Last updated: 07.11.14

Pilot study highlights students’ desire for engaging, interactive careers information

A new report from pioneering online learning provider, Virtual College, has highlighted students’ desire for careers advice to include engaging, interactive information and resources.

The pilot study was carried out across five schools, with teachers, careers advisers and learners being surveyed on prototypes of Virtual College’s Career VOOC®s (Vocational Online Open Courses). The purpose of the Career VOOCs is to allow career seekers to explore options in an interactive and engaging manner. The VOOCs are available to schools free of charge, allowing them to provide independent careers advice without causing budgetary issues.

The research demonstrated that 83% of students would use Career VOOCs as part of considering their career options and choices, with 98% indicating that they would recommend the VOOCs to a friend. 76% would use the VOOCs outside of school, highlighting the importance that students are placing on receiving structured and informative careers advice and demonstrating that they don’t view careers advice as simply part of the curriculum.

The feedback from schools was focused on Ofsted and Local Authority requirements for them to deliver impartial and practical careers advice, and the issues of doing so within current financial constraints. Delivering such advice cost one of the schools thousands of pounds per annum. Head teachers and careers advisers were keen to find out more about the VOOCs with a view to using them to complement and enhance the careers provision they already had cost effectively.

“Feedback from these schools has really got to the heart of the issue around how careers advice is delivered in schools,” commented Rod Knox, CEO of Virtual College.

“Students want this advice and teachers want to be able to deliver it efficiently and effectively, but often budget constraints get in the way.

“We are proud of the positive feedback regarding the VOOC® prototypes, especially the fact that the vast majority of students would recommend them to their friends and use them to consider their career options.

“We are looking forward to implementing all the feedback received and developing the VOOCs further, and are hoping to roll these for use in schools in early 2015.

“The VOOCs could effectively streamline the way careers advice is currently delivered in schools, meeting Ofsted delivery and reporting requirements and providing high quality, practical advice. Schools will be able to make savings by avoiding buying in additional outside resources, and instead use the free VOOCs to complement the careers advice resource they already have.”