ANU students walking on campus

Embedding Career Development Programs in Curriculum

Throughout 2019 and 2020, ANU Careers has been focused on innovative ways to get the message out to students about the importance of focusing on career development throughout their degree. One of the most effective ways to convey this message and to reach a high number of students is to embed career development programs in curriculum.

In mid-February, Susanne Jones and I made the trek to ANU Medical School to meet with Associate Professor David Kramer who runs the professional practice course for Health Science students. David was keen to provide opportunities for his students to be able to identify career options and help prepare them for graduate opportunities following graduation.

This cohort of students were highly motivated and driven but like many students had spent little time on self-reflection about the skills they have to offer and how to market themselves to prospective employers.

Part of our offering was to develop an online program in our learning platform called the Careers Toolkit. This career education program provides a range of self-directed resources for students to work through to build their capabilities in understanding themselves better, understanding the labour market and creating and securing work. This following describes these capabilities in more detail:

  • Understanding yourself
    • knowing your values, skills and interests which helps students set career goals and make informed career choices about the types of organisations and types of roles they might be interested in and suited to.
  • Understanding the labour market and identifying career options
    • researching and reviewing career options aligned to values, skills and interests and understanding the labour market
  • Finding and securing work
    • learning the skills needed to help maximise their chances of landing a great graduate job- unpacking job ads, how to do informational interviewing and mastering job applications.

In addition to the online program, we provided workshops in class where we gave students an opportunity to learn and apply techniques and skills aligned to these core capabilities. Students engaged well in these activities in class and feedback provided by the students to the Convenors was that they learnt real life skills and had learnt a lot from these experiences.

To add to our great year in relation to embedded career education, the ANU Careers Team was nominated for an Excellence in Practice Award for the ACT from the Career Development Association of Australia, for this work by Professor Kramer and were successful in attaining this award. This is recognition from our peers in the Career Development Industry who work across private practice, in schools and across the university sector.

One of our Careers Consultants, Susanne Jones, was also successful in winning an individual award for Excellent in Practice from the Career Development Association of Australia for her work on the development of a Career Literacy Framework which underpins all our career education work.

If you are a Convenor or Lecturer or work on a program for students and are keen to talk to us about how we can work with you to help your students enhance their employability using our Career Literacy Framework and Careers Toolkit please contact and your College contact will be in touch. We have prototype programs which can be tailored for your cohort, course or internship program.

December 2020

Tempe Archer is a Careers Consultant in ANU Careers