A bright future? The IB Career-related Programme

Research has revealed that the majority of graduates of the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme believe that it gives them a head start at university and prepares them for the world of work.

IB Career-related Programme prepares students for future success
Research has shown that the International Baccalaureate (IB) Career-related Programme (CP) helps to prepare students for university and future employment. The Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER) surveyed 339 CP students who graduated in 2014. Results showed that 75 per cent felt that the course successfully prepared them for university and 71 per cent believed that the course successfully prepared them for the world of work. The research also showed that representatives from industry, university admissions officers and UCAS valued the CP’s combination of academic and career-related education and believed that these two elements provided students with a useful set of skills for future success. Relocating families and professionals will be interested to learn how the CP is encouraging new talent into the workplace. 

What is the CP?

The CP offers students aged 16–19 an integrated package of academic study and practical hands-on experience, consisting of a minimum of two academic subjects from the IB Diploma Programme (DP), alongside one career-related study option (for example, a BTEC). This mixture of disciplines makes the programme highly appealing to students – helping them gain the experience and skills necessary to focus on prospective careers or further education – and to employers, universities and other institutes of higher education.Jon Halligan, the IB’s head of development for Africa, Europe and the Middle East, said, “One of the benefits of the CP is the flexibility it offers to suit different kinds of learners. For ambitious students, it can be a challenging qualification in which high-class academic and career-related training are combined, or it can take a more practical approach for students who are kinaesthetic learners. Because we are able to adapt the programme to suit each student, we are able to provide each individual with the tailored preparation they will need to thrive beyond school.”
Further information about the IB CP along with a wealth of advice to anyone searching for a new school in the UK and in an international setting can be found in Relocate Global’s new annual Relocate Global Guide to Education & Schools in the UK. The second edition of our highly popular Guide to International Education & Schools will be out soon. 

Post-secondary outcomes

More than half of graduate respondents went on to higher education after completing the CP, a further 8 per cent reported that they were in employment related to their chosen career paths, and 5 per cent were engaged in apprenticeships or career-related learning.The following are examples of three CP graduates, the course combinations that they studied and their university destinations:Case Study 1
  • Career-related study: BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering (double) and BTEC Diploma in ICT (single)
  • Academic study: IB Mathematics and IB IT in a Global Society
  • University: Aerospace Technology with Pilot Studies at Hertfordshire University
Case Study 2
  • Career-related study: BTEC Extended Diploma in ICT
  • Academic study: IB Business and Management and IB Film Studies
  • University: Computer Science at King’s College London
Case Study 3
  • Career-related study: BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Business
  • Academic study: IB Film Studies, IB English and IB Design and Technology
  • Higher level apprenticeship: Marketing with Woodley Coles

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Higher-education experiences

The data showed that 77 per cent of the survey respondents regarded the DP elements within the CP as particularly useful for university level study. The majority of students felt that the knowledge gained from the DP course elements, together with their research skills (a compulsory part of the CP core’s reflective project) helped them with their current studies, and 83 per cent felt they were coping well with their university studies.

Future pathways

The research findings revealed that CP graduates believed the CP experience contributed positively to their careers. Students felt they gained a head start at university, developed positive attitudes towards lifelong learning, established a global perspective on different issues, and became familiar with aspects of the working world, such as work ethic and other professional behaviours.Edward Leader, a CP graduate from Dane Court Grammar School in Kent, said, “Like me, a lot of 16-year-olds don’t know what they want to do for the rest of their lives, so by studying the CP I felt like my choices were much more diverse and I wasn’t limiting my options about whether to go to university or go into the world of work. My opportunities were kept open; there were no limitations.”For related news and features, visit our Education & Schools section.