Career Development Learning at RMIT in a Nutshell
"Career development is the ongoing process of managing your life, learning and work. It involves developing the skills and knowledge that enables you to plan and make informed decisions about your education, training and career choices" (Department of Education and Training 2015)
What is Career Development Learning? (pdf - 499kb)
Career Development Learning (CDL) provides students with the skills, knowledge, attributes and attitudes to manage their professional lives. It prepares students for a career rather than just gaining employment and assists them recognise and adapt to changing professional environments.
The pdf above provides background to the RMIT CDL Framework.
Why Teach Career Development Learning? (YouTube Video)
Never has it been so important for students to have the skills to make considered and informed decisions about future career directions than is currently required in the changing employment environment. Understanding the environment is crucial if we are to assist student prepare for their futures.
The video above offers a student perspective on the importance of CDL.
RMIT's Career Development Learning Framework (pdf - 483kb)
RMIT's CDL framework builds career management skills and knowledge across a program. It is crucial that these outcomes be developed from program start. Utilising Explore, Experience and Engage as a guiding structure, students develop skills and knowledge to build employability.
The pdf above is a handy one page presentation of the RMIT CDL Framework.
CDL for Program Managers
The big question: How and why should CDL be included in an already crowded curriculum?
Although program and course curricula are pressured and busy spaces all students need the skills and knowledge to navigate the complex world of work. The only way we can ensure that all students have access to building these skills is to incorporate them into program and course curricula. This does not have to be a daunting task. Most programs already have many career management skills, though staff may not recognise their presence.
Multiple resources, teaching tools and activities are available from this site for immediate use in your teaching. We advocate a systematic approach to integrating CDL learning outcomes into programs and courses. In practice this involves program teams mapping and auditing existing CDL activity against the RMIT CDL Framework. The mapping process should allow individual opportunities to strengthen outcomes to be identified.
Program managers and course coordinators looking to integrate CDL into their curriculum can follow a simple four step model to simplify and assist the process. Visit the Program Manager page or click the image below to learn more about the process.
Ideas and tools for bring CDL to life in the classroom and beyond, using the RMIT CDL Framework
If you are an educator looking for ideas and resources to teach career development skills then the rest of this page has a variety of resources that will provide for most learning outcomes under the RMIT CDL Framework. Resources can be used in a variety of modes including stand alone online 12 week modules through to single integrated class activities.
The Google site Engineer Your Career is an example of how early stage career development is delivered to students in Engineering and represents a 12 week program that runs in conjunction with classes. This site can be customised to any disciplines and the delivery of content is flexible. It may be offered to students to complete independently or in blended learning mode. This example also includes assessment activities which may be utilised.
An introductory example of a series of skills building resources for students
Some resources can be used in conjunction with each other or as stand alone items. Here is a series of resources which assist students to reflect on their skills, locate appropriate activities to build skills and to plan for further skill development.
Skill Audit (web resource)
This activity aims to help students identify the general skills they already have and those that they need to develop further. It is based around 8 key skills that employers generally look for in potential employees. At the end of the exercise students can link to information about the various ways you can build your skills while they are a student.
Skill Builder (web resource)
The Skill Builder provides students with ideas for practical ways in which they can develop skills they are missing or skills they would really like to emphasise. This resource allows students to select one of 8 career development skills and then a modal window pops up with various suggestions and links to relevant resources.
Skill Action Plan (web resource)
The Skills Action Plan follows on from the Skill Builder and provides a simple web tool for students to develop an action plan for how they will develop the skills they have chosen to focus on. Once students have entered information into the plan template the tool allows a pdf of the action plan to be easily exported.
Resources aligned to the three stages of the RMIT CDL Framework
Resources under the explore category are most appropriate for early program learning outcomes. Activities in this section assist students to explore both their own career preferences and motivations and also to gain an understanding of what professions maybe available to them and the requirements for different professions.
Interests & Values
These resources help students explore how their interests and values might influence their career choices.
Skills for Employment
These resources focus on helping students to explore and develop the soft skills required for employment.
Building your skills
The resources can be used to help students identify skill gaps and create strategies to develop skills.
What opportunities are available for students in their discipline? These resources promote thinking outside traditional pathways.
Resources in the Experience category relate to mid program learning outcomes and assist students to apply the skills and knowledge they have to real world experiences such as those offered by WIL. The activities also provide opportunity for students to reflect on their experiences to assist in refining their career goals.
The Changing Labour Market
Students must be aware of the cultural, economic, political, technological and social impacts on career opportunities and planning. These resources can be used to develop this understanding.
LinkedIn is an essential tool for finding employment and networking.
- Using LinkedIn
- LinkedIn guide for student profile building (pdf 4.3 MB)
- LinkedIn for Higher Education
- RMIT Careers Toolkit – Social Media & Online Profiles
- Basic profile build (doc 89 kB)
- Alumni Tool and General Search (doc 82 kB)
- Networking and communication on LinkedIn (doc 78 kB)
- LinkedIn alumni tool
- Networking on LinkedIn (pdf 4.4 MB)
- Sample LinkedIn introduction messages (pdf 32 kB)
The resources in the Engage category assist students to secure and create employment opportunities, transition into employment and construct a professional identity.
Job Search Strategies
Strategies include networking, accessing the hidden market and traditional methods of job search.
Key Selection Criteria
Resources that assist students to prepare effective responses to key selection criteria in job advertisements.
Writing Job Applications – Resumes and Cover Letters
Applications, resumes and cover letters are often the only thing a potential employers get to see. These resources will assist with preparing well considered and effective applications and explore different employer requirements.
- Writing Job Applications – Resumes and Cover Letters
- Student resource: Writing Resumes
- Student resource: Writing Cover Letters
- Student resource: Analysing skills (doc 23 kB)
- Interactive Sample Resume
- Sample Resume (pdf 145 kB)
- Lesson plan: Writing Resumes (doc 85kB)
- Lesson plan: Writing Cover Letters (doc 88 kB)
- Assessment rubric: Writing Resumes (doc 69 kB)
- Assessment rubric: Writing cover letters (doc 69 kB)
These resources prepare students to face a range of interview situations.
Resources for students to market themselves to potential employers.
Using the online environment to develop and research career opportunities.
This website supports initiatives in Ready for Life and Work, RMIT Strategic policy to 2020 . Specifically it addresses initiatives to increase graduate employability by embedding Career Development learning and WIL experiences within every program curriculum of the university.
The site provides an oversite of contemporary theory and research of employability pedagogy, offers an approach to assist curriculum change, and provides a number of teaching resources for use in the classroom. The content for this site will continue to grow as further resources, case studies and discussion papers are developed.