What does it mean to be ready to leave school? Counsellers and advisers can’t just make sure students have a plan for the next three or four years; they must help students to prepare themselves for the next ten years. To do this, university preparation and careers guidance professionals need the same flexible, fluid approach as the market – and, most importantly, they need to be armed with accurate, real-time information in order to help their students make the types of decisions, today, that will position them for bright futures.
Half a century ago, a university education was seen as an elite privilege, reserved for the wealthy, ambitious, and upwardly mobile. There were fewer than 30 million people enrolled in higher education in 1970. Since then, the size of the world’s student body has, it’s fair to say, grown significantly. By 2025, experts estimate that the number of students in higher education worldwide will have risen to 262 million .
The rapid growth in the number of students in higher education is important – but it’s also part of a bigger story. The explosion of student demand for higher education means that there is a great deal more competition than before on all sides of the school-university-student ecosystem. What’s more, students now have career options that are remarkably far from the potential pathways they might have followed 20 or even ten years ago. Every day, school counsellors and careers advisers are faced with an immensely complex post-secondary landscape.