The International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP). Young Peoples' Career-Decision Making within This New Approach to Combine Academic and Vocational Education.

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:23
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Heike BEHLE, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
A new qualification called International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP) was launched recently to overcome the divide between academic and vocational education.  IBCP students are expected to study up to four IB Diploma courses together with a careers-related study. 

The paper draws on both quantitative and qualitative date to evaluate the impact of the new qualification to the careers-decision making and future pathways of students.  It is important to bear in mind that many factors influence the long-term process of careers-decision making.  During the course of their IBCP, they could acquire cognitive (knowledge) as well as functional (skills) and social (behaviour) competencies

To a certain degree, all students engaged with the vocational content to identify own potential occupational pathways.  However, the role of the IBCP differed across the students.  Some who had already been clear about their career paths before embarking on the IBCP were able to select academic and vocational courses according to their occupational interests.  They managed to gain specific vocational skills together with functional and cognitive competencies that could benefit them in their further vocational training or study.  Others used the career-related study to test equivocal vocational ideas and, after graduating with the IBCP, either pursued these ideas in their further academic or vocational studies or modified their occupational ideas.  Depending on them continuing their occupational paths, they are able to use the specific vocational skills and cognitive competencies they gained during the programme.  Those who altered their vocational ideas used the IBCP as a test bed and had still acquired functional and cognitive competencies. 

As a result, the personal approach to careers-decision making impacts the kinds of skills students acquired during their IBCP.  However, whilst some did not gain specific vocational skills for their chosen occupational path, they could benefit from functional and cognitive competencies.