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New online careers guidance offered to students 19 July 2007

STUDENTS are to be given unlimited access to a new website offering detailed careers guidance.

Kudos Online is the web-based version of the software the Department of Education’s Careers Service has been using in schools for several years.

It will be rolled out to all schools that register from the autumn term and students aged 13 and over will be issued with passwords that will allow them to access the site wherever they are.

Jason Owen, a Marketing Executive with CASCAiD, the firm that created Kudos Online, is in the Island today and tomorrow to demonstrate the benefits to Careers Service staff, teachers and Department officers, as well as representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Although four in five schools in the British Isles use Kudos software, the Isle of Man will be among the first places to allow its students access to the website.

Kudos Online allows students to search through thousands of careers alphabetically or by category and learn about the work involved and the personal skills and attributes needed to enter them. It offers guidance on pay scales and opportunities, entry routes, training and qualifications and has direct links to related professional bodies.

Students can also skip straight to an individual matching process that asks more than 100 questions about their likes and dislikes and searches out careers suitable for them, which they can then read more about.

A ‘Suitable for you?’ section grades their matches, for example telling them that while they might be fairly well suited to a particular career, some of their replies do not match the criteria an employer would look for. Information on all the 1,700 listed careers is checked by CASCAiD at least three times a year to ensure it stays up to date.

Head of the Careers Service Julian Potts said giving student access to Kudos online would allow them to use the software away from the classroom once they had received guidance on how to get the best from the website. It would also have the advantage of broadening students’ thinking and challenging preconceived ideas about what is involved in a job – for example, the amount of administrative work a police officer is required to undertake.

Mr Owen said online versions of CASCAiD software were already in use in Scotland and Northern Ireland and feedback had been ‘very positive’.

‘It has two main benefits. One is that students do not feel pressurised when making choices. They can go online at home and spend as long as they want to on it,’ he said. ‘The other is that it allows parents to get involved in the career research process so students can make much more informed decisions.’

Mr Owen added:

‘If someone is really keen on a career but it doesn’t feature as one of their recommended routes, they can then look up the career to find out which of their answers did not conform and consider what qualifications or personal choices they might need to amend to gain entry.’

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