A-GRADES is Live!

The Round 1 A-GRADES questionnaire is now live and awaiting student and graduate participants from any degree or discipline both domestic or international. Access to the online A-GRADES questionnaire can be found here. It takes no more than 10 minutes to complete. Your participation is vital for the construction, validation, and production of this personal employability measure.

Project Aim

The project A-GRADES (Australian Graduates Employability Scale) aims to create a career development tool specific to the Australian higher education context. Now under construction by the R&D team at ACCELL, A-GRADES is designed for students and graduates, university personnel (e.g., career practitioners, work-integrated learning specialists), and researchers across academic fields. The project is funded by Graduate Careers Australia as part of GCA’s Graduate Research Program.

A-GRADES Data Collection-Round 1

Cross area, pan-university collaboration is vital for the three sequential stages of national data collection beginning with the Round 1 questionnaire. This breadth will ensure that sampling accounts for age, discipline, gender, and other data that may be used to test for measurement invariance and assure normative representation where practicable. The project has received ethical clearance from the host institution, University of Southern Queensland.

Rationale

A-GRADES is intended to assess personal qualities related to career self-management and employment. Aside from competency based appraisals of a graduates’ knowledge and skills, research demonstrates factors such as self-efficacy, proactivity, and adaptability influence employability of graduates and their chance of securing decent work–and this is where ACCELL is focused on making a difference. These characteristic adaptations that improve a person’s chances of working in a good job can be learned. For example, one of the most important factors is self-efficacy that is associated with well-defined job search strategies that target the “right job” not just “any job”. Professional career development practitioners know about these strategies and how to develop their clients’ self-efficacy.  Our R&D will sharpen the tools for improving their effectiveness and positive impact.

Practical Applications

A package of online training modules will be developed and delivered to nominated staff of universities and their Career Services.  This training will ensure that the end-users (e.g., students and graduates) obtain optimal utility from A-GRADES (e.g., in career development interventions, coursework). Therefore, A-GRADES may be used within learning activities that develop students’ career management knowledge and skills, and their preparations for employment.  A-GRADES will become a useful tool for Student Services’ personnel who are involved in students’ career development, work-integrated learning, and employment.

We will provide regular updates on the ACCELL website about the project A-GRADES and professional development opportunities.  Access to the online A-GRADES questionnaire can be found here.

Further Information:

Please make contact with the project coordinator, Dr Allison Creed, if you need further information about the project and A-GRADES. Allison.Creed@usq.edu.au

Writing and Telling a Career Story

Stories are universal. Cultures include stories; cultures are stories-incomplete stories, always evolving. Every person has a story; a person is a story-an incomplete story, always evolving. At their confluence, the stories of cultures manifest through individuals, and individuals express themselves through the stories of their cultures.  As such, one is a story of the other, with each reflecting one another.  Indeed, on this planet, there are seven billion stories and counting, incomplete and always evolving, as diverse as all the peoples on earth, yet, somehow humanely very similar to one another.  How these many stories are told, heard, and created is very much the domain of counselling. Continue reading

Cool Tools for Career Practitioners

Career development interventions that are relevant, engaging, and accessible are better for supporting individuals’ progress toward their goals.  Career development resources have been used for decades to support people to understand their career needs, explore available career opportunities, make career decisions, and assist career practitioners in build rapport with clients.  Things have changed a bit.  “Back in the day” career practitioners used encyclopedic books that listed occupations and their tasks, responsibilities, and qualifications (e.g., The Job Guide). With exponential change–automation, massification, globalization–we are now in a very different world and career development tools have suddenly gotten cool (in my opinion at least)!

Engaging Career Development Resources

Recently, I was privileged to present “Engaging Career Development Resources” workshop at the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) national conference. It was fantastic to see locals and delegates from interstate and overseas coming together to learn about practical, engaging career development resources that can be used with a diversity of clients in a constantly changing career landscape.  In the workshop, I shared a list of Career Resources that can be used to support clients understand the plethora of opportunities and the necessary skills, qualifications, and experiences, they may need to meet their career potentials.

Youth unemployment is at an all time high, and so are change and innovation. It has never been more important to support the members of our various communities to develop their understandings of themselves, the changing world of work, and the opportunities for their futures. I hope you can make good use of these Career Resources to make a difference for your students and clients, and yourself.

Carolyn Alchin, Career Development Practitioner. twitter: @Careermumcaro

 

CDAA Keynote Speakers Podcast

The Career Development Association of Australia brought four keynote speakers to its 2017 annual conference of members and industry bodies.  Listen to brief interviews with Dr Ryan Duffy, Dr Ann Villiers, Dr Peter McIlveen, and Ms Marayke Jonkers, to learn more about their ideas for the field of career development.

Psychology of Working

ACCELL International Fellow, Dr Ryan Duffy, and ACCELL Research Director, Dr Peter McIlveen, emphasize issues associated with the psychology of working, decent work, unemployment, and evidence-based practice.


Acknowledgement: Thanks to CDAA Communications Officer, Georgia Kelly-Bakker, who recorded and produced the podcast.

Data Collections

ACCELL is currently collecting survey data for several research projects.  Please contribute to our work by completing one or more of the data collection sites linked below.

A-GRADES

The project A-GRADES (Australian Graduates Employability Scale) aims to create a career development tool for students and graduates. It is intended that the tool be used to ascertain personal qualities related to career management and employment. Also, the tool may be used within learning activities that develop students’ career management knowledge and skills, and their preparations for employment. The tool will be useful to students, graduates, and university staff (e.g., career practitioners, work-integrated learning specialists). If you are a current university student or a university graduate of any degree then please enter the A-GRADES survey site here.

Decent Work and Location

The notion of “decent work” refers to fair, safe, and equitable conditions of employment as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). This project will contribute to that international study and also explore a range of factors, such as psychological flexibility, career adaptability, decent work, meaningfulness of work, work engagement, place attachment, and job satisfaction, that influence the wellbeing and retention of workers in non-metropolitan areas of Australia. If you are a current university student or a university graduate of any degree then please enter the survey site here.