Log in

Read the latest career development news from the Asia Pacific region. Join our group
Asia Pacific Career Dev Assoc
October 2017
Natalie Kauffman, Editor; Julie Neill, Assistant Editor
by Dr. Brian Hutchison

This 16th Century Scottish exclamation means an expression of astonishment or admiration. As a noun, is it a sensational success while as a verb it means to impress and excite greatly! The word "wow" was little used throughout the first 450 years of its existence but grew in popularity of usage starting with the cultural revolutions of the 1950's through today.

As I think about serving you, the APCDA membership, for the next year, my response is to simply think "Wow!" Wow that we as an organization exist. Wow that we are financially solvent and strong in our identity as career services professionals. Wow that we hold a conference each year that is rich in content but even richer in human spirit and connection. And wow is the simplest way I can express my honor and gratitude to be a member of APCDA and to serve as President.

Here are the ways that we hope to "Grow Our Wow" this coming year.

  • Our 2018 conference "Connecting Career, Family, and Society" focuses us on the essence of our work and the meaning behind it. The conference will be held at Tsinghua University in Beijing and I hope that each member submits a presentation proposal by the November 30 deadline.
  • The first issue of the Asia Pacific Career Development Journal is on schedule for publication in March 2018. We are reviewing submissions for this issue and encourage you to submit a manuscript for review.
  • Our webinar series is stronger than ever with timely topics delivered by global leaders:
    • Career Services in a Rapidly Automating World: Issues and Challenges for 21st Century Career Planning by Dr. Eric Anctil on October 25/26
    • The Chaos Theory of Careers by Dr. Jim Bright on November 21/22
    • Heroic Mindset: Navigating a Lifetime of Transitions by Dr. Rich Feller on December 12/13
    • Click here to register for any of these webinars.
  • Increasing services to members. I am appointing a Presidential Task Force to propose a strategic plan that leverages best practices of using technology to engage members throughout the year.

My unofficial theme for this year is "Growing Our Wow."

How do we as an organization expand the reach and impact of our work? How do I as President contribute to the wider sphere of influence? And how do you as a member contribute to the greater good of APCDA and the fields comprised of professional career services?

I hope you will enthusiastically join me in pursuit of these goals. Let us "Wow" one another and the world!

Back To Top

Leadership Changes for APCDA
by Marilyn Maze

As APCDA starts it's new fiscal year on October 1, we are updating the emails and contact information and ordering new business cards. This is a big transition year for us. I am excited to introduce to you our newest staff person. Emily Lizada was the Ateneo Career Center staff person who worked out the details of the 2017 APCDA Conference at her institution, Ateneo de Manila University. She is joining APCDA as our Administrative Assistant. From now on, messages sent to will go to Emily. You can also reach her at

Emily grew up on the island of Iloilo and is working toward a Master of Arts in Education with a major in Psychology and Guidance from the University of San Augustin in Ilollo City. She is also a licensed Psychometrician. Before working for Ateneo, she worked as a Human Resources Assistant, a Student Activity Coordinator, and a Guidance Counselor at another university. While working in the Career Center at Ateneo, she has organized many events in addition to our 2017 conference. We are delighted to have a professional career counselor with proven organizing ability running our association and conference. Her current supervisor at Ateneo, Carla Siojo, has agreed to give her release time during the really busy months for APCDA, so she can hold both jobs.

We are excited to welcome our new slate of Officers for 2017-2018:

President: Dr. Brian Hutchison (USA)

Past-President: Dr N.K. Chadha (India)

President-Elect: Carla Siojo (Philippines)

Secretary: Momoko Asaka (Japan)

Treasurer: Jose Domene (Canada)

Of course, we are also sad to say goodbye to some old friends. We are glad that Narender Chadha will be with us for one more year as the guiding hand for our new President. But we will say goodbye to Cheri Butler (USA) who helped us become an NCDA Affiliate way back in 2010 when she was president of NCDA and we were a tiny group who wanted attention at the NCDA Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Cheri's years of experience in leadership positions helped APCDA grow from a tiny group with a great idea into a professional association that incorporates many cultures and value systems. We will long remember her presidential leadership culminating in our successful 2016 conference in Taiwan.

Andrew Rimington (Australia) joined APCDA in 2014 as Australia Country Director, then steped up to Treasurer when that position became vacant. We will miss his wise guidance and Australian perspective on accounting procedures and policies. Diana Bailey (USA) has served as Secretary since 2013. After 4 years keeping our minutes, running our Silent Auction at our conferences, and keeping the organization running as smoothly as possible, we will greatly miss her.

Our Committee Directors are holding steady this year, but many of our Country Directors are changing. We are happy to add Yevgenia Kim, Kazakhstan Country Director; Bory You, Cambodia Country Director; and Poh Li Lau, Malaysia Country Director to our board. Kathryn Scott is our new New Zealand Country Director, Jon Woodend is now Canada Country Director (replacing Jose Domene, our new Treasurer) and Lucy Bance is now the Philippines Country Director (replacing Carla Siojo our new President-Elect). We hope to soon confirm our new Japan Country Director.

Back To Top

Tourist Information for Beijing
by Shimeng (Linda) Mai

Beijing, China's capital, is known for both its modern architecture as well as its ancient sites such as the Forbidden City complex and the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. At the same time, Tiananmen Square pedestrian plaza, the site of Mao Zedong's mausoleum, is the largest public square in the world and can accommodate over one million people!

Some additional attractions in Beijing include:

Summer Palace: The most impressive of the surviving Chinese imperial gardens is very close to Tsinghua University. It is a recreational complex of lakes, greenery and palaces providing one of Beijing's most tranquil attractions.

Temple of Heaven: Combining the architectural qualities of both Ming and the Qing dynasties, the temple of Heaven was finished in 1420 and has been one of China's holiest sites.

Badaling Great Wall: It is listed as a World Cultural Heritage site by the UN. It is 11km beyond Juyongguan Pass and 60km north of Beijing, Badaling Great Wall, which means, "giving access to every direction," is the best preserved section of the Great Wall in China. The wall, as the witness of history, today serves as the friendship bridge between the Chinese people and people from other countries.

Beihai Park: This former imperial garden-turned-public park is not just a site of outstanding beauty, but home to many sightseeing favorites, like the White Pagoda and the Nine-Dragon Wall.

Beijing National Stadium: Built for the 2008 Olympics, the 91,000-seat "Bird's Nest" has emerged as an icon of modern China. You can take a tour or grab Beijing National Stadium tickets to a soccer game.

Wherever you decide to go during your 2018 APCDA Conference, you will be able to savor authentic traditional Chinese food and visit the many craft factory shops for silk and jade.

Mark your calendars now for Beijing in May 2018!

Back To Top

Futuristic & Sustainable Careers
by Raza Abbas

Strategic Career Counseling and Career Guidance are pre-requisites for transformational change for adolescence, normally between the ages of 13 and 17 in the Asia Pacific region. We no longer can provide career counseling and career guidance to students that only focuses on traditional careers. Times are changing. With the current gig economy, various new professions are appearing as you read this.

Realizing the importance of futuristic and sustainable careers in Asia, a pioneering futuristic career counseling and career guidance research study is currently in progress by Pathway Global Career Institute. The pilot study is designed to instill hope and futuristic career awareness in parents, educators, employers and most importantly in middle school and high school students about future professions and careers that are being or soon will be crafted in the Asia Pacific region. Through this study youth can select futuristic and sustainable career fields leading to meaningful and skilled jobs or to fields which help them establish start-ups and promote regional entrepreneurship.

As the research is currently in process, if other countries across the globe have done similar futuristic career counseling and career guidance research for middle school and high school students, collaboration is still possible. For mutual collaboration and for supporting the pilot futuristic career research study kindly contact Mr. Raza Abbas at

Corporate Career Advisory Board Forms in Asia

Recent active participation in the 2017 International Center for Career Development and Public Policy (ICCDPP) Symposium facilitated the germination and structuring of a Corporate Career Advisory Board in Asia. It was designed to bridge the gap between corporate industry professionals and career professionals in the Asia Pacific region. One of the key findings of the ICCDPP symposium was to encourage corporate executives and career development professionals to use consistent language to enhance and strengthen career development. Initially, the Corporate Career Advisory Board will serve to implement this finding. Nominations for the Corporate Career Advisory Board are currently in process. If you would like to be part of the Board kindly email your request to Mr. Raza Abbas at

Back To Top

Update on Career Development in Singapore
by Sing Chee Wong

A Career Development Interest Group (CDIG) has just been formed for Singapore career professionals by a group of like-minded career professionals who are passionate about developing career development in Singapore. The inaugural meeting was held on August 3, 2017, and attended by about 100 people. Although the majority of participants were career professionals/practitioners, Human Resource personnel, company directors, recruiters, trainers and policy makers also attended the event.

CDIG's vision is to establish "a society where Career Development is respected and valued as a key contributor in guiding people towards a purposeful life, developing an engaged workforce, and enabling a strong economy." Its mission, BEST, is to:

Build a supportive community of learners

Empower Career Professionals to push beyond the known boundaries

Strengthen our professional identity and practice

Transform theories and skills into practical outcomes

At the inaugural meeting, three key initiatives were introduced to propel this Interest Group, and members were invited to participate in one or more of these initiatives. The three initiatives were Evidence-based Research; Action-based Resources; and "Community Townhalls" or communal events like talks, seminars, workshops, etc.

The organising committee envisioned the group to be one that inspires a "hands-on" and "ground-up" approach where members are encouraged to be active participants and to take ownership for the tasks/projects they do. They could participate in one or all three initiatives. CDIG would provide the platform for members to meet and share their interests and issues in career development by working in small teams on projects related to various career issues.

"Townhall" meetings would be conducted regularly for different teams in each of the initiatives to report on the outcomes of their projects, as well as to share information on best practices so that members could learn and be updated. Townhall meetings would take the form of talks, seminars and workshops on topics related to career development theories, career assessment tools, best practices, and state-of-art technology. Hopefully, all these efforts would encourage and stimulate greater interest on what additional steps can be taken in the field of career development in Singapore. Building a vibrant community of interested learners who would then transform their knowledge and skills into practical outcomes is exciting!

At the inaugural meeting, three CDIG members shared information about the APCDA 2017 Conference at Manila, the ICCDP 2017 Symposium at Seoul, and a commentary on "Proliferation of Career Development in Singapore" (please see Gerald Tan's article below). Hector Lin, who attended the 2017 APCDA Conference, shared concepts in "Chaos Theory" as presented by Dr Jim Bright, as well as insights on the "Workforce of the Future" by Dr Regina Hechanova, who specialises in industrial-organisational psychology, and "Career Planning in the Philippines" by Josefina O. Santamaria, a well-known Career Professional in the Philippines who has written several books on career issues.

Sing Chee Wong related what she learned at the ICCDPP 2017 Symposium, especially the issues and challenges that career professionals in Singapore should consider. Some challenges included being more cognizant of how career development could contribute towards Singapore's development and economic growth and identifying ways career assistance could be given to workers at career crossroads as well as to those in career transition.

Gerald Tan concluded the evening's presentations with his observation on the "Proliferation of Career Development in Singapore." He noted that career development activities are now encouraged among students so that they can make better education and work choices; used to help the unemployed to find employment, and used with the employed to help them plan for a better future. It is therefore encumbent on career practitioners in Singapore to work on resolving the professional challenges discussed, refining skills and innovating practice. Connecting and learning from each other will result in a greater impact on Singapore society.

Follow-up meetings have been organised for CDIG members to meet and identify how they would like to participate in the three initiatives. Social media (Facebook) will be used to facilitate communication among the members.

Back To Top

The Proliferation of Career Development In Singapore
by Gerald Tan

In Jan 2016, I shared a commentary about Singapore embracing Career Development as a critical component towards the strategic development of its economy and workforce. The commentary may be found at the following link The Career Development Pill for Singapore.

More than a year later, I am pleased to update that Career Development has continued to proliferate in Singapore. The nation is seeing greater public interest and ownership in career and skills planning - this is evident through the emergence of new and diverse forms of Career Development services offered by both the private and public sectors. This bodes well for Career Development professionals* in Singapore.

*My personal definition of Career Development professionals are people who help others by providing career direction and career transition assistance. These professionals could be career coaches, career counsellors, recruitment specialists.

My commentary will cover the following:

  1. Reasons for Career Development proliferation in Singapore
  2. Beneficiaries of the Career Development proliferation in Singapore
  3. Impact on the Career Development professionals in Singapore

Reasons for the Career Development Proliferation in Singapore

Career Development proliferation in Singapore is caused by two main factors - technology and active government policies.

New Technology Development

Singapore is one of the most internet-connected nations in the world. The total number of personal smart-devices being used exceeds the entire population of Singapore. More recently, the nation has embarked on a 'Smart Nation' effort, to embrace and leverage technology to automate and optimize both work and life.

Global technological developments such as Internet of Things, BlockChain, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Analytics have started to influence the Career Development services in Singapore. Today, there are private and public sector services to improve job search activities and generate useful labour market information to support career advising as well as help Human Resource recruiters source candidates more accurately and efficiently.

Government Efforts to Restructure the Economy

The Singapore Government has been pushing for economic restructuring to boost the national economy over the last few years. In 2015, the national SkillsFuture initiative was launched to promote the importance of skills mastery and career development with plans to move towards growth opportunities.

To support the economic restructuring efforts, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the national agency for manpower development, reorganized itself into two agencies: SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG).

SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) has been tasked to drive the nation's SkillsFuture initiative, promote lifelong learning efforts and advocate for skills mastery in order to ensure that the national workforce is sufficiently skilled to embrace new forms of work, an inevitable consequence of increased automation and productivity.

Workforce Singapore (WSG) has been given a mandate to look after the nation's public employment services for people who have been displaced as a result of economic restructuring. WSG also has rolled out initiatives to prepare the employed workforce to navigate career transitions.

Beneficiaries of Career Development Proliferation in Singapore

The proliferation of Career Development in Singapore has created a positive impact on three groups within Singapore: the youth, the employed and the unemployed.

The Youth

Today, the youth in Singapore have more access to career guidance services than before. For instance, students studying in the mainstream schools have access to certified career guidance counsellors. The counsellors have been trained to guide students to make appropriate education and internship choices. At the tertiary education level, government universities and institutions have established their own career guidance offices to provide dedicated career guidance to their students.

In addition, several private sector entities have emerged to provide career related services to students as well as young working adults. For example, tuition services have evolved to include basic career guidance for students. There also has been a rise of online platform service providers. For instance, Glints and TalentTribe specialise in internship/first-work opportunities matching, as well as career advisory services for those in their early careers. Such interventions help youth navigate the school-to-work transition and mitigate their lack of work experience when entering the workforce.

The Unemployed

The unemployed in Singapore received a much-needed boost when the public employment services were enhanced to allow more people to receive help through online and offline platforms. In order to serve a larger group of unemployed, job coaching and job fairs have now been made available on a virtual platform, in addition to the usual event fairs. Coaching services are also being delivered on a group basis to leverage peer-dynamics for better learning.

Within the private sector, specialised career service providers Maximus (from the United States) and Ingeus (from South Korea) have also established a presence in Singapore to provide career services to unemployed professionals. Both aim to bring a fresh service approach compared to our public employment services. Private local firms like Grab and FastJobs have developed mobile applications to facilitate job search and increase access to job vacancies. For example, Grab launched GrabJobs, an application which conducts instant screening via a chatbot and decides instantly if a job applicant is suitable for an interview.

Besides employment assistance, peer-to-peer networking and mentoring efforts initiated by the union (PIVOT ), as well as social media interactions on platforms such as LinkedIn, have also taken off amongst the unemployed professionals. Such initiatives allow the unemployed professionals to take ownership of their employment search, allowing them to make use of the most effective job search method of all-time - 'word of mouth.' The evolution of our public employment services and the newly created help avenues for the unemployed certainly promote a richer and more supportive environment to help the unemployed get employed.

The Employed Workforce

Career Development efforts are typically focused on the youth and the unemployed. In Singapore however, there is a strong desire and push towards raising the awareness of and increasing active participation in career development for the employed workforce.

The government and union have created complementary efforts to study future-growth industries, job prospects and in-demand skills. A national portal for careers and learning will soon be launched to facilitate active planning and preparation for careers. Local private sector technology firms have also sprouted - JobKred and JobTech. They deploy machine learning and data analytics to curate labour market and job information to pinpoint skills demand and industry prospects so as to facilitate skills upgrading and career planning. The government has also subsidised the cost of skills learning under SkillsFuture in order to encourage the workforce to gain new skills as part of their personal career development.

Within the community, ground-up initiatives have been launched to educate workers on the importance of career planning and development. For example, community organizations such as ToDoToDo have started to match district residents to volunteer career guides in order to receive career mentorship. SkillsFuture Advice is a series of workshops designed and delivered by the Government to reach out to the community to promote the importance of skills and career planning. Unibly is a mobile application that helps match mentors to mentees.

The various functions within the Human Resource (HR) department of many organisations have also started to recognise the importance of providing career related services to develop the careers of their employees. With more millennials entering the workforce and the constant battle for talent, career development and progression have become increasingly important HR functions required in order to attract and retain the best talent. As a result, organisations have been turning to specialised companies to provide career development and consultancy services to construct career development frameworks and conduct workshops for their employees.

Impact on Career Development Professionals in Singapore

Career Development professionals in Singapore need to recognize the growing importance of Career Development in Singapore. The professionals need to increase their competence in the field beyond their certifications and constantly seek to leverage newly-created resources mentioned throughout the commentary to ride the Career Development wave in Singapore.

This rising importance of Career Development in Singapore has led the government to develop a national competency framework for Career Development professionals in Singapore - to ensure consistency and standards amongst the professionals.

To further support the developmental needs of Career Development professionals, APCDA's Singapore Country Director, Ms Wong Sing Chee, along with Ms Wendy Lam, Mr Hector Lin and Mr Gerald Tan (the author) have set up the Career Development Interest Group Singapore (CDIG). CDIG was formed as a response to help local Career Development professionals develop and adapt to the latest workforce trends and developments in Singapore. CDIG does this by bringing the community together to work on various learning efforts; including joint development of research, resource kits for different client groups, and communities of practice. CDIG also welcomes thought leaders from the other nations to speak to the Career Development community in Singapore. (Please see Ms Wong Sing Chee's article above.) With such efforts in Singapore, there has never been a more exciting time for the Career Development profession than now!

Gerald Tan is a career development facilitator from Singapore. He has experience working in the public service on national employment trends and policies, as well as designing and delivering public employment services. His latest role is in advocating for greater awareness and outreach for career development at a national level. Gerald is a Community Champion with the Career Development Interest Group (CDIG) Singapore and he organises quarterly learning Townhalls for the local Career Development community. He also is APCDA's Newsletter Contributor award recipient for 2017. You can reach Gerald at

Back To Top

New Zealand Update
by Kathryn Scott

Career Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ) is the professional body for career development practice in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Our vision for all New Zealanders is "Excellence in career development across diverse fields of practice through sustainability, professionalism, and advocacy."

A summary of current projects follow:

  1. Professionalism Project is looking at introducing Professional Standards to reflect the professional status of our career development work. Professional Standards include a number of essential elements for NZ Career Development Practitioners. They include
    1. Code of Ethics
    2. Professional Practice Guidelines
    3. Entry-Level Qualifications
    4. Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
    5. Competency Framework

    A hyperlink is provided to our new Code of Ethics. The other listed elements are in development.

  2. Planning is well underway and a hyperlink is provided for our annual National Symposium for Research and Leading Practice. Our flagship event brings together practitioners from across New Zealand and ideas from around the globe. This year our theme is "Aspiration & Possibility." Dr Michael Arthur is our international keynote speaker. This year's event also celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Career Development Association of New Zealand. (Happy Anniversary from APCDA!)
  3. The National Forum for Lifelong Career Development (NFLCD) is a CDANZ-led cross-sector initiative highlighting the importance of quality support for well-considered career decisions at transition points throughout an individual's lifetime. The Forum:
    • Brings together cross-sector stakeholders, including educators, employers and unions
    • Supports the exchange of information/experience at national, regional and local levels
    • Explores possibilities for co-operation, collaboration and research
    • Aims to develop a framework for greater advocacy through partnerships
    • Aims to influence the development of a systemic approach to career development including government policy
  4. Development of professional standards and capability development around diversity and inclusion in a bi-cultural society. (For New Zealanders, bicultural refers to Māori and non-Māori. The 1840 Treaty of Waitangi created a partnership between Māori and the British Crown. The acknowledgement that Māori are tangata whenua (the people of the land) and have a special relationship with the land is an important component of NZ biculturalism.)

Back To Top

Career Development Report from the United States
by Rich Feller, US Director

The United States continues to experience low unemployment, high underemployment and increasing income inequality during a time of unclear direction from the national leadership within government. Discussion of apprenticeship and entrepreneurship remains high while higher education's career services and our federal newly named 'American Job Centers,' explore new ways of increasing engagement with employers.

NCDA continues to show leadership with a new commitment to certifying career services providers ( The following credentials are now available:

  • Certified Career Services Provider™ (CCSP) -- a credential for individuals from an array of backgrounds, to deliver services and demonstrate core competency in the field of career services.

  • Certified Master of Career Services™ (CMCS) - a new professional credential intended to recognize the contributions of non-counselors who have mastered a variety of roles within the field of career services.

  • Certified Career Counselor ™ (CCC) - the new standard of professional excellence for individuals trained as counselors, who will specialize in the delivery of career counseling services.

  • Certified Clinical Supervisor of Career Counseling™ (CCSCC) - a new professional credential to recognize the contributions of individuals who serve as clinical supervisors to career counselors and other practitioners who provide career services.

  • Certified Career Counselor Educator™ (CCCE) - a new professional credential intended to recognize the contributions of individuals whose primary focus is on the training of new counselors who will specialize in the field of career counseling.

To find out more about the NCDA credentialing process, consider connecting to NCDA's Introduction to Credentialing, and reviewing the short video provided to establish a credentialing application request.

Non-government research and reports continue to bring public attention to the state of affairs in US career development and the transition from learning to work. Jeff Selingo, a former writer for the Chronicle of Higher Education, is leading an effort to evaluate the college going experience with a particular interest in career development. His work (a three part series soon to be fully released) is highlighted within the following hyperlink,

The Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University lead by Tony Carnavale, a leading labor market economist, has recently reported on Career Pathways: Five Ways to Connect College and Careers.

He reports on a number of states that have started to leverage integrated education and workforce data by developing publicly available information tools in the following five areas:

  • Education Projections, Business Expansion and Workforce Quality
  • Program Alignment with Labor Market Demand
  • Curriculum Alignment with Workforce Requirements
  • Counseling and Career Pathways
  • Job Placement and Skills Gap Analysis

Back To Top

South Korea's FIRST Counseling Day
Sang Min Lee

The concepts of counseling and guidance were first introduced to South Korea by the U.S. educational delegation in the 1950s. Since then the counseling profession has rapidly evolved. Currently, there are approximately 50,000 counselors across the nation. Although the counseling profession is one of the fastest growing professions in South Korea, there is no standardized counseling licensure system in South Korea. Due to the absence of a national board for counseling license, there are numerous private counseling certifications - approximately 3,500 certifications - that are accessible to counselors. Many private counseling centers and institutes have created their own certifications for the practice of counseling. Since 2014, the number of private counseling-related certifications registered in the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET) has increased exponentially. Put briefly, about 500 new certifications are registered every year. In addition, any individual can open a private counseling center without any restrictions because there are no legislative restrictions on counseling private practice. Recently, a former sex offender opened a private counseling center and raped 13 clients including one adolescent client.

Due to such malpractices and the need for constructing a standardized system, representatives from 25 professional counseling associations created a national counselor licensure system. Beginning this year, 2017, professional counselors in South Korea designated August 8th as "Counseling Day" as a starting point for the development of the national counselor licensure system. Counseling Day is a celebration of counselors and serves to raise awareness of the counseling services to the public. According to Dr. Chang-dai Kim, the president of Korean Association for Counseling Promotion, August 8th is designated as the "Counseling Day" because the shape of the number "88" seems as if two people, a counselor and a client, are facing each other. Others shared that the number 88 indicates the following message: "Thanks to counseling, let the people live happily to 88 years old!"

The first event of the very first August 8th "Counseling Day" was held successfully at the National Assembly and was sponsored by the 25 professional counseling associations involved with establishing national licensure. More than 300 counselors attended and were welcomed by Won-sik Woo, the congressional representative of the Democratic Party. Several legislators additionally delivered congratulatory messages for the declaration of Counseling Day. The comedians Jong-cheol Jeong, Sun-hee Jeong, and Beom-Kyun Jeong, the singer Soo-young Lee, the broadcasters Ho-sun Lee, Seung-hyun Ji, and Ji-yoon Park were appointed as the public ambassadors to further enhance the day's festivities. Ongoing support from public figures and legislators will play a critical role in augmenting public awareness of counseling.

Along with designating "Counseling Day," the Korean Association for Counseling Promotion also started the signature collecting campaign for the development of the law for counselors. So far, more than 25,000 counselors signed the campaign for advocating government issued licenses and certifications. Having observed the National Assembly packed with many counselors in the celebration of the first "Counseling Day" and numerous signatures on the development of the law for counselors, it seems axiomatic that the counseling profession in South Korea will make a tremendous progress in strengthening its status in the next decade.

Dr. Sang Min Lee is a Professor in the Counseling Program, Department of Education at Korea University. He can be reached at

Back To Top

Three Updates on Career Development in Japan
By Momoko Asaka

  1. JCDA Annual Conference 2017

    JCDA members number almost 16,000 strong. Their annual conference took place in June in Fukuoka, Kyushu. Kyushu is located near Kumamoto, where the huge 7.3 magnitude earthquake occurred back in April 2016. The after effects of the earthquake and ways to offer help to career counselors in the area were the focus of consideration during the conference.

  2. Self-career Dock System

    In 2016, the Self-career Dock System was introduced just before the state examination system for career consultants and has shown rapid development. The Self-career Dock System is an organization that supports the awareness of career development by providing opportunities to regularly receive career consulting across the stages of life development, years of experience, and various types of work. Until 2016, career help and consultation in Japan only focused on people looking for a job or job-changing. It had been widely conducted by "Hello Work" (public employment security office) or HR companies. More recently, the Japanese government has been promoting the policy for supporting career consultants with special knowledge.

  3. Job-hunting in Japan

    Job hunting activity among Japanese students is moving toward its final stage. In Japanese schools the career counselor's existence is still not common. This causes strong mental stress, unsuccessful job hunting and "Job hunting depression." Career and mental support to young people is slowly becoming more recognized as indispensable.

Back To Top

Vietnam Snapshot
Compiled from by Chau Nyugen

Enrollment Surges in Vietnam's Vocational Schools

Vocational schools in Vietnam were long considered less favorable than universities. Today they are experiencing a spike in enrollment. Vocational schools, under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, are becoming attractive to students because they guarantee employment to all students after graduation.

This is the first year the Ministry of Education and Training started maintianing separate enrollment data for vocational schools. Vocational schools made concerted efforts to attract students by updating core curriculum, connecting with enterprises and designing the course as per enterprises' demand to ensure employment for students.

Students in vocational schools enjoy short courses and are guaranteed jobs after graduation. Partnership programs between schools and enterprises help deliver training courses to students who are taken on as a graduate trainee in the school's partnered companies and the companies recruit students after graduation.

Vietnam Universities' New Ranking Stirs Controversy

The most reputable economics schools ranked below average on a list of 49 schools surveyed by a group of six specialists from Vietnamese and foreign institutions.

The ranking, announced on September 6, showed that some young schools, which are less prestigious in Vietnamese eyes, were rated highly, while the older schools, which set high requirements for incoming students, were ranked below average, or at the bottom of the list.

Hanoi National University is in the first position. The country's leading medical schools in HCMC and Hanoi are in the 18th and 20th positions, though they are well known as schools which select only the best students.

According to Le Truong Tung, president of FPT University, a good school must have good training, research, internationalization, and a high employment rate of graduates. He commented that the surveyors mostly considered the first two criteria, or 'classic criteria', while neglecting the other criteria, which are exceedingly important in the globalization era.

Doubts were raisedabout the sources of materials the specialists used to determine the ranking.

Meanwhile Nguyen Huu Duc, deputy director of the Hanoi National University, pointed out three shortcomings. First, there are no opinions from independent scientists. Foreign ranking organizations would appreciate opinions from scientists. For example, to assess a school with physics training, they would contact physicists to learn if the school has any famous professors or PhDs in the field.

Second, as there are multidisciplinary and single-training major schools, it is necessary to set up criteria for different groups of schools. Third, there are no opinions from employers.

The specialists assessed schools based on three criteria: scientific research, education quality, and infrastructure and management, with the first two accounting for 80 percent of the scores.

Back To Top

Australian Panorama - Activities in the Career Field
by Agnes Banyasz

As the 2017 academic and calendar year is heading to the end, it is timely to share with our APCDA member colleagues the highlights and main activities behind and ahead of us in Australia. In May, a very successful Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) National Conference was held in Brisbane, Queensland. 'Inspiring Excellence in Career Development: Responding Locally to Global Challenges' focused on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals 2013 and how the career development profession can contribute to achieving them at a local level. Through a range of high level keynote speeches and more than 25 concurrent presentations, discussion centred around the quest for a healthy life, the pursuit of equity, access to education and training, and access to sustainable work opportunities.

The 2018 CDAA National Conference will be held in Hobart, Tasmania from 2-4 May, with the title "Inspiring excellence in career development: 2020 Vision - Career Adaptability and Meaningful Futures." The positioning key question for the conference is: In the current environment of unpredictable and constantly evolving work futures, how can we empower our clients to develop appropriate skills which will enable them to adapt successfully to change throughout their careers?

The call for abstracts for the 2018 National Conference is open now. For aspiring presenters, please consider submitting your ideas by 27th October.

In addition to the once a year conference, CDAA members across the nation have been very actively working on keeping up to date with professional issues via an increasing number of webinars, as well as new format breakfasts held in all states. Here are some examples of the new breakfast format:

Links to three recently published reports on the state of work in Australia:

  1. 2017 Australian Communities Forum Recap took place on September 19th and was presented by McCrindle and AlphaSys. It provided a snapshot of the key factors influencing Australian communities and some surprising findings from the just-completed Australian Communities Report
  2. The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) in partnership with AlphaBeta, a strategy and economic advisory business, produced, The New Work Smarts - Thriving in the New Work Order
  3. New South Wales' Youth Action's Policy Paper, Career Guidance - The Missing Link in School to Work Transitions

CDAA Victoria is very excited to launch our new Roundtable facilitated networking discussion events to replace the former breakfasts - 5 sessions available!

The discussion question for this Roundtable is: How do we manage unrealistic expectations in the Career Development space?

Come along to listen and share techniques to manage unrealistic expectations from:

  • clients
  • parents and significant others
  • clients with intellectual disability and their significant others
  • employers
  • other colleagues eg: teachers in schools who have limited knowledge of the career development space and future predictions.


Back To Top

In the Trenches Episode #1: Assessment Tools – Boon or Bane?
by Han Kok Kwang

I am a career professional in private practice, based in Singapore. I am grateful for this opportunity to share what we private practitioners see in the trenches every day, where logical theories and neat structured methods meet fuzzy real world client demands that may not be so rational. Like they say, it can get complicated.

Since I'm fortunate to have worked with a wide spectrum of individuals, from age 12 to 66, low-risk and at-risk individuals, no formal education to post-graduates, blue collar to gold collar, I think it is opportune to share my experiences so that we can all learn and grow together.

As you may have read in earlier issues, there is now a national movement in Singapore called "SkillsFuture" that provides opportunities for all Singaporeans to develop to their fullest potential at different stages of their lives. To find out more, visit There are 4 key thrusts in this movement and the 1st one is to help individuals make well-informed choices in education, training and careers.

As a result, career development is suddenly thrust to the forefront in schools, tertiary institutions and the workforce. There are education and career counselors assigned to mainstream schools. In tertiary institutions, some lecturers have to double up as career guides and mentors! You can imagine how the lecturers feel when this "extra duty" is assigned on top of their existing overloaded plate in the name of job enlargement.

One of the key tenets in career development is self-discovery, in order to answer the 3 basic questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Where do I want to go (or what do I want to be)?
  • How do I get there?

However, good intent may not always work as planned. For instance, I was engaged to train a group of lecturers to be career guides in a tertiary institution. In the meeting with the powers that be, I was told point blank that career development is good, as long as the status quo is not upset too much. Students are currently assigned to courses based on their academic results. We all know that many would not get into their preferred courses because competition is intense and few would actually know what they want to do with their life in their late teens.

In this instance, the fear is that once students discover their strengths and interests through career development classes, they may ask for a change of course of study. This could trigger an administrative nightmare of paper work and justifications if the numbers asking for transfers are significant. It is a real concern because then the popular courses would be over-subscribed and the less popular ones may have to close due to low intake!

One tool that we used in class was the RIASEC tool by John Holland, where one can find out their best fit work role with their 3-letter RIASEC code based on work interests. The 6 letters in RIASEC covers the whole world of work. To avoid the issue of students using their 3-letter code as an excuse to ask for a course transfer due to wrong fit, we focused on 2 key messages in class:

  1. Work Interest is not competency. Interests alone will not get you a job. You need to work on your competencies to compete and be selected.
  2. Instead of using their 3-letter code to look for specific jobs, we expanded their minds. We told them to explore the work roles in ½ the world of work, which is what the 3 letters covered. Imagine the vast opportunities in half the world of work, rather than by being constrained to just a few jobs. Through the process, they discovered many other options. With options, the world is their oyster and they can look to the future with hope.

To cut a long story short, the status quo was maintained and the lecturers were enlightened. The students were also more informed about their future through career development classes. Win-win-win to say the least.

Till the next time, go M.A.D. (Make a Difference) every day!

Han Kok Kwang is the 1st legacy partner lifetime member of APCDA and the 1st Certified Master of Career Services (NCDA) in Asia. A 30-year veteran & pioneer in the workforce and career development scene in Singapore, he is also an award winning professional and serial author of 5 books on career management, including 2 bestsellers. Han is one of only 2 NCDA Master Trainers in the world (outside USA) where he trains and prepares career practitioners for the CCE GCDF and/or NCDA CCSP credentials, and also to become NCDA instructors. You can reach Han at

Han actually wrote a book called "Million Dollar Mission" for parents and tertiary students on how they can explore career planning effectively. The topic was also discussed at a session he presented last year at the APCDA Conference in Taipei, with rave reviews. If you are keen, you can download a free preview copy at

Back To Top

Copyright © 2017 Asia Pacific Career Development Association. All rights reserved.
Contact email:

You are receiving this message because you opted in at {}


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software