The creation of an established career orientation - in addtion to skillbuilding, practical language skills and studying abroad - is one the most important goals of our program for high schoolers.
For us, it is a top priority, that students should not wait to think consciously about what fields they want to pursue during their academic and professional life in their graduation year. Vast amounts of inputs and information is needed in order to make a mature decision regarding their future.
Why is career orientation important?
For young people, the first serious decision that they have to make independently is connected to orientation. For this they have to find the answers for many questions.
Which university is best for me? Which university programme should I choose? Will I find the ideal education for me abroad or at home? Is getting a university degree even the best option for me to achieve my goals? In which field will I want to work in the future? In what position? What am I really good at and how can I make the best out of my skills at my work? What kind of professions are out there even, and how do I choose from so many options? How can I adapt to the rapid changes of the labor market? And what do I need in order to became a happy and balanced adult?
Unfortunately there are no simple and crystal clear answers to these questions. The path leads through many influential moments, gained information and self-recognition, of which the public educational system -based on its size and standardized format - is unable to prepare the students adequately for.
Few facts about career orientation
The 2016 research done by Engame Academy showed, what a huge problem the lack of career orientation really is in Hungary. Almost half of the 500 surveyed high school students admitted to not receiving any orientational support in the past 2 years. So it is not surprising, that the high school seniors do not possess the necessary knowledge of the labor market or academia needed to make decisions regarding their career path.
The effect of this is the huge degradation of the Hungarian higher education system: university programme changes and leaves are way above the OECD average. While 54% of Hungarian high school graduates will start some kind of higher educational program, only 23% will finish it, this is quite below the 39% OECD average.
We think, this problem can be helped if high school students see more clearly what kind of positions and scopes of activities are there in their fields of professional interests, how much do these fall in line with their ambitions and personalities, and they are aware of their strengths and capable of creating a realistic plan for their future, during their high school years.
How do we help the students?
During Engame Academy’s high school program, personal care, sharing knowledge connected to professional fields and further education, and many influences are helping our students in their career orientation. Moreover, during the workshops, we encourage our students through skillbuilding activities to explore what they’re good at, in what field they want to improve, and in what situations do they feel confident.
Besides our group sessions, personal attentiveness is also crucial regarding orientation as well. This is why all of our students take part in a personal coaching process with the help of an experienced mentor.
Program elements connected to orientation
From Freshman to Senior, we focus on orientation in every year, according to the unique needs of each age group.
For the youngest students (9th grade), we do this with a playful method, through many skillbuilding activities, mini-projects based on their own interests and by highlighting various professional fields with inspirational activities.
In the Sophomore year (10th grade), we implement the Finnish theme based educational method, which does not present scientific fields seperately to the students, but rather as being strongly intervowen together.
In the Junior year (11th grade) the students can learn even more, by applying to professional seminars based on their own interests of professional fields. The Senior year (12th grade) primarily focuses on further education abroad, picking unviersities and the application process.
Field Trips (all grades): Monthly we organize multiple field trips to Hungarian companies and organizations, where professionals share the most important information about their work and answer student questions.
Orientational mentoring (all grades): During regular personal mentoring classes (in the first three years at least quarterly, in the Senior year several times a month) we give advice to the students with their orientational questions and setting their goals.
Societies (all grades): During these interest based facultative clubs, students get to pick what questions they want to tackle, what guest lecturers they want to invite and what kind of events they would like to organize.
Projects (all grades): The main focus of the last quarter of every year is on the projects: the students, based on their own interest, create their projects with the constant support of their mentors.
Skillbuilding sessions (all grades): During these diverse sessions, the center of attention is on teamwork, research, presentation, debating or writing, helping the students find what kind of tasks they enjoy working on the most.
Mini-projects (Freshman): We encourage our youngest students to pursue their interests and spend time and be proud of the activities they do besides school. Every quarter we urge our students, to present these activities and hobbies to each other, thus realizing their own talents and how they should concentrate on the fields that they’re interested in, in their free time.
“Meet the Expert” (Junior): For our 11th grader students we organize conversations with young professionals arriving from the most diverse fields every month. During these meetups they can get a glimpse at the inside information of the specific position or career paths of these professionals. These help them to gain a more concrete and full picture about the world of work and to get a clear idea about how the professional fields they’re interested connect to the labor market.
Seminars (Junior): One of the main goals of the Junior year is to accentuate academic orientation. Every quarter year students can choose between 6 class seminars based on various professional fields.
Help with picking a University
Our first three years are useful to every motivated, open minded Hungarian students, in terms of skillbuilding, orientation, and active, usable language skills.
But our Senior students are specifically preparing to begin their studies abroad. We support them by focusing orientation, picking the best universities for them, improving the most important skills needed for their university years (academic writing, presentation etc.) and preparing materials for the application processs.