“But I can find all that online!” Self-guidance and media competency as a challenge for education and careers guidance (part one)

Digitalisation – it’s everywhere
Digitalisation is impacting upon our personal and professional lives, changing them forever. It almost goes without saying that the majority of us make use of a wide range of digital applications on a regular basis. As the digital transformation takes over, it might be helpful to reflect upon the extent to which your own life has been affected with a view to getting a better grip on the situation: How do I take care of my banking? How do I book my holidays? How do I communicate with my family and friends? And official bodies and authorities? Where do I do my shopping and how? What can I do in my free time? This list of questions could go on and on.

What about in the world of education and careers guidance?
More and more people of all ages are using the internet and social media to find out about career and (further) education opportunities. They head to social networks, discussion forums and so on to ask for advice from their peers, people with more experience than them or even experts. Self-guidance and online advice are becoming increasingly popular options alongside traditional forms of guidance.
Digitale Anwendungen in der Bildungs- und Berufsberatung (c) Wolfgang Bliem
In order for anyone to get anywhere online – and that includes the people looking for information or advice and the people providing it – they need to know how to use the internet properly. Advisors also need to be able to help out the people coming to them for advice by providing tips and instructions. This involves being up-to-date with the applications available and having the skills needed to make use of them efficiently. With that in mind, media competency and guidance on self-guidance have to be seen as key components of the guidance process.

Being able to identify and analyse a customer’s online behaviour is another important skill for anyone wanting to talk to customers in an appropriate way, give them the help they need and present them with suitable offers.
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