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Publishers of the COPSystem, EdITS is committed to making sure that their assessments are current, relevant, and helpful to the people who use them. They periodically do research to confirm things that are working well, or need improvements and updates. Recently, they conducted a survey that showed just how career counselling is.

The Needs Assessment Survey for the COPSystem VIA consists of a series of yes/no questions where examinees are asked to self-report by selecting any areas where they feel the need for self-improvement. These 21 “needs assessment” questions fall into three categories: Academics, Planning Skills, and Job Skills. The Academics questions prompt the examinee to select basic educational areas that they feel they need help in, while the Planning Skills questions ask examinees about their need for guidance in preparing for a career or further education. Lastly, the Job Skills questions are concerned with locating and securing employment. 

Each question is listed in the table below:

“I need additional help in…”

AcademicsPlanning SkillsJob Skills
• reading skills
• language skills
• math skills
• decision-making skills
• interpersonal skills
• career planning skills
• educational planning skills
• how to find college information
• applying to college or university
• applying for financial assistance
• finding military services information
• how to find job information
• how to find a job
• how to apply for a job
• how to interview for a job
• how to keep a job
• obtaining entry level job skills
• upgrading existing job skills

Examinees were split into four categories: 7-8th grade, 9-12th grade, those who finished high school and/or some college, and those who graduated college. It should be noted that each grade category contains a different number of examinees, and they were not required to answer each question. As such, total question response rates range from 30,077 to 89,512. Bar charts with response breakdowns by grade group are presented at the bottom of the page.

Regarding Academics, examinees reported needing the most help with math and study skills overall, with the “9th to 12th grade” and “high school graduate” examinee categories requesting the most help. Across all groups, examinees broadly reported needing the most help with their math skills.

Planning Skills
Regarding planning skills, clients reported needing the most help in career and educational planning skills, with high school graduates exhibiting the largest proportion of “yes” responses. As such, it is apparent that career counselling and career guidance should be a vital component of high school and college curricula. In previous research, we have found that when career planning courses are included in a school’s curriculum, the number of students that need additional help from 8th grade to 12th grade drops from 47% to 23%. In the current sample, while a large percentage of clients reported needing additional help in career and educational planning skills, a smaller percentage requested assistance in finding college information. Broadly, schools seem to be disseminating adequate information regarding higher education, but could stand to bolster their ability to provide planning skills through career counselling.

Job Skills
In terms of job skills, our sample tended to need the most help with finding jobs, interviewing for jobs, and upgrading their existing job skills. In particular, a large proportion of the high school graduate category reported needing additional help in upgrading their existing job skills.

As evidenced by these results, exposure to career guidance and information offered in the educational setting will be of significant help to learners and jobseekers.

Reprinted with permission. View the original at https://www.edits.net/blog/needs-assessment