Careers and Employability Staff Career Action Plans for Curriculum

Career Action Plans for Curriculum

JCU recommends that academic teaching staff embed high quality and relevant career development, employability and entrepreneurship activities in coursework curricula to develop and assure graduate employability outcomes. Career Action Plans for Curriculum assist staff to achieve this goal.

Informed by the scholarship of career development learning and employability (e.g. Australian Blueprint for Career Development and Watts' DOTS model) and contemporary workforce requirements, these staff-facing products complement the student-facing Career Action Plan. Career Action Plans for Curriculum are structured according to JCU’s stages of career development, employability and entrepreneurship learning across the degree:

  • First year – sense of purpose and vocational identity
  • Middle years – professional engagement and skill development
  • Final year – professional transitions

Career Action Plan for Curriculum (Generic)

The Career Action Plan for Curriculum is an online planning tool providing recommended career development, employability and entrepreneurship learning strategies and activities. It is a self-help tool for staff to embed learning activities and assessment tasks by year level across the whole of course, or within particular subjects, and was developed as a companion product to the student facing Career Action Plan.

The interactive format of the Career Action Plan for Curriculum enables staff to select strategies and activities for learning and teaching, which are then emailed as a formatted table of selected strategies and activities. Used in this way, the Academic Action Plan can assist staff to:

  1. Embed career development, employability and entrepreneurship in coursework curricula, and
  2. Audit existing activities and assessment to identify those already focussing on the curriculum priority area of career development, employability and entrepreneurship.

Career Action Plan for Curriculum (Science)

The newly redesigned JCU Bachelor of Science (2017) has several design strengths, including:

  • Dedicated core studies in foundation and major subjects
  • Heavy emphasis on scaffolding and assuring the development of quantitative and analytical skills and knowledge
  • A professional placement subject in study period one of the Final Year
  • A multidisciplinary capstone subject in study period two of the Final Year, in which students are required to make rich connections to the tropics

With the course restructure, career development and employability scholarship, and contemporary workforce requirements in consideration, the proposed Career Development, Employability and Entrepreneurship Academic Action Plan (CDEEAAP) for Science (PDF, 1168 KB) (JCU staff login required) supports Bachelor of Science academic teaching staff to embed and scaffold high quality career development, employability and entrepreneurship learning opportunities across the course.

Career Action Plan for Students

The Career Action Plan is a student resource that recommends proactive extra-curricular actions students can implement across their degree to improve career success. The Career Action Plan, like the staff-facing Career Action Plans for Curriculum, is structured according to JCU’s stages of career development, employability and entrepreneurship learning across the degree:

  • First Year – sense of purpose and vocational identity
  • Middle Years – professional engagement and skill development
  • Final Year – professional transitions

The Career Action Plan is available online and in print, with all students receiving a printed version on commencement of study at JCU. The online version is interactive, with hyperlinks and embedded videos to reinforce the information and recommendations provided.

Further Information and Literature

Online communities

  • Graduate Employability – tools, resources and research to help university students and graduates start successful careers, and for academics to support them
  • Graduate Employability 2.0 – the networked approach to graduate employability: capabilities, teaching approaches, and enabling strategies to foster connectedness in a globally networked world

Literature

Artess, J., Hooley, T., & Mellors-Bourne, R. (2017). Employability: A Review of the Literature 2012-2016. York: Higher Education Academy.

Australian Qualifications Framework Council. (2013). Australian Qualifications Framework Second Edition.

Blackmore, P., Bulaitis, Z. H., Jackman, A. H. & Tan, E. (2016). Employability in Higher Education: A review of practice and strategies around the world. London: Pearson.

Career Industry Council of Australia. (2011). Professional Standards for Australian Career Development Practitioners.

Commonwealth of Australia. (2015). Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards).

Davies, A., Devin, F. & Gorbis, M. (2011). Future Work Skills 2020. Institute for the Future for University of Phoenix.

Department of Education and Training. (2015). Australian Blueprint for Career Development.

Directorate of Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement. (2016). JCU Curriculum Framework. Cairns, Australia: James Cook University.

Fallows, S. & Steven, C. (2000). Building employability skills into the higher education curriculum: a university-wide initiative. Education and Training, 42(2), 75-83.

Foundation for Young Australians (FYA). (2016). The New Basics: Big data reveals the skills young people need for the New Work Order.

Hajkowicz, S., Reeson, A., Rudd, L., Bratanova, A., Hodgers, L., Mason, C. & Boughen, N. (2016). Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce: Megatrends and scenarios for jobs and employment in Australia over the coming twenty years. Brisbane: CSIRO.

Kinash, S., Crane, L., Knight, C., Dowling, D., & Mitchell, K. (2014). Global graduate employability research: A report to the Business20 Human Capital Taskforce (DRAFT).

Kinash, S., Crane, L., & Judd, M. M. (2016). Nurturing graduate employability in higher education. Good practice report prepared for the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.

Lowden, K., Hall, S., Elliot, D., & Lewin, J. (2011). Employers' perceptions of the employability skills of new graduates. Project Report. London, UK: Edge Foundation.

National Association of Colleges and Employers. (2014). Career Readiness Competencies.

Norton, A., & Cakitaki, B. (2016). Mapping Australian higher education 2016. Grattan Institute.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2016). Enhancing employability. Report prepared for the G20 Employment Working Group with inputs from The International Monetary Fund. Paris: OECD Publishing.

Watts, A.G. (2006). Career development learning and employability. Learning and Employability Series Two. York: The Higher Education Academy.

Yorke, M. (2006). Employability in higher education: what it is – what it is not. Learning and Employability Series. York: The Higher Education Academy.