Online platform launched to assist students with academic and career paths
A new online career planning tool to aid, which aims to reduce college dropout rates, particularly among STEM subjects and Access programmes, has launched in the Irish market.
Developed by the Limerick-based consultancy firm Ingenium, the new Pathway survey is an academically validated tool that will assist Leaving Certificate students in choosing the best options for their CAO application, as well as assisting TY students to select subjects that align with their ideal career path.
The service was trialled in a pilot programme between 2018 and 2020 with 412 participants, with 98% of the students involved rating the platform as extremely useful.
The service involves a comprehensive survey that can be completed by the student in less than 15 minutes. Designed around what the student enjoys, Pathway’s algorithm considers several key variables unique to each person, including the student’s favourite subjects in school, their hobbies, interests, passions, and personality, assessed through their unique decision-making style.
Based on their survey answers, students are provided with a detailed report with an analysis of their unique decision-making style and personality traits as they relate to their career path, as well as a ranked list of twelve suggested courses that would best suit them at third level education. From there, students can research relevant courses in Irish and international universities using the suggested career paths provided in the report.
Pathway also provides students at graduate-level with assistance and support, to better focus their academic decisions and help set them up as future professionals passionate about their careers.
Janna Gasanova, one of Ingenium’s organisational psychology leads and part of the research development team for Pathway, said: “The lead up to the Leaving Certificate, when students begin considering what path to take next, can be an incredibly uncertain and anxious time. Our ambition with launching Pathway is to provide a resource to make this difficult decision-making period easier, less stressful, and more exciting. We also wanted to create an engaging report that facilitated new conversations, between students, parents, and career guidance counsellors.
“I believe that students, universities and society as a whole can equally benefit from students choosing the path best suited to them on their first go. Our goal is that Pathway will help to minimise dropout rates and maximise the student experience. Courses applied for through Access Programs as well as STEM courses have higher dropout rates than average, and we sincerely believe that Pathway will help tackle this problem, ensuring students are pursuing courses that they will enjoy and find fulfilling.”
Pathway is designed to help students in 4th, 5th, and 6th years, as well as offering a specialised toolkit for guidance counsellors to utilise in their work with students. Pathway also serves as an opportunity for corporate organisations and universities to engage with their communities by providing employees and community groups with the option of introducing Pathway to their family and community members, encouraging more informed discussions and opportunities for third level education in households.
Pathway has a free and premium version of their survey and report, both available through their website. Pathway also provides a number of additional resources including free articles and webinars, which are available at: https://mypathwayjourney.com/