We start to imprint the idea of having just one career on children when they are very young, with the whole of the British education system geared towards teaching children the academic skills they will need in their chosen career path. Many schools have career guidance counsellors who begin to talk to students from the age of 16, offering them advice and practical knowledge on how to get into their chosen industry.
But one thing currently being considered is whether this is too young? Can children really know everything the world has to offer and the opportunities available to them? In a recent research study undertaken by Oxford Learning Trust, 2000 adults were questioned about the careers advice they received at school and if it was beneficial to their chosen industrial field. Over a third of those surveyed felt that the education and advice offered to them has not been sufficient enough to prepare them for the career path they are currently working in.
In the study, a huge 71% of candidates stated that their current employment field is not where they wanted to end up, and 18% of them felt they were given little or no advice before leaving secondary school, a time where many of our youth who have not opted to go to university start to embark upon the early stages of their careers.
Many theories also exist that up until recently, schools were stereotypical in their careers advice, often pushing young women towards more traditional roles such as receptionists and PA’s. However, it is now recorded that only 3% of female students feel they have been led towards gender specific roles, with many girls aged between 11 and 16 focussing on subjects such as engineering, mathematics, and science.
These results and the advice given at such a young age may explain why we see so many candidates opting for a career change between the age of 25 and 30. Many have undertaken new training and academic courses and understand that a career is more than just a pay cheque. Over 65% of women surveyed said they would happily re-train and undergo further education to make those career changes.