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Top Trends in Career Counseling Heading into 2024

At CareerScope, we understand the value of school and career counselors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of school and career counselors and advisors is projected to grow 5 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. With the rise in career options, there has been an increase in the need for career counselors to help individuals navigate career opportunities. 

The World Economic Forum (2020) has predicted that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, and 40% of current workers’ core skills will change. Staying proactive in developing new competencies is critical. 

Here are the trends we predict for 2024.

Ongoing Dialog on Remote and Hybrid Work

The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a vast shift towards remote work, and even as the situation improved, many companies adopted hybrid or fully remote models. Career counselors have adjusted their advice and strategies to help individuals find and thrive in these environments. This includes training in digital communication, understanding remote work technologies, and navigating the challenges of balancing work and home life in a remote setting. It is important for career counselors to take into account their client’s interests and abilities and recognize how their client engages in person versus with remote work. 

Emphasis on Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence

While technical skills remain important, there’s an increasing demand for skills such as critical thinking, adaptability, collaboration, and emotional intelligence. Career counselors have been focusing on helping clients develop and highlight these skills, especially in an era where automation and AI can handle many technical tasks. Career counselors collaborate with their clients to describe how their soft skills and emotional intelligence to date can be applied in roles they are considering. It is critical for clients to practice their storytelling skills and be able to communicate their value on LinkedIn, in resumes, cover letters, and during job interviews. Looking ahead, utilizing video, personal webpages, and other tools to showcase these soft skills and emotional intelligence will be new avenues for career counselors to leverage.

Future-Proofing and Embracing Lifelong Learning and Upskilling

With rapid technological changes, the idea of a single, lifelong career is becoming less common. Instead, people are expected to continuously learn and adapt. Career counselors are helping clients identify opportunities for upskilling, reskilling, and embracing a mindset of lifelong learning. Something is defined as “future-proof” when it continues to be useful or successful in the future, even if a situation changes  (Collins, 2022). Career counselors are critical to researching employment trends and helping clients develop future-proof skills and attributes that make them ready for the future of work.

Focusing on Well-being and Mental Health

The importance of mental health and overall well-being has been getting more attention in the professional world. Many people feel anxious about their current path or a lack of clarity on what is next. Career counselors are incorporating strategies not just for achieving career goals but also for ensuring those goals align with an individual’s overall well-being. This includes advice on work-life balance, managing stress, and finding careers that align with personal values and passions. A third of Americans had their career substantially impacted by the pandemic and nearly 60% felt it would have been valuable to talk with a career services professional (2021 Harris Poll). Identifying a new career or even knowing where to start can be daunting. Career counselors can make this process easier for clients while also teaching them habits around coping with anxiety, communication strategies, and time management skills.

Identifying Diverse and Inclusive Career Paths for Individuals & Employers

There’s a growing emphasis on creating workplaces that are diverse, inclusive, and equitable. Career counselors are not only helping individuals from diverse backgrounds navigate challenges, but they’re also advising organizations on best practices for inclusive hiring and retention. Organizations are rethinking where they source talent, and career counselors play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between clients and companies. One way career counselors do this is by encouraging clients to take advantage of low-cost certifications, volunteer opportunities, or internships to help them prepare for the future. Career counselors also help companies by collaborating with them on what roles are available and brainstorming how to recruit, train, and prepare the workforce for those roles.

Career counselors can help their clients develop a mindset that is forward-looking, curious, and flexible to help them stay relevant during times of change. According to the 2021 Harris Poll, career practitioners are a vital resource for the livelihood of our nation’s workforce and are underutilized relative to their potential need and value. At CareerScope, we celebrate our career counselors and organizations that approach the future of work in curious, innovative, and bold ways. It is our job to accelerate the insights career counselors can share with clients through science-backed career assessments and easy to use reports.

Contact us if you are interested in adding CareerScope as a resource for your organization.

Additional Resources:

Amplifying Counselor Success: The Reinvented CareerScope

Rethinking CTE to Meet Today’s Labor Market