magnifying-glass menu chevron-left chevron-right cross facebook icon instagram icon twitter icon link comments home download

It is now widely accepted that while young people need a combination of technical skills and knowledge related to specific areas, their capacity to adapt to change, identify and embrace opportunities, and develop resilience for the inevitable tough times, are skills that are crucial to their survival in a world where rapid change is the only constant.

Developing career management skills is a lifelong journey that begins with:

  • learning to understand and manage influences relating to career planning and lifelong learning
  • developing skills, knowledge and capabilities to make career decisions
  • applying your learning to achieve educational and career aspirations
  • building resilience and the capacity to manage change throughout a lifetime.

At Northcote High School, we provide careers education, rather than simply giving advice. It is our role to support young people in developing their self-awareness, and the skills they need to research and explore their options, so they can make informed decisions about their own future.

When we target and explore a specific line of work, we do so in the spirit of working out what skills might be needed, rather than looking for a one-word title that can then be used to define, and perhaps limit, a young person’s goals.

The world is changing fast, which brings with it many opportunities, as well as many challenges. This is just the first step in a lifetime of career adventures.

Our career development activities are guided by a professionally qualified Careers Counsellor, who provides comprehensive career information to families and students on options for their future, and supports them through the transition from school to further study or the workplace.

We work closely with students throughout their school life to provide them with the understanding and information they need to make informed decisions about their education, training and employment options.

Online resources

Families and students have access to up-to-date, timely and helpful careers resources on My Northcote High, including tips, news, updates and information on the tertiary application process.

Career education activities

Our teachers work closely with our Careers Counsellor to run varied career education activities and information sessions throughout the year to support students to gain the skills, knowledge, behaviours and capabilities they need to choose a career pathway and to manage their careers throughout their life.

We keep students at all year levels informed about opportunities for developing their skills, working, volunteering, and gaining insight into various pathway options. We encourage students to take up as many of these opportunities as possible.

Students are also supported to develop the skills to research, evaluate information and make decisions so they can pursue their own goals for work and study.

Students at junior levels participate in activities to help them to develop self-awareness and encourage exploration, and from Year 9, career education activities are built into the curriculum more comprehensively.

Years 9 and 10

In Years 9 and 10, we start to focus more closely on future planning and exploring options that are available to our young people when they complete their schooling.

As they reach an age where they can access more work-related opportunities outside the classroom, Year 9 students explore the world of work and begin to plan their Year 10 experiences. Skills development and self-awareness are focus points at this stage. Students have the opportunity to participate in VET taster days.

We provide our Year 10 students with more intensive careers and pathways planning, mostly through our Connect Program.

At Year 10, every student completes a detailed Career Action Plan, and they refer back to this plan throughout the year in response to guided reflection on how to plan, evaluate and adapt their career and study goals.

They also develop or improve their curriculum vitae to apply for part-time employment, scholarships and other academic programs outside our curriculum.

All Year 10 students participate in a Careers Day, which includes careers workshops with guest speakers who help students explore aspects of various career pathways, as well as hearing from experts and past students. Students are encouraged to start visiting tertiary institutions and trying out vocational options to broaden their study experiences.

Years 11 and 12

In the senior years, we offer students the opportunity to more closely investigate the options available through tertiary studies or alternative pathways.

Many of these sessions are also designed to assist parents to work with their child and the school when choosing pathways for their studies.

Year 11 students participate in a series of workshops and lectures at RMIT to experience a tertiary setting, and a range of activities to broaden their career knowledge and capacity to make appropriate choices. Year 12 students also attend La Trobe University, where the focus includes preparing for achieving their best in their final year of schooling.

Students in Year 11 and 12 are taught how to use the VTAC site and tertiary institutions’ websites to research and check their options, and Year 12 students are supported throughout the tertiary application process.

The Connect Tutors at each level provide information and support throughout this process, and work closely with our Careers Counsellor to stay up to date with relevant information.

Careers counselling

Students and families are welcome to make private appointments with our Careers Counsellor, especially in their senior years, to discuss specific course and career choices, and make sure they are on track to achieving their goals for their work and study plans. Appointments can be made via My Northcote High.

Work experience

Experiencing the workforce is one of the most effective ways to gain insight into specific professions and the nature of work in our culture, which can help young people make decisions about their own future plans. Research also tells us that people who have already worked are more likely to gain further employment.

At Northcote High School, we encourage all students to undertake work experience, and it is an important part of our Year 10 program. One week in May is set aside for work experience, and all students are expected to participate. Additional placements at times outside this week are encouraged.

In addition, all students who take a VET subjects are encouraged to undertake Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) placements. These are industry-based placements that allow students to gain on-the-job skills in the industry related to their VET studies. These placements can be a vital stepping stone towards meaningful employment in that industry.

All VCAL students undertake SWL placements one day a week as part of their VCAL program. VCE students in Year 11 and 12 are also supported if they wish to do work experience as part of their pathway planning.

Our students do these placements in a wide range of industries and workplaces.

We welcome alumni and parents who can assist current students with career-related activities.

For more information about careers guidance or to offer your experience or expertise, contact our Careers Counsellor, Karen Burgess on or 9488 2301.

© 2021 Northcote High School