The development of Career Management Skills (CMS) is a priority throughout Europe. Both national and international policy and research point to the need to teach people the skills that help them navigate the complex educational landscape and the changing labor market. In Estonia, a model has been developed in cooperation with various stakeholders to define the skills necessary for career management.

How the CMS model was born

The development of the Estonian CMS model began nearly 10 years ago with the participation of schools promoting career education. The original version of the model concentrated on national curricula, including career management skills in a school setting, general education goals, and the learning outcomes and content of the cross-curricula theme.

The model was then refined in light of research findings, expert opinions and career management theories. Today, the model is based on the guiding principle of constructivism. It is important for a person to create meaning for their life and identity, discovering and creating their own opportunities, and that each person designs their own life and career. By analyzing the theories, the focus was on the central questions that emerge when planning one´s life. As a result, we tried to pair up the relevant career questions and skills, which help to find answers to these questions and take action independently or with the help of a career specialist.

The definition of attitudes and values ​​described in the model is based on the values education. The four main tasks of which are: to teach people to recognize and acknowledge one’s own intrinsic values ​​and ​​of others; to direct a person on reflection of their values; to enable the practice of values; and to be the mirror of the manifestation of values.

The framework and usage of the model

Several agreements, including national curricula, occupational qualification standards for career professionals, and service standards for career services, are the cornerstones of the service quality, availability and CMS development framework.

The main structure of the model consists of four competency areas: development of self-awareness, analysis of opportunities, planning, and taking action.

The model in its compactness helps people to understand what their career management skills are, how to develop them and how to make them work.

For a career professional, the CMS model is an efficient tool for working with a client to help monitor the progress of the development of CMS skills and to determine the client's need for help.

The model also describes CMS learning outcomes throughout formal levels of education to provide self-evaluation possibilities for individuals and help career professionals and teachers to monitor the development of CMS, plan relevant study activities and select counselling methods.  So, when planning studies and selecting methods, teachers find the section "Development of skills in the learning process,” which concentrate on the learning outcomes relevant to each level of education, to be most helpful.

You are welcome to read more about the national framework on-line: Estonian framework: Support for the development of career management skills