Career development – Year 9 to 13

Learn how teaching career management competencies helps Year 9 to 13 students manage their life, learning and work and assists them with decisions at key transition points. Find out how all teachers can contribute to career development through a school-wide approach.

Teach career management competencies

Two students study at a laptop on a desk

Competencies developed in secondary school will help students throughout their careers

Teaching students career management competencies supports them to develop self-knowledge and understanding, and the skills and attributes to manage their life, learning and work – particularly during key transition points.  

The competencies, which are based on international research and practice, are grouped into four areas:

  • developing self-awareness – competencies that enable young people to understand themselves and the influences on them
  • exploring opportunities – competencies that enable young people to investigate opportunities in learning and work
  • deciding and acting – competencies that enable young people to make and adjust their plans, to manage change and transition, and take appropriate action
  • transitions – competencies that enable young people to transition smoothly to, through and from secondary school to further education or employment.

Adopt a school-wide approach

A planning book is open on a desk

A career development plan brings a school's programmes together into a coherent framework

Career education and guidance is most effective when it is an integral part of school life. Having a school-wide, integrated approach to career development means all staff:

  • recognise career education and guidance is a shared responsibility
  • contribute to career development within the school.

To support a school-wide approach, schools need to have:

  • strong vision and support from the board, principal and senior management
  • an across-school career team to set up systems and evaluate career development
  • career activities planned in advance for career-related events in students' lives
  • ongoing promotion and communication around careers and sharing of information
  • planned and sustainable development of career development programmes across curriculum areas and pastoral networks
  • professional development and support for teachers.

This step-by-step guide can help career teams or career development specialists come up with a plan to integrate career development throughout their schools.

Case studies from schools

Examples from schools taking a school-wide approach to career development.

Rangitoto College

At Rangitoto College a team of representatives from curriculum areas across the school support a school-wide approach to career development. They encourage departments to:

  • become more involved in career-related activities
  • increase teachers’ awareness and knowledge of career pathways
  • develop stronger school-wide links with other departments and career staff
  • distribute and display career information in their departments.

One Tree Hill College

One Tree Hill College created a pathways programme for all students in Year 9 to 13 to enable them to plan their future learning and career goals. Features of the programme include:

  • form teachers mentoring and supporting the students to identify their strengths, set goals and monitor their progress
  • career activities being completed during form time with each student having their own pathways folder, kept by the form teacher
  • parents being encouraged to be involved in the process.

St Thomas of Canterbury College

At St Thomas of Canterbury College classroom teachers attend professional learning and development through tertiary and industry visits.

Teachers also record data about career development activities they have led in the classroom in staff planning books.

Updated 20 Jun 2022