Career planning needs are different at different stages of life. Children and adolescents, for example, mainly face the need of planning for secondary and tertiary education. For adults, the major focus becomes career development, marriage and family. Even for individuals at retirement age, there is still a need to plan for the next stage of life. Setting clear and definite goals at different stages of life allows us to enjoy its fruitful rewards.
Higher education in Hong Kong has seen rapid developments over the last 10 years. According to data from the Hong Kong Yearbook 2010, more than 60 % of individuals aged 17 – 20 years have received higher education – a more than two-fold increase compared with about 30 % 10 years ago. Under the Chinese Ministry of Education’s Scheme for the Admission of Hong Kong Students to Mainland Higher Education Institutions 2014, 75 higher education institutions in mainland China will be able to admit Hong Kong students based on their outstanding results in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Examination (HKDSE) alone. In other words, Hong Kong students will be exempt from admission examination in mainland China. The 75 participating higher education institutions are located across 14 provinces in China, providing a variety of choices for Hong Kong students. With multiple pathways to tertiary education currently available, the confusion students face now is about how to make appropriate choices for themselves. The situation is similar to that of entering a large fashion store – the multiple styles available are dazzling and confusing, and choosing an item of clothing suitable for oneself is no easy task.
The Career Counselling Committee has therefore been actively counselling students on the multiple pathways to tertiary education. The counselling activities focus on two main areas: tertiary education and career development. In terms of providing information on the multiple pathways to tertiary education, the Committee has established the “P.A.T.H.S. to Adulthood” program under the senior secondary curriculum. The program is designed to help students understand the features of local degree and associate degree programs, and explore options for tertiary education in mainland China and Taiwan. The Committee has developed appropriate teaching materials for relevant topics to help students understand the pros and cons of each pathway to tertiary education. In addition, the school organizes a seminar titled “Overview of self-financed bachelor degree and associate degree programmes” especially for senior secondary students, to provide them with direct knowledge of the features of different tertiary education programs offered by different institutions. The seminar provides a platform for representatives of self-financed institutions to present highlights of their programs at our school.
Apart from tertiary education and career counselling, the Committee is also dedicated to organizing a diverse range of activities, including workplace visits for S4 students, career developing sharing and seminar for S5 students, and mock interviews for S6 students. These activities are organized to broaden our students’ vision and stimulate their contemplation on their career development. They provide an opportunity for students to experience and obtain an in-depth understanding of the reality in the workplace, which facilitates early planning for their future career.
The Committee also encourages teachers of other subjects and disciplines to introduce career planning elements in their activities. This enables students to explore their personalities, including interests, abilities and values, at different levels, identify their career preferences and life goals, and make appropriate plans for their own life.
Leung Chi Ming
Chairperson, Career Counselling Committee
Yan Oi Tong Tin Ka Ping Secondary School