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Asia Pacific Career Dev Assoc - November 2013
Cheri Butler, Publicity Director; Tanya Bodzin, Newsletter Editor

2014 APCDA Conference Discount
by Marilyn Maze

APCDA is now offering discounted "Earlybird" registration fees for the 2014 APCDA Conference in Waikiki, USA, for those who register by January 31. Visit our website to register now. For the lowest airfares, it's also time to make air reservations. The conference begins at 9AM on Monday, May 19, so plan to arrive by Sunday, May 18. The meetings end at 11:45AM on Wednesday, May 21.

In early December, the list of presentations will be posted on the APCDA website. This year features a wide variety of presentations from many countries.

Our pre-planned presentations are packed with valuable information. On Monday, the keynote speaker, Dr. John Krumboltz, will describe techniques for planning ahead while adapting to opportunities to take advantage of happenstance.

Dr. Ed ColozziThe second day of the conference will begin with Dr. Ed Colozzi addressing the importance of finding meaning in our work. Dr. Colozzi will offer techniques to assist children through adults in their search for meaningful work.

On the final day of the conference, Dr. JoAnn Harris-Bowlsbey will highlight the most important concepts which career development theorists have identified during the twentieth century — a valuable mini course for those of us who joined this profession recently and a great refresher for those already familiar with these theorists.

Before noon on Wednesday, we will adjourn to enjoy a cultural experience. The Polynesian Cultural Center provides a truly amazing display of the cultures of Pacific Island Nations. This optional tour is a great bargain and an experience you will long remember.

Surfing WaikikiHawaii is a land of lovely beaches, unique plants, wildlife, dramatic scenery and warm, friendly people. Visit our website for a brief summary of some of the most exciting sights on Hawaii to help you plan your visit. Be sure to spend as much time as you can to take advantage of all that the islands offer.

Don't miss the 2014 APCDA Conference..

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Holistic Career Development System for India
by Prof. N.K. Chadha & Ms. Vandana Chopra

India: Workforce Demographic Profile

Changing demographic profiles in India indicate that the country is standing at a historical juncture expecting to reap rich economic benefits in the coming few decades. The country's working age population is expected to increase from approximately 761 million to 869 million during 2011-2020. Consequently, until 2020, India will be experiencing a period of "demographic dividend," where the growth rate of the working age population would exceed that of the total population. India is poised to become the world's youngest country by 2020, with an average age of 29 years, and account for 28% of the world's workforce. With an estimate of around 12 million people to join workforce every year over the next decade, India is expected to have the largest workforce in the world by 2025. Clearly, the country faces a major challenge of imparting employable skills and career paths to its growing workforce over the next few decades. Fundamental to the future of country is a Holistic Career Development System that emphasizes on skill development and enhanced career awareness and preparation for youth and adults.

Initiatives Taken By Government of India

To reap the benefits of demographic dividend, Government of India, in 2008, launched a comprehensive National Skill Development Mission (NSDM). The objective of NSDM is to develop a high-quality skilled workforce/entrepreneur relevant to current and emerging employment market needs. The mission is to create opportunities for all to acquire skills throughout life, especially for youth, women and disadvantaged groups. The aim is to enable the establishment of flexible delivery mechanisms that respond to the characteristics of a wide-range of needs of stakeholders. With National Skill Development Mission, India has set a target of skilling 500 million people by 2022.

Holistic Career Development System

The Skill Development Initiative taken by the government of India needs adoption of various innovative approaches to raise the capacity of the system over a limited period of time. One such approach is formulation of a Holistic Career Development System catering to the career/employment needs of the country. Presently, the career development practices in the country are at the infancy stage. There is an acute shortage of well qualified, trained career practitioners spanning all levels of education, colleges, universities, business, industry and workforce. India needs a large pool of career professionals to help people of all ages to investigate employment, work-related resources and training options. High quality guidance and counseling services are required to achieve the NSDM vision, to meet the needs of the national population and to support lifelong learning, career management and continuous professional development. The knowledge and technological skills of career counselors are needed to channelize candidates into jobs, apprenticeships and trainings. In addition, industry-exchange programs are required to ensure a dynamic pool of trainers with industry experience. Career professionals are also required within schools to inform students about various career options and facilitate a smooth transition from school to work. The country also realizes the need to forge partnerships between public and private, national and international organizations engaged in career development and enhancement practices to reap the benefits of its demographic bonus. In short, the country needs a holistic career development system comprised of wide mechanisms that link skills, demand and supply of workforce in industry with the help of trained and qualified career professionals.


A concerted effort by the government of India towards skill building and career planning needs to be exploited for better outcomes within a short span. The magnitude of the population currently in need of career guidance and counseling coupled with the growing demand for skilled workforce presents a challenge to the country. India requires a competent pool of career professionals to meet the growing need of the workforce and to meet its aforementioned vision of creating 500 million skilled people by 2022. The time is now to move precipitously to implement a holistic career development system for India.

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Japan Country Report
by Yoshiji Ishikawa

Labor Market Trends

  1. As a result of the pension eligibility age being raised, the government has mandated that every employee can work until age 65. This law ensures that many employees will work about 40 years for the same company because there is lifetime employment in Japan. Career counselors or advisors are needed support employees who want to build their career autonomously and not be dependent on the company. Many employees who graduated from college or university are employed as candidates for executive positions in Japanese companies. They may have experienced some personal relocation and job rotation and may be promoted to the level of manager or executive. They need to be supported at 20's or 30's or 40's to develop their careers without depending on their employer. In addition, many middle managers have to quit their positions when in their mid 50's to make space for the younger generation. It is feared that the worker's motivation will decline and it is difficult for people in their 50's to change their career to another company. Employees of this age are faced with proving that they are still valuable to their employer. Career counselors are needed to assist employees at this stage of their careers.
  2. The rate of working women between 25 and 39 years old has decreased from 70% to 66% this year. This decline is a result of the aging of the population and the lack of government support for women in the workforce. The government is now considering measures to support working women by raising the wage compensation during childcare holidays, extending childcare holiday periods, and increasing the percentage of female managers. There is a lack of support for men to participate in raising a family. Very few employers offer childcare leave for men. Hopefully this will change. Career counselors and advisors should support work-life balance for male clients, not just for women.
  3. As a result of the economic recovery trend, the employment rate of new graduates has improved. However, the non-employment rate after graduation still is 15.4%. Many students still think the best opportunities are with larger companies. As a result, employment with small and medium-sized enterprises is quite low. There is still lifetime employment in Japan and many companies hire new recruits after graduation immediately in April. If students are not employed after graduation, it is difficult for them to be hired as a regular employment. Many students believe that a large company will provide more prestige than a small company. There is a need to educate students so that they will embrace the need to change their awareness to pursue their career by themselves. All universities have career education but they tend to treat career education and vocational education as the same. Career counselors and advisors need to show the students the distinction between career support and vocational support.

Training for career counselors and advisors

There are private career development groups, such as Japan Career Development Association, that provide training programs for their members. At this time the Government has not initiated standard training programs for career counselors and advisors.

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Singapore Country Report
by Sing Chee Wong

Historically, Singapore was a patriarchal society. Hence, it was common for children to learn and follow the parents' trades, or to continue the family businesses, especially during the era when Singapore was dependent on its entreport trade and related economic activities. However, after becoming an independent nation in 1964, improved economy, better education with emphasis on meritocracy, and higher employment rate changed the livelihood of the people. Career guidance was not deemed necessary then as industrialization and manufacturing provided abundant employment opportunities and workers could hop from job to job till they landed in one that they liked. Lifelong employment was also the norm, so it was not unusual for a worker to work in the same job for his entire work life.

But globalization and changing social values and lifestyles have altered such traditions. Singapore's economy has further evolved, resulting in a demand for workers with high-end and specialised knowledge and skills, e.g. research and development, banking and finance, etc. Hence, job search has become more complex as job seekers attempt to find the fit between themselves and their careers. In addition, globalization has resulted in greater competition, both locally and globally, making it necessary for workers to know themselves and their potential contributions to the companies if they want to excel in their careers. The aging population and low unemployment rate (2%), require older workers to remain in the Singapore workforce to augment manpower needs.

Career guidance is fairly new in Singapore. Educational institutions provide career guidance to students to prepare them for working life after completion of their formal education. Some bigger companies, i.e., multi-national companies seek and identify talents among their staff and endeavour to develop them. For the majority of the Singapore working population, access is available to career guidance at career centres belonging to the Workforce Development Agency and the National Trade Union Congress. At public institutions career guidance services are provided without cost to job seekers. Training is also available for job seekers to upgrade their skills, or to equip them for career transitions, at minimal costs. Job fairs are organized regularly for job seekers to apply for employment opportunities, learn about different kinds of jobs in the labour market, and network with employers.

Singapore's changing economic and social conditions call for greater demand for career guidance services!

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News from Korea
by Sungsik Ahn

University Career Centers in South Korea

In South Korea, career services in universities or colleges (career centers) have developed through four periods according to researchers. In the first period, the career services provided minimal services such as providing job opens information to students (of course without the Internet) by one or two staff in the Office of Student Affairs. In the second period from 1990 to 1997, a department called “placement service” or “career service” began to emerge and expanded services were provided such as delivering job opens information online, referral services to employers, and assistance with job applications. The economic crisis in Asia including South Korea in 1997 brought large numbers of layoffs and reduced new hires and resulted in large numbers of unemployed college graduates. The career centers were restructured immediately to provide more expanded services to students. More staff and more structured organization was established with independent physical space and job fairs. Job seeking skills courses or workshops were added to the range of career services. In the fourth period from 2004, the unemployment of college graduates became a societal issue and the Ministry of Education began to announce the employment statistics of each university and suggest universities have more comprehensive career services. Along with this pressure from the government, the Ministry of Labor began to provide a large amount of funds to university career center to help the seniors and unemployed graduates to get jobs. With this added funding, career centers could provide various programs such as career counseling, job seeking skills camps, career exploration courses, and internship programs. For more information on the development of university career centers in South Korea, please see this article - Career Centers in Higher Education in South Korea: Past, Present, and Future (

News from the Career Consultant Forum

The Career Consultant Forum has successfully completed a pilot program of Outplacement Consultant Certification Program from August 21, 2013 for 3 days, which was developed to help 7.2 million baby boomers in Korea born between 1955 and 1963.

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Professional Development for Career Counsellors in Canada
by Roberta Neault

In Canada, as in other countries, it can be challenging for career counsellors and career development practitioners to keep up with their professional development after they enter the workforce. Most certifying boards and professional associations require Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to maintain certification – the number of required CEUs varies, as does the recertification period.

Many Canadian associations are turning to webinars as a professional development solution. Webinars permit individuals to engage in continuous learning without the need to take time off or leave their offices. They can also be recorded and archived for ongoing access. In some cases, the webinars are offered for free to association members and at a reasonable cost to non-members; one organization made the cost to non-members equivalent to the fees for joining the chapter as a way to encourage new memberships.

Here are a few links to upcoming and archived webinars that will give you a sense of what's available:

Conferences are also a great source of professional development for Canadian career practitioners and counsellors.

Our large national conference each year is CANNEXUS ( It's held in our capital city, Ottawa, each year – in January, offering visitors a chance to experience the very cold Canadian winter!

This year we are excited to be hosting the International Association of Educational and Vocational Guidance (IAEVG) in Quebec City in June – Quebec City offers a chance to experience Canada's French-speaking culture and June is a wonderful month to visit the area:

More accessible to the Asia Pacific Region is our west-coast province, British Columbia (my home). The BC Career Development Association also hosts an annual conference; in 2014, it will be in Richmond (very close to the Vancouver International Airport). It will be held in March, early spring; as the weather in the Vancouver area is much milder than in other parts of Canada, it's likely flowers will be in bloom. Details are at: (Note: the earlybird deadline closes January 10).

If any of you plan to attend one of these three conferences, please let me know. As your Canadian Director, I'd be delighted to introduce you to some of my Canadian colleagues!

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International Volunteers Turning Serendipity into Career Opportunity: A Creative Use of Happenstance Learning Theory
by Danita Redd

It is well known that more than half the students entering community college are undecided about   their careers. For the last 20 years, Moorpark College, through various matriculation studies, has seen approximately 60% of its freshmen identified as undecided. To assist students to decide on a major and career, based on their needs and interests, Moorpark College offers traditional approaches such as classes in career development and one-to-one counseling.

We also try out various creative approaches for our undecided students. One creative approach it to support a decision to volunteer abroad when counseling them from the perspective of Happenstance Learning Theory for Career Development (HLT). Before clarifying HLT, let me review with you some of the benefits of international volunteerism. Through international volunteerism, and the resulting immersion in a foreign culture, students uncover a myriad of personal strengths and talents by stepping out of their comfort zone. They experience psychological growth in cross-cultural communication, creative problem solving, self-esteem, compassion, and social consciousness.

With the addition of HLT, international student volunteers (service learners) are given a deliberate framework for career exploration without the pressure of making a rapid decision. Stanford University Psychologist and Career Development Theorist, Dr. John Krumboltz, presented his Happenstance Learning ideas in the Journal of Career Assessment (May 2009 vol. 17 no. 2 135-154). His theory supports indecisive students by encouraging them to be intentional in using the circumstances of "happy chances" or "serendipity" as a tool for career choice.

Krumboltz's career counseling approach is a perfect fit for our undecided students who utilize International Volunteerism. With a mind open to the serendipity that arises in happenstance, a career can be discovered while abroad. With HLT, the counselor helps students realize that many unpredictable situations, chance encounters, and events occur, which can lead one to a career. Rather than force students into a model where decision is the outcome, the goal of HLT is to support students' indecision and to help them be deliberate in fostering the following four core characteristics of HLT as quoted from

  1. curiosity to explore learning opportunities
  2. persistence to deal with obstacles
  3. flexibility to address a variety of circumstances and events
  4. optimism to maximize benefits from unplanned events.

Click here to read two student stories (without their original names to protect their privacy) based on my interviews with them in 2010 and 2011 in Mexico City on how Happenstance Learning Theory played a role in their ultimate career decisions.

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