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Any careers advisors out there?

(9 Posts)
bridgingtheabyss Thu 15-Sep-11 11:47:47

Hi, just wondered if there are any careers advisors out there and if they could tell me a bit about the job.

What is the best route into careers advice? Have looked at the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance at Nottingham Trent University - would something like that be worth doing?

And what is the jobs market like? I mean, I guess it was always quite competitive but have the cuts to the Connexions service made finding a job really difficult?

Do you enjoy your job? Best bits, worst bits?

christmasmum Sun 18-Sep-11 20:02:20

I'm a university careers adviser so can help from that angle.

It's a good job and pretty well paid with the usual niggles! Good bits - chatting all day(!), nice people to work with, good terms and conditions, meeting new people, getting to do lots of varied things each day from presenting to event planning.

Bad bits - lack of sense of 'completion' - you speak to the student and then never hear what happened next. Also, if you're a bit flighty like me you constantly want to go and do what they're asking you about! For example, I was advising someone about a year travelling the world and how to fit in voluntary work etc, and immediately want to get to do that again!!

The PG Dip is becoming more and more necessary in the university sector, alongside some industry experience if possible (I used to run a grad training scheme for example). When on the Diploma, make the most of the work based placements as they often lead to jobs at the end.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions!

bridgingtheabyss Sun 18-Sep-11 22:56:42

Thank you very much christmasmum.

Sunder Tue 20-Sep-11 16:18:08

Hi, sorry to be all doom and gloom, but I qualified as a Careers Advisor last year at Sunderland University. So far, I have been un-able to find any work. The north east seems the most affected by lack of jobs in the career sector, so if you are prepared to look at other parts of the country, i'm sure you'll have more luck.
If anyone out there can help me with any advice in finding work in this field, then I would be most grateful.
Best of luck in your decisions!

isithometimeyet Thu 29-Sep-11 22:38:35

Abyss, sorry to jump onto your thread- Christmasmum/sunder, interesting information. I'm also seriously thinking about retraining in careers advice, but unfortunately don't live close to a uni offering the PGDip.

Do you know if any other quals would help, eg the QCF Diploma? Someone also told me a PGCE PCET (PGCE to teach adults) might be a way in.

This probably seems a bit random, I may have been misinformed but I'm hoping there's an alternative.

kir Mon 03-Oct-11 11:44:16

I'm afraid I have to agree with Sunder - the job market in careers/Connexions has been hit severely by funding cuts. I have just been made redundant as a careers adviser along with 90 of my colleagues (we are in the South East).

Schools are expected to provide their own careers advice and this is a bit hit and miss (some colleagues have secured work in schools by going freelance).

I absolutely loved my job - it was great to play a part in helping young people to make decisions. I worked in a variety of settings from youth centres, to FE colleges and schools. It can be very varied and you can go from helping a high achieving student to a student with special needs in the space of two interviews.

I completed the DipCG and found this gave me a fantastic grounding in guidance as well as giving me excellent work experience. As a manager I found those who had completed the diploma hit the ground running far quicker than those coming in without it. You can completed the NVQ Level 4 in advice and guidance with an employer but I would expect you to have had tonnes of work experience with young people (PGCE PCET would certainly demonstrate this).

It would be worth checking out the Institute of Careers Guidance (ICG) to see what vacancies are available - there are some jobs and careers companies recruiting but it all depends whether local authorities have decided to cut their funding or not. Many authorities are using youth workers to deliver the work so it may be worth exploring this route too. I have seen a few vacancies in the FE and HE sector too (sadly too far away from me!).

isithometimeyet Mon 03-Oct-11 14:17:47

Many thanks Kir.
I'm really sorry to hear that you amongst 90 have been made redundant - what a waste of your skills and experience - I hope you find something soon.
A local FE college also offers the NVQ4 in careers guidance - I think this is the same thing as you're referring to? However given the insecurity in the job market you refer to, I think probably wiser to hold off applying until things settle down, as I'd have to finance this myself.
Sunder and Kir, really hope things change for you, it must be very frustrating having these skills in your kitbag and not being able to use them.

TheVibe Mon 03-Oct-11 22:05:22

Hi there. I fell into Recruitment Consultancy and ended up doing careers advice in a Local Authority and since became a Project Manager. The job is extremely rewarding but is very competitive, especially in the Consultancy environment. The thing that is really needed by both parties is an aptitude for employer engagement and relationship building. Employer engagement is the hardest thing about the job because it's easier to sypmathise with out of work people than get them into a job. The qualifications can almost all be on the job, so I would get a recruitment job and get into the careers side when the funding improves - which it will just before the next election!

A strong and single opinion so don't neccessarily listen to me.

isithometimeyet Tue 04-Oct-11 09:45:28

Thanks Vibe, this is interesting

Only thing is, I know I'd be a hopeless recruitment consultant - I don't have the sales drive. It's more the educational/social angle I'd like to go for.

However this is an interesting option for those who do have that sales 'bite'

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