What role should teachers take in career guidance?

Teacher gives students guidance

Discover how teachers have a valuable part to play in a learner’s career journey.

Career discovery is an important topic that can be covered by teachers as well as school career advisers. Teachers can also help learners to think about their futures and find their career path.

Career discussions and advice in the classroom

As a teacher, you influence the learners in your class and may be an important adult role model for them.

Here are some simple ways you can help guide learners about their career.

  • Inspire them to study your subject beyond school.
  • Talk about jobs related to your subject.
  • Talk about the relevance of your subject to the wider world of work.
  • Respond encouragingly to questions and concerns about their future.
  • Direct them to useful career resources.

Discuss your own career journey

Sharing your own career story and talking about work experiences can make careers more accessible to the learners in your classroom.

Suggestions include:  

  • talking about how you became a teacher and what you like about your job
  • asking the class how they think the world of work has changed over time
  • linking subjects to jobs and industries
  • arranging for your school’s career adviser to talk to the class
  • inviting former students, role models, or employers to talk to the class.

Skills developed in the classroom

The many skills that students learn in your classroom will be useful not only in their personal lives but also in the work they do. For example, skills valued by employers include:

  • self-management, motivation and a positive attitude, which are demonstrated through turning up, being enthusiastic and completing lessons on time
  • communication and teamwork skills are demonstrated by being involved, discussing and debating ideas and helping others in the class
  • resilience and a willingness to learn are demonstrated by the progress of individual learners in your subject.

There will be many others. Try asking what skills the learners think they have learned in your class.

Discuss with your class how the skills they learn:

  • help them to do well in your subject
  • help them to do well in other subjects
  • enable them to grow and develop as people
  • have useful applications in their career pathway in specific jobs and other activities.

Updated 31 Jul 2019