MEETING INFORMATION NEEDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION CAREERS ADVISORY SERVICES.

Greer, Paul (1990). MEETING INFORMATION NEEDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION CAREERS ADVISORY SERVICES. The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000fc66

Abstract

The thesis explores meeting information needs in Higher Education Careers Advisory Services.

Chapter 1 defines careers information and its place within the guidance process as described in the literature. The facilitative role of Advisory Services, their information needs and sources are discussed, together with graduate employment trends and employers’ perceived recruitment needs.

Chapter 2 identifies the importance of targeting user-groups according to need, including minorities. The differences between help and self-help, declared and undeclared needs, are also investigated, together with the nature of careers materials and issues relating to provision. From the first two chapters possible research questions emerge, and ten questions considered appropriate for field research are identified.

Chapter 3 outlines the research methods adopted, and sounds cautionary notes.

Chapter 4 analyses the responses of twenty-four Careers Advisory Services to a questionnaire designed to obtain information preparatory to interviews with staff in four selected Services.

Chapter 5 discusses the findings of interviews with Careers Staff. Significant among them are the facility discrepancies between Universities and Polytechnics; the difficulty of determining whether those available are used to advantage; the limitations of information technology; the disregard of potentially influential external factors on career decision­ making; blandness as a price of objectivity in careers information; the unsuitability of much careers literature; budgetary restrictions facing information officers; the varying receptivity of academic departments to Service initiatives; possible under-utilisation of information staff and their questionable status; differences in record systems and the some­times unhelpful influence of the media.

Chapter 6 proposes that: information be more integrated to Service provision; careers literature appeal to a wider range of personal values; students seek information more assiduously; employers use Services to gain knowledge relevant to recruitment, and Services continue and extend their self-scrutiny on information issues.

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