There should be an emphasis and a need for curricular development towards learner attributes promoted by providers. Predicated upon preparation, learners for work place strategies aimed at the development of career competence and underpinning knowledge skills: that is, how an individual might personally manage the exigencies of life, learning and work throughout his/her lifetime.
The content of career development learning in essence represents learning about self and learning about the world of work. Process learning represents the development of the skills necessary to navigate a successful and satisfying life/career (McMahon, Patton, & Tatham, 2003, p. 6).
There are a number of career development learning frameworks which may usefully inform the conceptualisation and the delivery of work-integrated learning in higher education. The career development learning framework which clearly and simply captured student-related issues pertaining to the world of-work, self-reflection, and transferability across learning and employment settings was the DOTS model of career development (Watts, 2006). The dimensions and elements of the DOTS model (viz. Self-Awareness, Opportunity Awareness, Decision-Making Learning, and Transition Learning). Self-Awareness refers to an individual’s understanding of his/her career identity; Opportunity Awareness refers to an individual’s knowledge of opportunities within the world-of-work; Decision-Making Learning refers to the skills of making choices with regard to securing opportunities in the world-of-work; and Transitional Learning refers to the knowledge and skills considered necessary for entry into the workforce.
The evidence presented for the correspondence between work-integrated learning and the theoretical elements of career development learning may not surprise career development practitioners whose profession has been involved in the delivery of work-integrated learning under the aegis of career education.