Best Careers Resources for Schools

July 2024 — Use EdTech Impact to find the best careers resources for your school. Compare customer reviews, features and pricing, or learn more in our Careers guide .

Buyer's Guide

Learn About Careers Resources 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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Learn About Careers Resources 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 careers education resources for a potential solution.

What are Careers Resources

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

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

Typically, careers education resources encompass one or more of the following types:

  • Explorative: Tools that provide in-depth information on all the various aspects of potential careers, affording students a comprehensive understanding of the job market and industry landscapes.
  • Strategic: Careers education resources for students to effectively chart their pathway by allowing them to map out their future, set goals, and create actionable plans.
  • Preparative: Resources that build students’ skills, competence, and confidence through exercises and activities, making them well-equipped to enter the job market or pursue further education.

Common Features of Careers Resources for Schools

Careers education resources are incredibly diverse. They serve various age groups, cater to a wide range of objectives, and can be centred around specific career pathways. This means that careers resources for schools exhibit a significant degree of variability from one product to another.

With that said, there are several essential features and tools commonly found among the three primary types:

Explorative Careers Education Resources

Alumni Networks: Connect learners with former students who can offer valuable careers counselling and mentorship on different paths.

Virtual Workshops and Fairs: 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: Help students discover and learn more about courses relevant to their career ambitions.

Job Search Resources: Assist students in finding part-time jobs and understanding the overall job market landscape.

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

Specialist Material: In-depth information tailored towards specific career pathways.

Preparative Careers Education Resources

Skills Builder Exercises: Develop students’ skills and competencies essential to career development. This may include CV and cover letter writing, or digital sessions for building interview skills and confidence.

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

Strategic Careers Education Resources

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

Online Career Portals: Comprehensive careers provision in schools, offering information on colleges, universities, vocational programs, scholarships, and various pathways.

Career Planning Technology: Assist students in setting goals, tracking progress, and planning their educational and career paths.

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

Data collection and reporting: Offer an overview of how students engage with careers education resources. This data allows schools to evaluate the effectiveness of their careers guidance for students 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 Careers Resources for Schools

Careers education resources offer numerous benefits that enhance careers counselling and support within educational institutions, as well as 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 resources for schools simplify the recording and tracking of both student and institutional progress. This supports a top-down understanding of how students are engaging with their learning and the overall effectiveness of their student career guidance.

Certain careers resources for schools, such as Xello, support integration with your Management Information System (MIS), centralising data management.

3. Parental Support

Some careers education resources offer parental access, enabling guardians 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 programme.

Many careers resources for schools incorporate Gatsby Benchmark reporting, facilitating alignment with best practice standards and 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.

Careers education resources will often have tools that increase awareness and access to apprenticeships that 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.

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

Careers Resources for Schools: Developing a 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.

1. Matching your Students’ Needs

Examine 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.

A useful starting point is understanding the level of informational support your students require. While some careers education resources offer a broad perspective on working life, providing insights into various industry sectors, others are more specialised, focusing on specific guidance.

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

Beyond informational tools, consider the practical support your students need. 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.

2. Become Familiarised with your School’s CIEAG Policy Aims and Gaps

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?

By approaching careers education resources from this critical lens, you can ensure your research is concentrated on how the solution will align with and enhance the goals of your school’s programme.

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

Careers Education Resources: User Experience

What impact is being observed by users?

To simplify the process of market research, 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 help, we conducted an analysis of the careers resources for schools found on our marketplace. This revealed what impact the vendor expects you to receive, alongside how they are actually performing in the real world (based on qualitative and quantitative feedback from their customers).

Careers Resources for Schools: Pricing

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 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.

Here’s what our experts think the future holds:

  • “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
  • “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. So, looking at the trend of careers now, it seems that the most popular jobs will be anything related to social media and technology.

    Unfortunately, this will reduce human interaction and, 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

Final Advice and Next Steps

Careers resources for schools 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 buyers’ 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!

Updated on: 16 April 2024

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