OECD Education Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Directorate for Education. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language (English or French) with a short summary available in the other.

English, French

Teenage career development in England

A Review of PISA 2022 Data

This paper explores the state of teenage career development in England. It sets out findings from the 2022 round of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a comparative international survey of young people in secondary education. PISA 2022 provides considerable data related to young people’s engagement in, and perceptions of, career development, including information on occupational and educational intentions and participation in career development activities. This paper compares student responses in England to OECD averages, disaggregated by a range of student characteristics, including gender, socio-economic background, academic proficiency and school type attended. This comprehensive analysis finds that in many ways student career development in England compares well with many other OECD countries, particularly countries identified as providing most relevant comparisons. However, analysis of longitudinal cohort studies show that students in England and across the OECD fail to engage sufficiently in career development by the age of 15. In England, students from lower socio-economic backgrounds engage less consistently in career development than their more socially advantaged peers. As in many countries, low performing students in England demonstrate forms of career development that raise particular concerns. The career expectations of all students align poorly with patterns of labour market demand.


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