ERIC Identifier: ED304629
Publication Date: 1988-00-00
Author: Mosser, John W.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Counseling and Personnel Services Ann Arbor MI.
Issues and Trends in Career Planning and Placement. Highlights:
An ERIC/CAPS Digest.
Global marketplace, corporate downsizing, leveraged buy-outs, demographic
shifts, environmental scanning--these are key terms for the modern day career
planning and placement professional who must be in touch with them in order to
effectively serve student and employer constituents.
Heading into the 1990s and beyond, the career planning profession faces
several major issues and trends. Our nation's population is shifting and our
economy has a decidedly global orientation. Computer technology is playing an
increasingly pervasive role in career counseling. Career planning professionals
are being asked to interpret employment trends, articulate the value of
institutional education programs to student and employer audiences, and meet
changing customer needs as never before. A discussion of five major issues and
trends that are significantly affecting career planning professionals follows.
Key trends in our changing
demographic picture that will involve career planning professionals include:
-- A significantly smaller number of 18-to 24-year-old students than in years
-- A growth of some racial minorities into majorities in many sections of the
country. It is estimated that by the year 2000, our population will include 47
million Hispanics, 44 million Blacks, and 6 million Asian Americans. It has also
been estimated that whites will be in the minority in 23 of 25 of the largest
U.S. metropolitan areas.
-- More than half of all jobs will be held by women.
-- Significant numbers of people will be working part-time (Kauffman, 1988).
These demographic shifts will predictably bring with them significant changes
in the needs of the employer and student constituents career planning
professionals serve. The career planning professional will have to do more than
merely extend traditional services to these clients; he/she will need to develop
new services to meet their unique needs. Offering placement information in
Spanish or Japanese and requiring career counselors to be bilingual cannot be
THE INCREASING ROLE OF COMPUTERS IN CAREER PLANNING
computers have been a part of the landscape of the collegiate career planning
scene for many years, primarily in computerized guidance packages, the role that
computer technology is playing has grown far beyond this narrow application. The
need for a computer on every counselor's desk is clearly the order of the day.
Computer Networking. The advent of a personal computer and a modem allow
career planning professionals to tap into employment opportunities for their
students from around the nation. A firm based in Seattle, Washington has created
a system named JOBLINK which enables employers to centralize their job
information for college career offices. Employers can post job opportunities and
company profiles which can be accessed through a personal computer and a modem
The Federal Government's Office of Personnel Management has established a
computer bulletin board listing job opportunities with the Federal Government.
With a personal computer and a modem any career planning professional can access
the system, download the information, and generate a comprehensive print-out of
all available employment opportunities.
Career planning professionals in the cooperative education area have
developed a similar national network, the system titled Cooperative Education
Communications Network (CECONET), which already links hundreds of colleges and
universities and employers for the common purpose of computer networking.
Database Applications. Colleges and universities across the country are using
databases for the listing, storage, and retrieval of career information. Whether
on a mainframe, mini-, or micro-computer, colleges are turning to database
software systems to store and automate every aspect of their career planning
operations. Student registration, employer job listings, scheduling campus
interviews between students and employment recruiters, referral of student
resumes to employers, credential files, and mailing list information for almost
any purpose are all common database applications.
Desktop Publishing. Another major revolution computers have brought to career
planning is the near typeset quality of documents that can be produced with a
computer, a laser printer, and a desktop publishing software package. Career
centers are now designing their own brochures, forms, stationery, and
publications such as job vacancy bulletins, job hunting guides, and employment
preparation handouts. Written communications of all sorts are being transformed
through the use of this new technology (DeLoughry, 1987).
Desktop publishing technology has significantly affected the career planning
profession due to the high quality of the resumes that can be produced. Now for
a fraction of the cost and with a speed and flexibility never before available,
students can prepare a resume that appears to be professionally typeset
A NEW ORIENTATION TO INTERNATIONAL EMPLOYMENT
leaders in the career planning field are recognizing the impact that our global
economy is having on collegiate employment programs. In a recent article John
Shingleton, former Director of Placement Services at Michigan State University,
In the world of employment, we are now dealing on a global basis rather
than simply just a national basis. In order to meet the needs of the
future, in terms of employment of college graduates, we've got to
design a program that can speak to those needs (Shingleton, 1987).
The international status of our economy requires that career planning
professionals expand their counseling orientation beyond regional, state, and
national boundaries. In 1987 and 1988 a career fair, organized by the Ministry
of International Trade and Industry of Japan and Boston University, brought
together Japanese and American firms operating in Japan with graduating college
students from around the United States. The career fair drew students with
Japanese language skills from colleges and universities all over the United
States. These students had employment interviews with up to eighty companies.
This is just one example of international career planning and placement programs
that are beginning to evolve (Oishi, 1988).
Internationalism is a trend gaining momentum and must be taken seriously by
career planning professionals. The world economy has touched the career planning
profession. Today it is imperative that career planning professionals stay
current with trends in international employment (Kauffman, 1988).
VIDEO TAPE TECHNOLOGY
Most colleges offer some form of
videotaped "mock interview program" to assist students in refining their
interviewing skills. However, the uses of video technology have grown far beyond
this application. Most career planning centers now have a comprehensive
videotape library. Libraries contain tapes on employer organizations to assist
students in preparing for employment interviews, self-help tapes on job search
strategy, resume and cover-letter writing, and interviewing techniques. Most
students, having grown up with the television, are accustomed to acquiring new
information through the television. Career planning professionals must be
comfortable and well versed in the use of video equipment in order to design
effective career planning programs.
INCREASED EMPHASIS ON MARKETING
Because we study, live, and
work in a world where marketing is all around us, career planning professionals
must possess the ability to effectively communicate how their services are of
value to their users. Because the public is so accustomed to receiving
promotional messages, they adopt the view that a service that is not promoted is
probably not available. The consequences of ignoring this "marketing imperative" can mean the decline of a program (Walz, 1988).
Marketing can be an effective method to stay in touch with the changing needs
of students and employers and allow career planning professionals to design and
offer programs and services that meet user needs. This is especially significant
in light of the nation's changing demographic picture, and our evolving national
economic outlook. Mergers, down-sizing, and economic shifts are causing
employers to reassess their human resources needs on a regular basis. A
comprehensive view of marketing can allow career planning professionals to
remain in touch with the changing needs of the employers and students they serve
(Kotler & Fox, 1986).
Antonoff, M. (1986). Getting them to
read it. Personal Computing 10(9), 96-105.
DeLoughry, T.J. (1987). Personal computers and laser printers are becoming
popular tools for creating documents on campuses. The Chronicle of Higher
Education, XXXIV(3), A15-17.
Kauffman, W.E. (1988). The "new economy" and "job turbulence" paint a clear
picture of our profession. Journal of Career Planning & Employment,
Kauffman, W.E. (1988). Internationalism: A trend our professionals cannot
ignore. Journal of Career Planning and Employment, XLVIII(4), 3-6.
Kotler, P. & Fox, K. (1985). Strategic Marketing for Educational
Institutions. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Oishi, T. (1988, August). Letter to the Kalamazoo College Career Development
Center from DISCO Inc. of Tokyo, Japan.
Shingleton, J. (1987, July 15). Quoted in Developing an international
placement program. Collegiate Employment Institute Newsletter, pp. 3-4.
Sinnott, P. (1988, December). Computerization. SPOTLIGHT on Career Planning,
Placement, and Recruitment, p.1.
Walz, G.R. (1988). The placement professional as marketeer. Journal of Career
Planning & Employment, XLIX(1), 38-43.