Consultants say school kids lack early career guidance
Elementary school students in the city are short of career development education, which have left many clueless when looking for a job, career consultants said. http://www.cycnet.com/cms/2004/cycenglish/news/200605/t20060516_323881.htm
But some parents expressed skepticism about the idea, saying it was far too soon for children to be worrying about jobs.
Sheila Semple, career development professor with the UK-based University of Strathclyde, suggested during her recent visit to Shanghai that children's career development education should start at the age of 3.
However, it is not until the last year of university education that most students take career guidance courses.
"Careers guidance is recognized as increasingly important nowadays, but young people's informal network of support from their parents and other family members has a greater impact on their career development than formal careers guidance," Semple said.
Since children come to have complete perception at the age of 3, it is very important for parents to purposely raise awareness about different occupations, she said.
Many Western countries, such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany have developed career education systems for children aged 3 to 18.
Students in Scotland are taught to establish regular contact with professional career service institutes at the age of 10 so they can have a better understanding of what jobs to take, consultants said.
But earlier studies indicated that 70 percent of university students in Shanghai have no idea about their own interests and suitable occupations. About 58 percent of people quit their first job within two years after finding their initial choice wrong.
Hong Xiangyang, analyst with Shanghai Sunward Career Consultant Co Ltd, said the confusion working professionals face today can be attributed to the lack of career education at an early age.
Dong Lei, mother of a three-year-old girl, disagreed with the idea.
"It's more important for young children to develop a good personality and be exposed to many different subjects when they are young," said Dong.
She said elementary school children should focus on basic subjects.