The need

The need of the European labour market for a better skilled and creative workforce along with the need to increase rates of youth employment have been at the forefront of european policy-making.

Raising levels of education throughout Europe and shaping trained and pioneer professionals with divergent and visionary thinking are among the objectives in this respect. Transversal competences required for “workers 2020” include the sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, the ability to turn ideas into action, the capability to assess own competences and talents and the reflex to seize opportunities that arise.

Career guidance

Career guidance refers to services intended to assist people, of any age and at any point throughout their lives, to make educational, training and occupational choices and to manage their careers. “Career guidance helps people to reflect on their ambitions, interests, qualifications and abilities. It helps them to understand the labour market and education systems, and to relate this to what they know about themselves.” (Education Policy Analysis, OECD 2003).


Career centres within Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) already provide a number of related services, albeit focused mostly at the time of entry and the time of exit from the University. However, a more comprehensive approach is needed: more personalized and systematic guidance and individual support paths coupled with workshops and group support, tailored not only to the profile, abilities and needs of each student but also to the needs of the European educational and cultural system. The transition from the University to the labour market would be more effective, if the students would arrive at the stage of exit with a higher awareness about their actual competences, expectations and future plans.

Against this background, there is little evidence in Europe of transdisciplinary programmes covering the entire study cycle, able to equip students with self-awareness, self-development and career management skills.

Way forward

The European project ICARD aims at developing an innovative European Career Development Programme, addressed to individual University students and covering the overall pathway from entering to exiting the University, by designing and developing a programme, on the basis of previous best practice, provided by a partner of the consortium, the Queensland University of Technology (QLD QUT) in Australia.

QLD QUT has, in the past few years, developed and introduced a Career Development Program, as an innovative way to introduce career development into the academic curriculum. The programme focuses on 3 main areas and consists of a total of 30 Modules of generic content, in the most part, applicable to all University faculties.

This project aims at examining in detail the state-of-the-art in Europe, transferring and adapting the existing material and testing it in four countries.

Read more on the expected results of the project at "Outcomes"