Careers Research Symposium: Remote and Rural Communities

Last week I was invited to attend a Careers Research Symposium hosted by SDS and Edinburgh Napier university. My presentation focused on Careers Guidance in remote and rural communities. My two main points were:

Geographic location is important in career decision making:

Different locations have different labour markets, this means that people have different employment opportunities based on their location and importantly may have different awareness of different kinds of jobs. In addition different places may be marked by different ways of being, different expectations and different values which may impact on the choices people make.

For rural and remote young people migration is part of career decision making:

Decisions about career pathways for young people in remote areas will almost always involve consideration of moving or staying. Young people may be more or less comfortable with migrating depending on their personal history (especially how much they have moved around in the past), the existence of friend and family networks in other parts of the country (or the world) and how confident and / or motivated they are.

I finished by asking the audience to reflect on how consideration of location may influence their own practice as careers advisers. This was the exercise I set:

napier symposiumThe exercise generated some really fruitful discussion about how careers advisers work with rural young people – something I’m hoping to write more about in the future. So if you are reading this and have any further thoughts I would be interested to hear them….!



  1. Dear Rosie Alexander!
    I enjoy reading your statements on career guidance and counselling. In the Faroe Islands we still haven’t implemented lifelong learning. We could learn a lot from your experiences in this area from the north of Scotland. At the moment we are attending the second half of a MA in CGC at the Faroese University and most of the students are already working as CGCs in the educational system. I was lucky to do my practicum at SDS in Dunfirmline in Fife and would love to start something similar to SDS up in the Faoe Islands.
    It would be nice to hear from you.
    Deirdre Hansen

    1. Hi Deirdre, I am glad you enjoy reading my comments, and it is lovely to make contact with you. I would also be interested to hear more about how you work in the Faroe islands. Are most of your classmates working in schools then? One thing I wonder is if you have the same issue of young people leaving the islands for university? I worked in schools briefly too, and found that I was often talking about career decisions and migration decisions at the same time. It would be good to compare notes and find out more about our similarities and differences….

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