Evaluating Careers Through Career Management Systems: How HigherEd Can Stand to Benefit

In the current job market, evaluating career skills and talents at an early stage could benefit more than just the student.

While not entirely new, career management systems have been seen of even greater importance in contemporary job markets than ever before. Largely because the way we hire, work, and excel in our given occupations is at odds with the paradigms that served us just a generation ago. Highly competitive job markets continued degree degradation, and an underemployed labor force has left us with an entirely new system of hiring, working, and educating our skilled workforce.

As opposed to the system that was considered to be standing less than a generation ago, we no longer rely on the “premier to retire” paradigm, in which workers were hired into a position that they kept for decades until it was time to end their careers and begin a life of retirement. Currently, contemporary job markets are much more focused on internal mobility, moving through positions and specialization within a company’s internal structures, as opposed to hiring specific positions externally. Which can exemplify why career management systems are growing in popularity. Helping to shape our workforce from the ground up. Starting with the student and ending with the employer themselves.

Career Management at a Glance

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This is why it’s so incredibly important to not just understand a careers management system, so that it can be implemented in an enduring and effective way, but also understanding the impact that these systems have on the institutions and individuals that choose to utilize them.

A careers management system isn’t necessarily unique to many other types of organizational structures or cloud-based data collection and collation services. Much like biological taxonomy, careers management systems look to better categorize skills and talents through evaluation and study, then link those skills with relevant occupational goals and labor force demands. Which can better equip students with the tools and insight necessary to pursue an occupational path that suits them and their individual abilities. Which can then translate into lasting and satisfying career choices.

While this makes obvious sense on an individual level, as a student has all the incentives necessary to want to participate in such a system, institutions, particularly those of higher education, may not see the benefit as readily. However, perhaps best showcased by theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein, the ability to better tailor education towards individual talents is something that can be of great benefit to institutions and their associated reputations.

“…But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” —Albert Einstein

Learning exactly which course of study best suits an individual student can result in higher grades, a more profound sense of confidence, and see higher rates of success, both within their educational career and within the graduate labor market. Which is something that reflects well on institutions. Learning the best course of action through careers management systems not only allows students a more realistic grasp of post-graduate labor market availability but also can lend great confidence in graduate employability self-assessment.

How These Systems are Implemented

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Depending on what level of employment these systems are implemented (i.e. pre-graduate educational, postgraduate educational, occupational, etc.), largely determines what system will be used. There are a number of standardized tests and assessments that are given to new college and university students in order to help better define their future occupational paths. These initial assessments also serve to dovetail into career exploration systems and finally Career Service Management (CSM) systems.

Which assessments link best with the concomitant career exploration and CSM systems depends highly on the institutions that use either of the latter programs. An example graph can be seen below and is explained in greater detail in a blog post provided by LISTedTECH.

Understanding these links, and applying them to the student’s institution of choice can help to provide more clear guidance on which initial assessment program can be of the greatest benefit to the student. Keeping in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, and many institutions still use more classic assessments such as the Myers and Briggs Type Indicator or Strength Deployment Inventory assessments.

Despite this, what remains important is not only continuing to develop useful assessment tools that are relevant to current labor markets and educational systems but continually improving the interaction between all three points of assessment and the institutions and occupations that use them. Creating a fully functional environment with a clear path from assessment to CSM, further streamlining software and collection methods to keep the system running smoothly and effectively. Furthering the success and employability of the next generation of the workforce.

Benefitting the Student, Benefitting the Institution

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Circling back to the contemporary job market, employers now put renewed focus on utilizing careers management software in such a way that it can help to better identify gaps in development and skills that must be focused on in order to facilitate better movement throughout an internal structure. As the onus of career skills development has been transferred, to a degree, onto the employer themselves. Which software and career management programs employers choose to use can have an impact on those systems chosen by institutions and students. This is because all such systems must work symbiotically for all three parties involved.

As it’s imperative that each group— the student, the educational institution, and the employer— must use programs that easily communicate amongst each other. A better facilitating widespread benefit to all parties involved. As the employer can benefit from a system that has helped shape the right worker for a job, a student can achieve better employability and confidence in their skills, while an institution can benefit from both of these instances. In such, that a high postgraduate employment rate, as well as successful students, can improve the reputation of an institution. Specifically, if they have the data necessary to back up these accolades.

So, it can be simple to see that career management systems provide great benefits. Not just to students and employers, but also to the higher education institutions that they represent.