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Careers Guidance Research Symposium March 2015

26 March 2015

  • LMI events

The third Careers Guidance Research Symposium took place on Thursday 19 March 2015 at the University of the West of Scotland and was attended by students studying the qualification in Careers Guidance in Scotland, members of Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and external partners. The theme of the event was 'the Careers Adviser as Researcher'. The keynotes focused on issues of practitioner research and professional identity whilst the workshops showcased the range of research being done in career guidance at the academic level in the morning and at the MSc level in the afternoon. Please contact Colin Mack if you have any questions about the event.

Below are the main take home messages from the workshops on the day. The event programme and presentations are available to download from the Related Media panel opposite.

What has positive psychology ever done for us?
Pete Robertson

Positive psychology has been influential in early 21st century psychology. Unlike fashions in counselling it draws on an extensive empirical evidence base from across the discipline. It is a movement that intends to rebalance psychology to consider human strengths as well as dysfunction. As such it has relevance to helping and coaching activities like guidance that are not psychological therapies. Some of the theories, ideas and the evidence it produces linking work, careers and well-being are potentially very useful to career advisers. However positive psychology does not provide an adequate theory of careers. Its contribution is limited by an individualistic focus, which means a failure to address the social and economic contexts in which clients live.
Sighthill Campus, Edinbugh Napier University

From novice to expert via competence
Janet Moffett and Graham Allan

For students who were surveyed, professionalism in career guidance and counselling is about helping the client, having the opportunity to reflect on their developing practice and having a strong belief in practice that is ethical. Research however suggested that full time students did not explicitly identify with the profession on leaving their course, needing time to be socialised into the job, whereas part time students felt more responsibility to their employer. Students described themselves as competent by the end of their course with aspirations to be proficient but not necessarily expert.
School of Social Sciences, University of the West of Scotland

Doctoral Research in Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)
Emma Bolger

There are opportunities for collaborative research in CEIAG. As a practitioner or graduate you can develop your own projects or look out for funded opportunities. Research in the field is welcome, especially that which builds links between policy makers, academics and practitioners. Try to think of what the broad impact of your research could be, and how you will disseminate it to a wide audience. Engage with the CEIAG research community and look for research gaps.
School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University

College: the best choice or the only choice? A study of the career decision making of young people from ASN schools
Lorraine Rodden

  • Choose something that really interests you - it will keep you going through the two years
  • Timescales - you have two years but some parts will take longer than you'd expect
  • Managing your time - think about what works best for you
  • Supervisor/other support - use support of colleagues and supervisors
  • What would be useful? Previous MSc projects, books on carrying out research
  • Setbacks - there probably will be setbacks but just think about what you are learning from these experiences
Skills Development Scotland

Undertaking research in the workplace, a careers adviser's perspective
Fiona Gibson

Make use of the support that's available to you, don't be afraid to ask your tutor if you're not sure or need some guidance. If you can, get some examples of previous research for reference. Watch your timescales, two years can seem like a long time but some of the approval processes will eat into this time. If you can, find someone as a research buddy, they don't necessarily need to be doing research as well but someone you can speak to about your studying, stresses and to keep you on track. But most of all enjoy the experience!
Skills Development Scotland