a certificate, but they end up just turning up and finishing it for the sake of doing so. What a waste of human potential.

In our so-called “clever” country, we are NOT clever when it comes to providing career guidance to our secondary and tertiary students.

How is it that we are so good at providing courses and educating young people, but so woeful at providing direction for their actual career goals and pathways?