So I had a mad idea for a techie careers tool after using a charity browser toolbar.   In my head this works amazingly – but what do you think?!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

80% of a graduate job search takes place online, and for many students, will involve relatively little time (if any at all) on a careers service website before following a link to a sector vacancy page, or an employer’s application form. When this occurs, the student becomes cut off from any way to prompt that there might be particular services, events, communities, mentors and resources available to support them, and we from their experience, insight and knowledge….

I’ve been reading up on all things tech, and this would follow trends to provide ‘the precise needs of individuals, within a time-compressed environment. The term ‘customer intimacy’ is often used to emphasise the new requirement to understand better and respond to the end user’s needs … (Bimrose et al.,2011, p.16)

“I think a proactive careers service is a really good idea, because I found in my first year holiday that all my friends would be disappearing off on placements, whilst I was unaware of what opportunities were available. I had no clue that these things even existed. If someone had flagged this up at the beginning of my first year then that would have been really helpful.” Recent graduate working at Innocent Drinks (Sheldon, 2009, p.19, emphasis mine)

A ‘careers browser toolbar’ could be a solution – literally flagging things up!

There’s a bit of a bigger issue here too – where some of the pedagogy around careers gets separated from the technical nouse needed to know what’s possible.  All too commonly we have the IT department saying “that would/wouldn’t work because…” and the careers guys saying  “thinking of active-learning, we could…”.  At the moment that last sentence is pretty limited by what we can see around us (like the toolbar) – but who knows what’s possible that could be great.  Hopefully this might spark some ideas – do share them in the comments.  And to those with technical nouse- could this work?!