A Needs Assessment of Virtual Career Practitioners
Keywords:virtual service, competency, needs assesment, challenges
Like many other professionals, career development practitioners (CDPs) in British Columbia were forced to transition their services to virtual delivery at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2012, a BC Centre for Employment Excellence sponsored study found that among various delivery methods, virtual services were least preferred by practitioners (Neault & Pickerell, 2013). The rapid shift to virtual work in 2020, unsurprisingly, left CDPs uneasy, unprepared, and unaware of how best to move forward. This research conducted a needs assessment of CDPs through a comprehensive survey based on the new pan-Canadian competency framework (Canadian Career Development Foundation [CCDF], 2021) and nine focus groups with practitioners working with underrepresented populations in the workforce. We found a small effect of age on how difficult CDPs found the move to virtual services - older CDPs found it more difficult than younger CDPs - and numerous areas of challenge for practitioners of all demographics. This report identifies which areas and competencies of service delivery have become easier for CDPs since the move to virtual services, and which areas have become harder, supporting survey results with focus group conversations.
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