More than 70 percent of students from the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Career-related Programme (CP) found the foundation course prepared them for university (75 percent) and work (71 percent), a new research found.
More than half of CP’s graduates have gone on to their higher education paths while more than three-quarters said they had gained relevant skills for university.
The study by the Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER) also found employment and university admissions representatives, including UCAS and schools such as University of Warwick and Canterbury Christ Church University, value CP’s fusion of academic and career-related education, which sets up students with a useful set of skills.
Touting the programme’s flexibility, Jon Halligan, IB’s head of development for Africa, Europe and Middle East, said “…it offers to suit different kinds of learners” and gives each student the “tailored preparation” to “thrive beyond school”.
“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 kinesthetic learners,” Halligan said.
Founded in 1968, the IB is a course now taught in IB schools to 1.3 million students in over 140 countries and in one of three languages: English, French, or Spanish.
Graduates can use the IB qualification for entry into many universities worldwide. One IB option is the CP, which fuses academic study and practical hands-on work.
Students take a minimum of two academic subjects from the IB Diploma Programme (DP), alongside one career-related study option (e.g. a BTEC). A student taking the CP in the finance and investment pathway would take 2 DP subjects, such as mathematics and humanities, together with a Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment Diploma as the career-related study option.
According to the study, almost 80 percent of CP graduates found their diploma programme turned out useful for their university-level study, with 83 percent saying they are coping well with it.
Career-wise, the CP was found to have a positive and biggest contribution in the graduates’ working lives, due to the head start through CP, which ultimately led to more familiarity with aspects of the working world.
Most CP graduates (73 percent) feel they have been successful since their CP days, and more than half are optimistic the programme’s good impact will stay on.
The programme’s flexible and forward-looking features are said to bode well with students in high school who are about to enter university, but are unsure of what they plan to do in college and later on, in work as well.
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.”
“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,” he said.