What It Is
- Career navigation systems help students make informed, financially sound, and sustainable education and career choices. They guide students to understand their interests, the related career opportunities available, and the skills, education, and training required to pursue those careers.
- Career navigation systems also intentionally support learners in building social capital with value in the labor market and the skills and knowledge they need to successfully navigate the world of work.
- The systems are networks of educators, employers, intermediaries, families, and community leaders that collaborate to prepare all students to make informed decisions about their educational and career pathways.
Why It Matters
- Today’s young people are likely to have not just multiple jobs, but multiple careers. In this new context, traditional approaches to career counseling are insufficient.
- Fewer than a quarter of college students access campus career services, while the ratio of students to K-12 counselors and advisors is much too high in most states.
- Providing access to pathways will do little to improve student outcomes if young people do not have access to the information needed to make sound choices about their education and career options.
What It Looks Like
- Students participate in a carefully planned and developmentally appropriate sequence of college and career advising and career exploration activities that are embedded within pathways.
- All students collaborate in the design of individualized plans that identify their education and career goals and the steps needed to achieve them.
- Educators access career navigation resources and professional development opportunities that enable them to effectively advise students.
- Students develop knowledge and skills needed to build professional networks, engage in self-advocacy, identify good jobs and good employers, and overcome barriers based on race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic background.
- Career navigation systems are designed to respond to the current and future hiring needs of local employers and the outlook for high-wage, high-demand careers.
What Role Partners Play
- Secondary and postsecondary educators, including counselors and advisors, develop and implement a college and career advising continuum. They identify student milestones along the continuum, assess students’ progress, and support students in designing and updating individualized plans.
- Employers advise on the design of—and participate in—career awareness and exploration activities such as career fairs and mock interviews. They may also contribute to professional development for educators through the development of externship programs.
- Intermediaries support coordination and collaboration among educators and employers.
- Workforce development boards provide educators with labor market information and support them in developing strategies for sharing the information with students.
Report/Research When Is a Job Just a Job—and When Can It Launch a Career?
The Real Economic Opportunities of Middle-Skill Work: This report studies the career advancement prospects of people entering midtier jobs through an unprecedented analysis of nearly 4 million resumes of people seeking midtier jobs. It highlights…June 12, 2018
Report/Research Career Navigation Technology 2020
A technology market poised for innovation and impact. Our scan focuses on the millions of workers too often overlooked or underserved by traditional approaches to career navigation. A technology market poised for innovation and impact.…September 28, 2020
Report/Research Putting Vocation at the Center of the Curriculum
Students in the Ethnographies of Work course at CUNY’s Guttman Community College become researchers, observing and analyzing workplace culture, expectations, racial norms, and other dynamics. In this report, student and employer participants share their perspectives…October 30, 2018
Podcast Podcast | The Impact Opportunity of Career Navigation Technology in the Workforce System
JFFLabs joins the NAWB for an in-depth look at the potential of the workforce system to drive innovation in the career navigation technology market and provide workers with more opportunities for economic advancement. Listen to…March 9, 2021