The Role of Career Education on Students' Education Choices and Post-Secondary Outcomes: Results Presentation - SRDC

The Role of Career Education on Students’ Education Choices and Post-Secondary Outcomes: Results Presentation


Finding ways for young people to achieve their full potential is a universally shared political objective, whether the ultimate goal is economic growth, innovation and competitiveness, or promoting social inclusion and reducing social and health inequalities. Many from disadvantaged groups will need to pursue post-secondary education (apprenticeship, college or university) to thrive in the global knowledge economy. Yet many face barriers to pursuing their preferred career pathway. Lack of confidence in the affordability of the required educational pathways, reduced access to knowledgeable professional advice, potential mentors, role models or other information supports, inertia in decision-making and discrimination can all negatively affect timely decision-making.

While Canada is an international leader on many indicators of K-12 education performance (OECD, 2010a) and has among the highest rates of PSE attainment of all OECD countries (Buchanan, 2013), it still has a significant proportion of youth who leave the formal education system ill-equipped for their transition to the world of work. Transition “derailment” can take many forms:

  • Students leaving high school before graduating;
  • High school graduates who go straight to the workplace but struggle to provide the job skills required of them;
  • High school graduates who go on to apprenticeships, college or university but who drop out, or switch inefficiently, citing a lack of “fit”; and
  • PSE graduates who secure employment after graduation for which they are substantively overqualified who can question the investments they made in PSE (which can in turn deter others from making educational investments) and feel dissatisfaction with their work.

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