Computer-Assisted Career Guidance Tools for Students’ Career Path Planning: A Review on Enabling Technologies and Applications

G.A.C.A. Herath, B.T.G.S. Kumara, U.A.P. Ishanka, R.M.K.T. Rathnayaka
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 23  •  2024  •  pp. 006

This study aims to investigate the enabling technologies and applications of computer-assisted career guidance (CACG) tools in the career planning activities of students.

The choice of a career is an extremely significant lifetime decision for any individual. Students often struggle with their career choices mainly due to the lack of awareness in career planning and development. Therefore, students require the support of career counselors for proper career decision-making. Unfortunately, adequate career counseling resources are not readily available within educational institutes. CACG tools offer a workable solution for overcoming this challenge.

A systematic literature review was conducted based on a standard guideline for the period of 2011 through 2023. Initially, a comprehensive review protocol was defined and evaluated. In conducting the review, nine electronic databases: Scopus, Web of Science, IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library, Science Direct, SpringerLink, Wiley Online, Emerald Insight, and Sage Journals were queried. Then search results were narrowed down to 46 scholarly articles by applying predefined selection criteria.

This review study contributes to assessing the status of the existing body of knowledge on implementing and applying CACG tools for career path planning within the education domain. Significantly, this study identified a set of underlying technologies used in implementing modern CACG tools as well as a distinct set of parameters associated with users that can be used as input for offering personalized career decision support. Further, specific needs of applying CACG tools at distinct educational stages were assessed. Study outcomes support future research works by unraveling potential research directions based on identified research gaps.

The key findings of this study revealed experimentation with a wide range of enabling technologies and techniques in the implementation of CACG tools for students’ career path planning. Within these tools, a distinct set of parameters associated with students has been considered as input for offering personalized career decision support. Further, it was found that the use of CACG tools in career guidance differs across distinct educational stages.

CACG has been extensively used within the education domain for providing career guidance services to different student populations. With technological advancements, CACG has evolved as a viable alternative to in-person career counseling, rather than primarily serving as a supplementary tool used by career counselors during in-person counseling. Therefore, it is recommended that educational institutes utilize CACG tools in situations where adequate in-person career counseling services are not possible.

Continuous technological advancements make it advisable for researchers to continue further experimentation employing emerging cutting-edge technologies for improving the functionalities of CACG tools used in education. Particularly significant are improvements in personalization capabilities and integrating user profiling techniques to enhance the effectiveness of the services offered by CACG tools.

Technology-assisted career counseling can play a vital role in fulfilling the career guidance requirements of various student populations. This study has affirmed the potential of using CACG as a viable alternative to in-person career counseling within educational institutes.

In future work, the scope of this study can be extended to other educational guidance domains such as academic advising, pedagogical resource recommendation, academic program and course recommendation, and college and university recommendation. Moreover, future research may investigate the application of CACG tools in the career guidance activities of vocational education.

computer-assisted career guidance, career planning, career counseling, career guidance, education, systematic literature review
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