Careers 50/50 Reflecting on the Past: Innovating for the Future

Event overview

Celebrating 50 years of careers research, innovation and support

14/15 July, Cambridge

CRAC (the Careers Research and Advisory Centre), set up by Adrian Bridgewater and Professor Tony Watts, was incorporated in 1964 just as the Beatles, Roy Orbison and Sandy Shaw were topping the charts. The intention was to improve the quality of careers work and career support in schools and beyond, and to act as a link between the worlds of education and work.  Over the last 50 years, CRAC has led a wide-ranging set of innovations in connecting students and employers, careers information and learning.

To mark the significant developments over the last 50 years, CRAC, in partnership with NICEC (the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling, which was for many years a research and development organisation supported by CRAC), will be running events over two days in Cambridge.

Looking ahead, patterns of work continue to change; new technologies are transforming day-to-day lives; emergent disciplines like neuropsychology, behavioural economics and chaos theory as well as continuing developments in psychology, sociology and management studies all offer new insights as to we learn and shape our own futures and those of our clients. In a world of ‘faster, shorter and online' how will we advise people to be impactful in their careers in the future? What will be the next innovations in careers thinking and support?

The events will reflect on developments in careers education and guidance over the last 50 years, and look forward and begin to re-think the nature of careers and career support during the next 50.

These events comprise:

Learning from 50 years of career development: what we know, what we don't know, what we should remember and what we should forget

14 July, 11.00-16.00, led by NICEC

A review of careers education and guidance over the last 50 years. This event will explore what we have learnt that should inform future developments, as well as highlighting some missed opportunities and red herrings.

Celebratory reception and dinner

14 July, 19.00 St Catharine's College

The reception and anniversary dinner will be a chance to re-connect with colleagues and friends who have worked with CRAC and NICEC during their 50-year journey. It will be mark the imminent retirement of Professor Tony Watts, co-founder of CRAC and Director of NICEC 1975-2001.

The careers horizon: envisioning the next 50 years

15 July, 10.00-16.00, led by CRAC

The careers horizon: what's new, emerging and transformative in how we learn, live and work?

  • How is work and the labour market changing?
  • How are new trends in technology like social media, mobile technologies and ‘big data' shaping people's careers and how they access career support?
  • What can we learn from emergent disciplines like neuropsychology, behavioural economic and chaos theory?
  • What should career development look like in a globalised and diverse world?
  • What is the next big idea in the career development field?

What should careers practice, policy and theory seek to achieve over the next 50 years?