Page 1: Introduction
Choosing a career pathway is one of the most important decisions you will ever have to make. It is not just about applying for a job at a point in time and then undertaking a job role. A career is a lifelong process that involves managing your own personal and professional development throughout your working life. This case study examines how it is necessary for you to look into the future, both in the short and long-term, to think realistically about all you hope to achieve from work and what skills you will need to do so.
If you ask your friends about how school or college is helping them to achieve their ambitions, they will probably talk about their performance in obtaining formal qualifications such as A levels or GNVQs, or the prospect of moving on to university to become a graduate. Some may talk about the professional or work-related qualifications they need for their chosen career and they may discuss their plans to take a modern apprenticeship and obtain NVQs in various fields. Qualifications are very important as they provide the knowledge and understanding required for work.
However, in today's competitive market place, where the pace of change is increasing, employers are concerned with how well their employees are equipped with skills as well as academic qualifications. We only have to read the job advertisements in the press to see such requests as these:
- "the credibility and authority to establish a rapport with highly successful and busy people"
- "problem solving skills"
- "Clarity in thinking and articulate in expression"
- "entrepreneurial and management skills"
- "strong leadership and strategic marketing skills"
- "capable of working effectively as part of a team"