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Careers Education International Literature Review: Casual Impact Assessment

The University of Warwick’s Institute for Employment Research (IER) in partnership with Education and Employers Research (EER) undertook an in-depth review of research into the most promising types of careers education and the evidence of its impact on improved education, economic and social outcomes. We defined careers education as: ‘Careers-focused school- or college-mediated provision designed to improve students’ education, employment and/or social outcomes.’

The study was undertaken from early February 2016 to late May 2016. The study, commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), supported by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The main research questions addressed by this review were:

  • What intervention research has been carried out since the year 1996 measuring the impact of careers education on improving young people’s outcomes?
  • What is the strength of evidence of this research?
  • Where are the research gaps that need to be addressed?

Furthermore, this review also identified which interventions might be most appropriate to implement in the UK context to better support careers education, and in turn improve educational, economic, or social outcomes for young people.

The literature review highlighted 73 studies focused on careers education which met the inclusion criteria using a quasi-experimental or experimental approaches. The findings focus on evidence from studies where outcomes could be compared with a control group, though the robustness of the methodologies used inevitably varies. We also identified 23 studies exploring the impact of part-time employment. The types of interventions included in the examined studies included careers provision, career guidance, enterprise, ICT and careers, job shadowing, mentoring, transformational leadership, volunteering, work experience, and work-related learning.


Hughes, D., Mann, A., Barnes, S-A., Baldauf, B. and McKeown, R. (2016). An international Literature review: Careers education. London: Education Endowment Foundation.

Project Team:

Deirdre Hughes

Beate Baldauf

Sally-Anne Barnes

Project Duration:

February 2016 - May 2016

Project Partners:

Anthony Mann and Rachel McKeown(Education Employers Charity)

Project Funder: