Helping your students be ready for their careers

As a vocational teacher, you will play a vital role in readying students for their intended career. Learn more about how you can help here.

Learning should not be the easy part

Many vocational courses feel very much like box-ticking exercises. As long as students attend, pass a rudimentary exam, and have a general overview of the subject, they will pass, receive a certificate, and be considered qualified to practise their profession. It is important not to let a course go down this route. No vocational course should allow its students to coast, and creating challenging and engaging lessons will help students enormously in the long term.

Helping your students take the next step

As a vocational teacher, your input and responsibility is paramount in helping your students transition to their new career. You can help this transition in many different ways:

Industry-relevant lessons: If you can design and/or deliver a course that aligns with industry standards and gives students a good grounding in regulations, this gives students a head-start when they move into their chosen career. It is always important to make sure that the content, skills, and competencies taught in the classroom are directly applicable to the students' chosen vocational field.

Hands-on learning: If your lessons emphasise practical, hands-on experiences to simulate real-world work environments it gives students great confidence when they encounter those problems in real life. It is beneficial to provide opportunities for students to apply theoretical knowledge in practical settings, through work-based learning experiences and workshops.

Industry guest speakers: Invite professionals from the industry to speak to students about their careers, share insights, and provide real-world perspectives. Guest speakers can offer valuable advice, industry updates, and inspire students with their success stories.

Soft skills development: As a vocational teacher, you can also teach and reinforce essential soft skills such as communication, teamwork, time management, problem-solving, adaptability, and professionalism. These skills are highly valued by employers and are crucial for career success.

Career guidance: You can also assist and advise a student in choosing career pathways, and give recommendations for good companies to work for, and other certifications and qualifications to further advance their career after the course has been completed.

Networking opportunities: You can create networking opportunities for students within their vocational field, and with businesses that may be interested in their skills. You can connect them with other professionals, who can provide mentorship, internships, job shadowing, or potentially make a job offer.

Stay current: It is the duty of all vocational teachers to make sure their course is current and up-to-date with regulations, industry standards, and emerging technology. Businesses detest it when they take on newly qualified students, only to find the skills they have learned are no longer relevant to their work. You can also keep students updated with industry news and developments.

Encourage professional development: You can show students resources and industry forums where they can continue their professional learning, and give them a mindset of Continuing Professional Development. In this way, your graduates will be ready for their chosen career when they leave the course.

Through these methods you will help you help your students develop and give them the tools they need to take on their chosen careers for many years to come.