Best Careers Resources for Schools

December 2023 — Use EdTech Impact to find the best careers resources for your school. Compare customer reviews, features and pricing.

Buyer's Guide

Career Planning Resources: A Guide for Schools

Keep on top of the ever-changing careers guidance landscape, and discover effective research techniques to find the right solutions, with our comprehensive guide.

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Career Planning Resources: A Guide for Schools

In recent years, sweeping reforms in the field of careers education and guidance have ushered in higher expectations and greater demands on schools and colleges regarding their careers provision.

As a response to these increased pressures and standards, many institutions have turned to digital career planning resources for a potential solution.

In this guide, we will cover:

  • What career planning resources are
  • Their common features and benefits
  • How to develop an effective procurement strategy
  • Ways to conduct effective research of the careers market
  • The typical cost of careers education resources
  • What the future holds for careers provisioning, both within schools and the EdTech sector
  • Our top rated resources

What are Career Planning Resources

Career planning resources are digital tools, programs, and materials that educational institutions employ to assist students in exploring, strategising, and preparing for future careers. These resources seamlessly integrate into a school’s career information, education, advice and guidance (CIEAG) provision, aligning with the statutory guidance of the Gatsby Benchmark to ensure students are given high-quality career support.

The Gatsby Benchmarks provide a best practice standard for careers support.

Careers education resources typically encompass one or more of the following types:

  • Explorative: These tools offer in-depth information on all the various aspects of potential careers, affording students a comprehensive understanding of the job market and industry landscapes.
  • Strategic: Strategic career planning resources focus on helping students effectively chart their pathway. They helps learners map out their future, set goals, and create actionable plans.
  • Preparative: A preparative careers education resource aims to build students’ skills, competence, and confidence, typically through exercises and activities. This makes them well-equipped to enter the job market or pursue further education.

Common Features of Career Planning Resources

Career planning resources are incredibly diverse, serving various age groups, catering to a wide range of objectives, and having the ability to centre around specific career pathways. . Consequently, they exhibit a significant degree of variability from one product to another.

However, there are several essential features and tools are commonly found in effective careers education resources, including:

Explorative Features

Alumni Networks: These platforms connects learners with former students who can offer valuable advice and mentorship on different career paths.

Virtual Workshops and Fairs: Virtual workshops or seminars that introduce students to various career options, industries, and job roles. These events often feature specific representatives who provide insights into specific careers, educational institutions, and training programs.

NOVVA Tech‘s virtual fairs allow students to connect to universities and filter by course.

Course search and shortlisting: Specialised search platforms help students discover and learn more about courses relevant to their career ambitions.

Job Search Resources: These include job search websites and online job boards that assist students in finding part-time jobs and understanding the overall job market landscape.

Labour Market Information: Online databases, articles, and resources provide up-to-date information about career trends, job market data, and educational requirements for specific industries.

Specialist Material: Tailored content provides in-depth information about specific careers,


Skills Builder Exercises: Activities and assignments help students develop skills and competencies essential for their career development. This may include CV and cover letter writing, or digital sessions for building interview skills and confidence.

Assessment Insights: Online assessments enable students to discover their interests, strengths, ambitions, and values. They also provide information on potential career paths aligned with their personality traits.


Financial Aid and Scholarship Information: These resources offer guidance on applying for financial aid, scholarships, and grants to help students fund their education.

Online Career Portals: Schools can provide access to online platforms offering information on colleges, universities, vocational programs, scholarships, and various career pathways.

Career Planning Technology: Specialised software or platforms assist students in setting goals, tracking progress, and planning their educational and career paths.

Parent Dashboards: These platforms provide parents with insights into their child’s progress, ensuring a collaborative approach to career planning.

Data collection and reporting: Data reports offer an overview of how students engage with career resources. This data allows schools to evaluate the effectiveness of their career provision and implement personalised interventions.

Reporting isn’t restricted to single schools; it can also be extended to your Multi-Academy Trust. This can help you understand the individual careers guidance needs of each specific school, as well as overall trends, strengths and areas for improvement. 

Typical Benefits of Career Planning Resources

Career planning resources offer numerous benefits that enhance career guidance and support within educational institutions, and ensure compliance with essential standards and regulations in the field of education. Here are the typical benefits of using these resources:

Career Guidance and Support

1. Essential Careers Information, Activities, and Opportunities

Quality careers education resources provide immediate access to a wealth of career development activities, skill-building opportunities, and up-to-date labour market information related to further education, apprenticeships, and career pathways.

2. Information Tracking

Careers education software simplifies the recording and tracking of both student and institutional progress. This allows schools to understand how students are engaging with their learning, and assess the overall effectiveness of their careers education programme.

Certain career guidance resources support integration with your Management Information System (MIS), centralising data management.

3. Parental Support

Certain careers education software offer parental access, enabling parents to gain insights into their child’s use of available resources, and better identify how they can provide support and guidance.

Careers Programme Compliance

1. Gatsby Benchmark Reporting

The UK government’s Careers Strategy delivers a guidance framework centred around the eight Gatsby Benchmarks, a globally recognised system for developing a coherent and well-established careers education system. 

Many career planning resources incorporate Gatsby Benchmark reporting, assisting schools in aligning with best practice standards and demonstrating compliance with CIEAG provision.

Unifrog helps schools track and meet the Gatsby Benchmark.

2. Provider Access Legislation Adherence

The Baker Clause, introduced by the UK government in 2018, constitutes a statutory requirement among schools and colleges to ensure training providers are able to provide students with information about technical education and apprenticeships. In 2022, the Skills and Post-16 Act developed on these demands, stipulating that a minimum number of six provider encounters must be introduced, and every school had to introduce parameters around the duration and content of these encounters to ensure the highest quality.

Career planning resources with tools for increasing awareness of, and access to, apprenticeships can help schools meet these requirements.

3. Ofsted Evidencing

In the UK, Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework legally requires inspectors to assess the quality of a school’s careers provision for 16-18 year olds, as well as students aged up to 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan. They assess the quality of a school’s CIEAG provision, and how well it benefits pupils in choosing and deciding on their next steps. Additionally, the assessment will also always report where a school falls short of the requirements outlined in the provider access legislation.

Look for careers resources that collate, analyse, and document information to help you evidence the work your school is doing to meet Ofsted standards.

Developing a Careers Software Procurement Strategy

Before searching for career planning resources, it is important to develop a procurement strategy tailored to your students’ needs and informed by your school’s existing careers education programme. This will enable you to outline specific objectives that act as a vital foundation for effective market research.

Matching your Students’ Needs

Begin with examining your students’ unique needs in terms of career guidance and support. This will ensure that your eventual solution aligns precisely with the requirements of the students it is designed to serve.

Understanding the level of informational support your students require is a useful starting point. This is because some career planning resources can provide a broad perspective on working life, enabling students to gain insights into diverse options and industry sectors, whilst others are more specialised, providing specific student career guidance.

The Medic Portal provides a go-to resource for aspiring medics.

Beyond informational tools, consider the practical areas of careers education that your students need extra support with. For example, certain careers education resources are focused on job application upskilling, and do so by honing essential areas like CV writing and interview techniques.

Understanding Your School’s CIEAG Policy Aims and Targeting Gaps in its Strategy

Rash purchasing decisions, based on poorly planned procurement strategies, have often been an achilles heel for many EdTech projects, culminating in wasted money and decreased staff confidence towards digital solutions.

To ensure you are positioned to make an informed purchasing decision, anchor your strategy in your school’s distinct CIEAG policy. What are its main objectives? Can you identify any gaps and/or areas for improvement?

Think Like This
Consider a scenario where you discern that your existing CIEAG provision, while rich in information, struggles to capture or sustain student interest. Despite many other career planning resources also offering comprehensive courses for building essential skills and competencies, it would be counterproductive to prioritise your next procurement decision based on the extent or volume of content alone. Instead, your research would be centred around finding a solution conducive to creating an immersive and engaging learning experience for your students, as well as supporting the acquisition and retention of careers knowledge.

Upskill Me’s user-friendly, gamified interface makes careers learning more inviting for students.

By nurturing a suitable critical perspective for your procurement strategy, you can ensure your research is concentrated on how an EdTech solution will align with and enhance the goals of your school’s careers education programme. This proactive approach will prevent distraction by the tool that looks the most fun or impressive.

User Experience of Career Planning Resources

What impact is being observed by users?

Beginning your market research can feel like a daunting task when you’re faced with a multitude of options. To simplify this process, it’s essential to gain a contextual understanding of the landscape. This involves comprehending exactly what the solutions in this market aim to achieve, and how effectively they’re perceived to actually deliver these goals.

To aid you in this endeavour, we conducted an analysis of our career resources. This revealed the most common solution outcomes that providers aim for, and the observed impact of these objectives. Here are the results:

This contextual research provides an early scope into the solutions’ general strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to formulate questions that future research intends to uncover.

Take the observed performance of parental engagement, for instance. With the first two steps of the Gatsby Benchmark necessitating the involvement of parents in careers support, the middling performance and low commonality of Improve Parent Engagement denotes a limitation among careers education resources to support adherence to its first two stages.

Similarly, the lower impact of teaching outcomes raises important research questions for potential buyers. To effectively integrate careers support into their curriculum – as necessitated by the fourth Gatsby benchmark – subject specialists need sufficient access to valuable information, guidance, and lesson plans that can be effectively embedded into their teaching.

Conversely, the observed impact of career planning resources on student outcomes presents a promising avenue for market research. It indicates the potential to find a solution that enhances students’ knowledge of career opportunities and educational pathways, and motivates them to achieve the grades necessary for their desired courses and career paths.

What do the reviews say?

While every EdTech provider will claim their solution can improve your school’s educational outcomes, disparities in quality are a reality. Therefore, whilst the observed performance of career planning resources provides a general scope on the sector’s strengths and weaknesses, real critical evaluation involves knowing why, specifically, the individual solution supports (or doesn’t support) an outcome, and comparing the context in which it was used to your own.

This is exactly where user reviews can help. By providing specific insights into the market’s solutions, reviews facilitate a nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the realm of careers education software. This can significantly shape and inform your decision-making process, ensuring that you make well-informed choices aligned with the unique needs and objectives of your procurement strategy.

Moreover, at EdTech Impact, we actively encourage reviewers to provide detailed contextual information, such as the duration and frequency of use of a particular solution. This context is essential because many variables can influence a user’s experience with a solution, so finding reviews that closely resemble your situation is key.

How to embed user experience into your research

Whilst user experience data insights into the performance of solutions offer formative context for researching any EdTech market, a procurement strategy that uses them to form blanket judgements on individual products will inevitably fall short.

This is especially relevant when it comes to career planning resources. Given the recent implementation of government statutory requirements and guidance benchmarks, the adoption of careers education software is occurring concurrently with schools’ efforts to enhance the integration of advice and support into their curricula. Consequently, as schools and colleges work toward the formal integration of career tools based on these elevated standards, poor impact ratings may actually be constitutive of transitional changes occurring within the institutions themselves.

A more effective approach, therefore, is to pair contextual performance data with user reviews in a manner that informs and shapes your research. For instance, if solutions aimed at achieving teacher outcomes receive low ratings, focus on understanding the specific reasons that are relevant to your strategic objectives. Are the automated features actually ineffective at reducing teacher workload, or are they simply poorly realised due to bad planning or an ongoing transitional integration of careers support and advice into the school’s curriculum?

Conversely, if performance ratings dictate that career planning resources successfully build student knowledge, what specifically is each solution doing to achieve that outcome?

Ultimately, pairing performance data with specific user reviews allows for a more comprehensive evaluation that considers the broader context and nuances surrounding each prospective solution.

Understanding the Pricing of Career Planning Resources

While many online career resources offer free services, others provide a range of packages to accommodate different budgets. Fee-charging platforms typically aim to deliver more comprehensive and individually-tailored support.

If your CIEAG policy necessitates a comprehensive fee-based solution, it’s essential to understand the expected costs when searching for the right careers education software for your students. On EdTech Impact, the average annual subscription cost is £440, with a median price of £400.

If you are paying for a resource, be certain that its features outperform that of a free product. With EdTech Impact’s simple comparison tool, important subtle distinctions between products’ features, benefits, and pricing can be unearthed. Here’s an example of Unifrog vs Indigo vs Xello vs Morrisby.

What’s Next for Career Planning Resources?

As schools rapidly transform their career strategies to meet shifting demands and pressures, there emerges a critical need for digital solutions to similarly evolve to ensure they’re well-equipped for the challenge.

To better understand how exactly schools and EdTech solutions are staying ahead of this curve, we asked careers specialists and our highest rated what they think the future holds. Here’s what they had to say:

  • “It is always hard to predict the future of EdTech – often things that we expect will change quickly actually take many years to influence products. However, one thing remains certain: Artificial intelligence (AI) is going to have a significant impact on our products, the careers guidance sector, and the EdTech sector as a whole.

    Picture your own personalised career guidance AI avatar, equipped with access to top-tier career information, an extensive database of courses and apprenticeships, and a deep understanding of you through psychometric profiling. This AI can offer invaluable assistance far beyond what’s currently available.” – Morrisby
  • “In the upcoming 3-5 years, we envisage the convergence of advanced technology, artificial intelligence, and personalised learning to support the evolution of robust career advice and work experience technology.

    This will be pivotal in moulding a workforce that is not just skilled and confident, but also well-versed with the dynamics and demands of the contemporary professional world.” – Grofar
  • We believe that the future of careers EdTech is personalisation. As no two schools or students are the same, the ability to tailor services to meet the needs of both will become a priority.” – Indigo
  • As its power is increasingly harnessed to make the process of transition into higher education and careers faster, easier and more personalised, we see careers EdTech gaining significant space in high schools around the world in the coming years.

    This is because EdTech not only amplifies relevant outcomes and quickens the pace of research into personalised opportunities, but because it powerfully impacts the ability of careers advisers and counsellors to guide students forwards. Not least, it also provides vast scope for reducing the environmental impact of the sector, delivering enhanced results in a far more sustainable way.” – NOVVA Tech
  • Social media and digital advances over the last decade have redefined how young people and individuals evidence talent and skills, and this world of ‘disruptive talent’ can be seen through influencers and entrepreneurs whose success has come through skills not just developed through a GCSE or A-Level. The future of EdTech, therefore, will reposition what we know and define as ‘human capital’. – Globalbridge
  • “Looking at the trend of careers now, it seems that the most popular jobs will be anything related to social media and technology. My advice would be to learn as much as possible about the technological aspect of every current career because therein lies the big bucks. Social media seems to be the springboard for everything: from the most mundane activity, such as shopping, to more serious activities like important financial meetings. 

    Unfortunately, this will reduce human interaction as most people will plan, organise, and manage in front of a computer. Since humans are naturally social beings, this will affect our mental health, leading to a potential upsurge in careers structured around Health and Wellness. Due to the activity online, there will also be an upsurge in Data protection and Cyber security jobs. 

    Another aspect I feel will be more prominent will be renewable energy. There will be a spike in people trying to investigate how we can clean up the world, protect the flora and fauna of the world while managing whatever natural resources have already been used. New careers in this aspect will spring up and I am sure each of them will have exciting titles for example ‘Green Energy Policy Enforcer’. ” – Eniola Spiff, Grange School, Nigeria

The Highest Rated Career Planning Resources



A university destinations platform that allows students to explore pathways, evidence key activities and competencies, and draft and collate feedback on job application processes.



CRM software that allows UK schools, colleges, and learning providers to manage their students’ careers-related education, work experience, and business engagement activities.



Featuring a bank of lesson plans, data tracking, and a personal statement builder, Indigo pairs its student support with demonstrable metrics on adherence to the Gatsby Benchmark.



Connects students with universities via virtual fairs, and offers detailed institution and course information. Filtering allows students to select specific courses that match their interests.



Activities to help students explore their abilities, personality, and ambition, and detailed career information that aids them in discovering the world of work and pathways forward.

The Medic Portal

The Medic Portal

A go-to resource for aspiring medics, The Medic Portal pairs application guidance with insightful content and full in-house support to partner schools.



Connects young people with employers, apprenticeships and universities, and provides students with a digital record of achievement that lasts a lifetime.



A future-readiness program connecting students to university profiles and delivering integrated lessons and assessments for a personalised and engaging careers learning experience.



Used throughout one’s academic journey, Start helps students evidence achievements and career development, and provides ongoing information, advice, and tools to build their knowledge.

My Future

My Future

Provides critical and timely real-world information about salary and employability prospects to aid the decision-making process for young people and their parents.

Unsure about the above? Don’t worry – we have 26 more careers resources for you to take a look at.

Final Advice and Next Steps

Career planning resources constitute an exceptionally diverse array of solutions for prospective buyers to choose from. Pair this with the evolving and rigorous demands that schools face regarding their CIEAG provision, and identifying the ideal solution can appear especially complex.

This buyer’s guide, by serving as your compass for effectively navigating the careers marketplace, will equip you with a set of pertinent questions to reveal the perfect tool for your specific requirements.

To maintain an organised approach when comparing solutions, remember to document notes and implement a scoring system in a spreadsheet. Best of luck!

Having familiarised yourself with career planning solutions, why not take a look at the many careers resources found on EdTech Impact?

Updated on: 9 October 2023

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