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Azerbaijan Information

Azerbaijan Representative:
Toghrul Alakbarov 
Head of Career Guidance Sector
State Employment Service of Azerbaijan
Baku, Azerbaijan

July 2023 Azerbaijan Report

Reintegration to Karabakh region: after 30 years war big part of the territory is back and native population (which was IDP) is going back to their historical territories.

War in Ukraine and it’s influence on migration: we have immigrants both from Russia and Ukraine particularly from IT backgrounds

Growing demand on Career consulting services: adults are more interested in getting professional help

Nakhchivan Career Forum: for the first time Career forum is planned to be held in Nakhchivan, part of Azerbaijan which doesn’t have a physical border with mainland

Parents Development Platform: the project which aims to raise awareness about career development related topics among parents in rural Azerbaijan.

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January 2023 Azerbaijan Report

  • COVÄ°D restrictions are almost gone (no mask restriction)
  • Uncertainty is felt in the business sphere. Growing interest in working for government (higher stability).
  • University rectors’ forum: 
State Employment Agency organized first ever Rectors and Vice-rectors forum related to career development topics. More than 20 university representatives attended this event.
Main aim was to raise awareness about career centers’ importance, job market, skills etc.
  • Second Azerbaijan Career Development Forum
State Employment Agency organized ACDF for the second time. Main topics:
Importance of university career centers
Employer value and job market
Employees’ career development at workplace
Brian Hutchison was one of our speakers!
  • Growing accent on vocational education from different governmental bodies
  • Growing interest in international experience (IAEVG, WAPES, NACE etc)

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August 2022 Azerbaijan Report

  1. Ministry of Education and Academy of Sciences were emerged and Ministry of Education and Sciences was established.

  2. Central Career branch of State Employment Agency was established. This is the first career oriental governmental body. 

  3. It’s major selection time for high school graduates. State Employment Agency is organizing Major Guide project where awareness raising seminars are being organized in 52 regions of Azerbaijan.  

  4. Professions’ Festival was organized in 10 regions of Azerbaijan by State Employment Agency of Azerbaijan. The aim of the project was to inform high school students about variety of projects as well as give chance to “taste” them (practice it). More than 25.000 participants have participated during the project. Report video link

  5. European Union is supporting the research paper on current situation of Career Development system of Azerbaijan. The draft paper is ready, and final is being prepared.

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Feb 2022 Azerbaijan Report

Azerbaijan Career Development Forum 2021:

In early December 2021 for the first time in Azerbaijan history, Career Development Forum was organized. Forum gathered together more than 10 local and international speakers and more than 300 participants (due to COVID restrictions). Main topics – Future job trends, employability, career development, after-COVID realities.

Creation of Central Career Branch of State Employment Agency:

This governmental body is planning to launch its Career Branch, which will assist it in several directions:

- capacity building and development of current and future career consultants

- development of new career-related products

- monitoring and quality control of current products

- delivery of products to end-users (career consulting (online & offline), webinars, training etc).

- cooperation with various state and business entities in the field of career development

Changes in career consultants’ position in State Employment Agency:

Starting from March 2022 majority of State Employment Agency changes their approach. If in the past they had just aprx. 30 career consultants, now they plan to develop every second employee as a consultant and strengthen their capacity.

Development of career consultants’ at State Agency on Vocational Education:

More than 25 career consultants of the State Agency on Vocational Education were involved in the career development courses (November 2021-January 2022). After 2 months’ course consultants also got a chance of having a 1-month one-to-one mentorship service.

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May 2021 Azerbaijan Report

  1. New initiatives on recruiting and development of career consultants. Particularly, GIZ (German Development Agency) in Azerbaijan and European Union supported the re-establishment of Career Center and capacity development of career consultants at Barda Vocational School
  2.  “Alo, Career” support service established by State Employment Service has started to provide career consulting services via Zoom.
  3. Several local universities including Azerbaijan State Economic University included Career Planning and Soft Skills lessons to their freshmen syllabus 
  4. Ministry of Education is planning some structural changes particularly in the field of career guidance and vocation education

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February 2021 Azerbaijan Report

  1. New initiatives on recruiting and development of career consultants:
    • US Embassy in Azerbaijan supported  Career Consultants’ Course project where more than 50 participants joined 3 month’ capacity building course on career consulting topics;
    • GIZ (German Development Agency) in Azerbaijan supported the re-establishment of Career Center and capacity development of career consultants at Mingechaur State University and ASAN Peshe Vocational School in North-West of Azerbaijan;
  2. Activization of State Employment Agency in the field of Career Consulting:
    • Establishment of “Alo, Career” support service which will provide career consulting services via phone or Zoom
    • First meeting with the representatives of more than 25 university Career Centers’ of Azerbaijan. Agency initiated the establishment of Career Centers’ Council which will coordinate and support the work of all Career Centers in Azerbaijan.
    • Establishment of Career Guidance Governmental Working Group, which includes the representatives of Ministry of Education, State Employment Agency, State Examination Center and other relevant bodies.

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October 2020 Azerbaijan Report

  1. COVID-19: we were over with the first cycle reducing daily infected number down to 60-100, but recently observe rise and seems like the further limitations will be imposed by the Government. Official special quarantine regime continue up until November 2, 2020.
  2. Education is online for all levels including HEd
  3. 3.Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict: all attention is focused and around that situation over NK territories of Azerbaijan. We are officially in a state of war with the neighbouring country
  4. 4.Recent evolvements in the area of career development: 2 Ministries are working over scheme of the provision career services incorporated in educational sector and those subsidized by the Government to serve all workforce which is in need and search for job. Several centres have been launched through main cities and regions of the country to serve population.
  5. Currently group of a newly recruits is undergoing trainings to become a professional career experts in the field and be able to conduct career guidance sessions

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April 2020 Country report

1. Outbreak of pandemic

  • Quarantine regime as of March 3rd, 2020
  • Total lock down as of April 4th, 2020 (borders and state to state travels)
  • More than 400 recorded cases, 7 deaths, more than 5000 ppl in quarantine zones

2. Social and Economic implications

  • All educational institutions moved to online education
  • Government educational TV and Internet programs have been launched to cover K12
  • Public and Private Universities moved to online course deliveries, including some student support activities (careers support)
  • Internships/Job applications are paused
  • Government decrees: 40 mln manat allocated to support families with low income, income taxes for SMEs will be reimbursed, special fund established to fight COVID-19.
  • Employee salaries will remain fixed

3. Virtual Job Fairs, Online career counseling, Online company meet ups, Webinars

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November 2019 Country report

British Council, Graduate Employability Conference, November 2019

       Each year, BC brings in educational institutions , government agencies and private sector to speak about issues with graduate employability and how all parties can tackle it united. This year it was a Forum of opinions intended to develop common approach and giving feedback on major specializations taught in the Universities.

Creative Spark, September 2019

       UK based project where ADA University together with the University of Kent, UK and Azerbaijan State University of Arts jointly applied for funding to develop entrepreneurship hubs within Universities to cultivate young start-upers and help them developing their business ideas through creativity and innovative approach.

Career counselor occupation, November 2019

       Under the Twinning project in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Education several occupational standards are being developed. Among them are career counselor and career coach.

ADA University: A Model of Higher Education Institution-Business Cooperation

by Gulnur Ismayil

Abstract: ADA University in Baku, Azerbaijan, focuses on preparing students for a rewarding and accomplished future. This preparation includes exposing its students to ADA's ample resources for career and leadership development throughout their program of study. Both coursework and professional career development are tailored to best leverage their strengths and interests in school and beyond, where business enterprises are welcome to take an active part.

How Career Development Has Changed in this Part of the World

Azerbaijan is a transcontinental country situated where Eastern Europe and Western Asia meet. Its borders touch upon the Caspian Sea, Russia, Georgia, Iran, and Armenia. Just a decade ago, this part of the world would not think of a need for career counseling and guidance. Azerbaijan, like many countries of the former Soviet Union, have known placement processes widely practiced across major higher education institutions and, in particular, employment offered to its Science, Technological, Engineering, and Math students. Each student had a chance to get hired by an employer in a related industry based on hard core knowledge and some technical abilities. Rarely students had the opportunity to get the professional support in analyzing their skills, interests and aptitudes to ensure a real match and right fit.

In the early 1990s that practice started to dissolve as the Soviet Union collapsed. When each country earned its independence, transformation of their education system started. No longer were students able to think they had secure jobs waiting for them upon graduation. Slowly, employability skills came to be an important issue for educational institutions in many countries, and Azerbaijan is leading the region that brought up the concern of graduate career success.

Establishing the University-Industry Collaboration

ADA University brought a new approach to the University-Industry collaboration and started effective career preparation and development for its students while at school. Established in 2006 as a training vehicle for young diplomats, Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy opened its doors in 2009 for the first graduate class of a Diplomacy and International Affairs major. Since that time, ADA University has grown extensively. In 2011, the first Bachelor's degree cohort was admitted to the school. Later, this cohort became part of the University, including its International and Public Affairs, Business, Education, Information Technology and Engineering Schools.

Today, ADA University is not just about introducing new educational approaches and bringing international opportunities to its students. It also is about new trends that are shaping generations of open-minded, skilled, well-rounded young citizens with strong cultural roots and heritage.

ADA focuses on a holistic approach to student development that includes active, in-class engagement, group work, team assignments, and career ownership. An ADA graduate is a highly intellectual solution provider and close collaborator with a high sense of ethical citizenship and effective communication abilities. [Editor's Note: Wow, very impressive!]

ADA's Career Management Center plays a major role in the experience of our students. It offers individual career counseling and helps in charting a course for students' careers, from job searching through ADA's extensive professional network, to assisting students with job leads and internships tailored to meet their specific career interests.

Aligning the University with Market Trends and Demands

ADA University sets its curriculum and programs in line with market trends and demands. Curriculum mapping is one of the key features of the close cooperation between its schools and the Career Management Center. Recently, there has been a highly competitive job market where "being employed" is not a secure state of well-being. Being employable is the most important component of an ADA graduate's job search. So, what can be done to help fresh graduates cope with the challenging realities of high competition, increasing unemployment, economic turnovers, and inconsistency of education programs with job market demands? One answer is to bridge graduates' talents with industries and careers, including:

  1. Let the Job Market Speak: Survey major employers and assess their hiring needs, preferences, requirements, and expectations of candidates for hire
  2. Bring Employers On Campus: Create an engaging environment for employers on campus via presentations, a speaker series, career fairs, networking events and industry panels
  3. Give a Say: Allow industry leaders to take ownership for curriculum through setting up advisory boards and engaging them in program development, mentorship programs and promotion
  4. Encourage Experiential Learning environment: Establish partnership agreements with employers to offer regular volunteering, internship, projects, capstone and employment opportunities for students/li>
  5. Mentoring Opportunities: Bring prominent executives and ambassadors for a professional mentorship program where students may be coached by an experienced practitioner
  6. Teaching and In-Class Engagement: Invite qualified business and public sector representatives to offer courses or co-instruct with professors
  7. Engage in Professional Development Programs: Recruit industry experts to participate in career seminars and workshops as well as individual career planning sessions

In summary, employer on-campus participation sets a unique study and work environment where students get hands-on experience and information about major career trends while acquiring fundamental degree knowledge. Engagement of employers in student development helps not only new graduates learn and succeed in their job search, it also helps employers to prepare and develop potential talent for their businesses, have a greater access to the best qualified graduates, and ensure earlier engagement and preparation.

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Ms. Gulnur Ismayil is a qualified Global Career Development Facilitator with more than 10 years of experience in career development and guidance. Ms. Ismayil is currently holding position of Career Management Center Director at ADA University, Baku, Azerbaijan. Before joining ADA University, Gulnur worked for the international executive recruitment agency, Michael Page International, in Moscow, Russia. There, she facilitated establishment of a new business line in Sales and Marketing for the Healthcare and Government sectors with the extensive personnel match and development for the relevant businesses. She holds a degree in Area Studies from Volgograd State University, Russia, and a Master’s degree in Diplomacy from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. Alongside the active membership in NACE and NCDA associations, Ms. Ismayil has obtained a postgraduate certificate in Talent and Career Management from the Charted Institute for Personnel and Development, UK.

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