Careers guidance should focus on parents, RSC study claims

Careers guidance should focus on parents, RSC study claims

New research by the Royal Society of Chemistry has claimed that students tend to value careers guidance given by parents more than their teachers or career advisors.

A new study by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has found that, contrary to popular belief, children look for career guidance more from their homes and parents, than they do from their classrooms or school offices.

The RSC notes that it believes this is why it is essential to guide the parents so they can help their children make informed decisions.

RSC ‘Making the Difference’ campaign focusing on understanding careers guidance

As part of its Making the Difference campaign, The Royal Society with the help of YouGov conducted two online surveys.

One was of 1,008 children aged 15-18 and the second one was of 2010 adults with children between the ages of 11 and 18.

The results show that in the UK, 32% of 15 – 18 years olds were more likely to consult their parents for career counselling as compared to the 9% who consulted teachers or 7% who consulted career advisors.

The study also found that 34% of the parents claimed that they did not have sufficient information to help their children make well informed career choices.

Sarah Robertson, Director of Education and Professional Practice at the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “Young people told us they are considering pursuing career paths which tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems – from climate change to dwindling natural resources and issues relating to health.

“The organisations working to combat these problems rely heavily on people with skills in the chemical sciences but in recent years the UK’s talent pipeline has been slowing.

“If we are to reverse this trend and give young people the best chance of achieving their life ambitions, we have to ensure the relevant information is available where it’s needed most.”

According to the survey, 18% of young people make their own decisions and don’t seek guidance from everyone, while 11% claim they don’t know who to seek guidance from. 

RSC careers guidance tips for parents

The RSC has rolled out some guidelines for parents or guardians on how to facilitate the young people that are in their care:

  • Explore potential careers by encouraging the child to think and talk about what they like and what they see themselves doing in the future
  • Liaise with your child’s school and see what kind of career guidance and support they offer
  • Parents should play their own role and research the careers the child is interested in. Look for clubs or apprenticeship opportunities in the shortlisted careers

Roberston added: “Schools play an important role in helping children make decisions about their future career paths, but they also play a significant role for parents who are looking to them for guidance too.

“An important part of our strategy is to address this by supporting teachers and improving the advice they are able to offer.”

Pic: Ian Schneider

Zahra Hamdani - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Zahra Hamdani is an Ireland-based reporter for Global Education Times who focuses on European and South Asian education news. When she is not writing for GET News, Zahra is a school-teacher and educationist with experience in both Primary and Secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland as well as in Pakistan.

You can reach Zahra at

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