E-mentoring: Providing online careers advice and guidance


  • Russell Booth Career Services Rapuara


online mentoring, career guidance


Pathfinder is a free online career guidance tool which allows registered users to answer questions about themselves, generate career ideas, and gain support through the decisionmaking process. Pathfinder was launched in New Zealand in July 2004 as a recent development to the career information site KiwiCareers (http://www.kiwicareers.govt. nz). A pilot programme was completed with six senior high school students using an online mentoring activity within Pathfinder.

The online mentoring activity allows a career practitioner to remotely view the progress of a client as they work through Pathfinder and provide them with suggestions about activities to complete and comments and advice on career suggestions provided by Pathfinder. Results indicate the asynchronous communication method allows the students and career practitioner the ability to reflect on and discuss in depth the suggested career ideas. However, nearly all of the students said they would prefer a blended approach (a mix of online and face-to-face) in helping them make career decisions. Further investigation and research is needed into how factors such as the client's literacy level, IT ability, preferred learning style, and cognitive ability affect the online career planning process.