A new online career guidance tool called Pathway has been launched in an effort to reduce STEM college course dropout rates.
The tool was developed by Limerick-based consulting firm Ingenium for secondary school students to help them choose the right career path.
Students take a survey, available on Pathway’s website, that uses variables including their decision-making style and their favourite subjects at school to aid them in their career choices. There is a free version of the survey and a paid ‘premium’ version.
Based on their answers to the survey, students are provided with a detailed report with an analysis of their decision-making style and personality traits as they relate to their career path, as well as a ranked list of 12 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 career path suggestions provided in the report.
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. 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 Programmes 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,” she said.
A report from 2019 on course completion rates by the Higher Education Authority found that almost half (45pc) of computer science students did not complete their degrees.
Pathway’s service is mainly aimed at secondary school students, however, it also provides resources for career guidance counsellors and parents. Corporates are encouraged to get involved in shaping the country’s future workforce by offering Pathway’s premium service to their employees with secondary school children, or through community sponsorships.
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