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Phil McCash

Page history last edited by Sophia 10 years, 11 months ago

Philip McCash works as a Lecturer and Course Director for the postgraduate Certificate/ Diploma and MA in Career Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education: a joint University of Reading and AGCAS qualification. He has been involved in teaching and researching Career Studies in higher education for the past ten years. Phil authored the Career Studies Handbook: career development learning in practice published in the Higher Education Academy’s Learning and Employability series.


Career Studies Handbook.pdf




Career development learning through a life-wide curriculum

Phillip McCash, School of Continuing Education, University of Reading


Philip McCash.ppt


Video presentation

In research and in practice, the subjects of career development, professional development and education can appear superficially distinct. Indeed in some circles the idea of studying career at all is still poorly understood. I will attempt to integrate these three elements and discuss some of the relevant underlying literature. In particular, I will argue that there is a disconnection between the emerging interdisciplinary research field of career studies (e.g. Arthur et al. (1989), Collin and Young (2000), Gunz and Peiperl (2007), Inkson (2007), Krumboltz (1979), Mitchell and Krumboltz (1996)) and the practice of career education in higher education. Specifically, the sometimes narrow conceptualisations of career employed within the latter present a problem for those who seek to link a life-wide curriculum with richer conceptions of career. A key issue has arisen in this respect with regard to the models of careers education used in higher education (Foskett and Johnston 2006: 45). The most commonly used pedagogies provide little scope for the surfacing of student self- or world-view generalisations (Krumboltz 1979) and theories-in-use (Schon 1984) nor for engagement with multiple perspectives on careers, employability, or work identity. In the light of this, there is an emerging consensus that new and more advanced learning materials are urgently required (Bowman et al. 2006; Horn 2007; Kneale 2007; McCash 2006, 2007, 2008; Watts 2006). This indicates that there is considerable potential to enhance the life-wide curriculum through narrowing the gap between research and teaching in the field of career. I will propose some methods to accomplish this and provide some examples including case studies and resources. These topics will be of relevance to work-based learning lecturers, course designers intending to introduce or enhance the study of career within their professional development programmes, as well as career educators and personal development planning professionals.


Key words: career development, employability, careers education, identity, professional development, reflective practice



Arthur, M.B., Hall, D.T. and Lawrence, B.S. (Eds.). (1989). Handbook of Career Theory. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press.

Bowman, H., Hodkinson, P. and Colley, H. (2006). Employability and Careers Progression for Full-time UK Masters Students. http://www.hecsu.ac.uk/hecsu.rd/research_reports_129.htm (accessed 15 October 2009).

Collin, A. and Young, R.A. (Eds.). (2000). The Future of Career. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press.

Foskett, R. and Johnston, B. (2006). Curriculum Development and Career Decision-making in Higher Education: credit-bearing careers education. Manchester: HECSU.

http://www.hecsu.ac.uk/hecsu.rd/research_reports_127.htm (accessed 27 August 2008).

Gunz, H.P. and Peiperl, M.A. (Eds.). (2007). Handbook of Career Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Horn, J. (2007). Prioritising Learner Development in Careers Education: a model for higher education. Career Research and Development 17, 30-34.

Inkson, K. (2007). Understanding Careers: the metaphors of working lives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Kneale, P. (2007). Is it time to embed careers teaching and support in the disciplines? Career Research and Development 17, 35-38.

Krumboltz, J.D. (1979). A social learning theory of career decision-making. In A.M. Mitchell, G.B. Jones and J.D. Krumboltz (Eds.), Social Learning and Career Decision Making. Cranston, RI: Carroll Press.

McCash, P. (2008). Career Studies Handbook: career development learning in practice. York: Higher EducationAcademy. 

McCash, P. (2007). Career Studies: new ideas for academics and careers advisers. Career Research and Development 17, 23-29.

McCash, P. (2006). We’re all career researchers now: breaking open careers education and DOTS. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling 34 (4): 429-49. 

Mitchell, L.K. and Krumboltz, J.D. (1996). Krumboltz’s learning theory of career choice and development. In D. Brown, L. Brooks and associates, Career Choice and Development (third edition). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Schön, D. (1984). The Reflective Practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Watts, A.G. (2006). Career Development Learning and Employability. York: Higher EducationAcademy.




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