What works in terms of career interventions? How to better support students in their career development? These questions lead a new branch of international investigations which try to exploit students’ longitudinal data to better understand what leads to better career development outcomes. 

The STAR.APP project strongly follows these new approaches where data become fundamental allies to improve the quality of the career support educational institutions can provide. 

An important work which strongly inspired the rationale of the STAR.APP project is the recent research done by the OECD called “Career Ready? How schools can better prepare young people for working life in the era of COVID-19”. In this recent report, national longitudinal students’ datasets and PISA OECD data from a sample of around 600.000 students from 79 countries were reviewed with the aim of identifying early indicators of career readiness. The study looked to find out what is linked to better adult outcomes and highlights that the way teenagers (i) think about their futures in work and what they do to (ii) explore and (iii) experience workplaces within and outside of schools is consistently associated with better than expected employment outcomes in adulthood. The full report is available here

This new approach represents a fundamental step forward as it opens up new reflections and guidelines to action. Using available data to discover what works and who is more at risk of negative outcomes gives educational institutions the possibility to improve the effectiveness of their services and to promote a more personalised approach to respond to the needs of students. 

This is particularly promising for the academic context as a wealth range of data is collected during the students’ journeys. Data can be used to flag students at risk and to develop personalised support activities.