Digitalisation and career guidance

The research project aims to analyse existing forms of career guidance, particularly in relation to the use of digital media. It also seeks to determine which digital networking and information options young people use in everyday life and for career guidance, how they do this and what the effects are. On this basis, a pedagogical concept for the design of digital applications will be produced.

Group of teenagers with notebook outside in nature
Adobe Stock/Markus Bormann

Young people’s educational and career choices are heavily influenced by social background (Becker 2016). In Switzerland, over 20% of learners drop out of their vocational apprenticeships prematurely (Federal Statistical Office, 2021) which can also be attributed to poor decisions due to insufficient information. From an education policy and social perspective, a better match between individual inclinations, abilities and interests in relation to career choice is a worthwhile goal.

Young people use digital media intensively to obtain information and guidance (Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest (Southwest Media Education Research Association), 2022). There is little knowledge available about the extent to which this media interest is systematically and efficiently used to support career guidance and choices. It is also unclear which type of information acquisition would be beneficial pedagogically in this context. This is why the research project is exploring the digital information behaviour and career guidance of young people in Switzerland.

The study is guided by the following research questions:

  • How can digitalisation contribute towards improving career choice processes for young people?
  • What role does the use of digital information and tools play in career choice processes?
  • What options for action does digitalisation provide for the various stakeholders in the career guidance process?

In addition to the analysis of the research topic, a pedagogical concept for the design of digital career information and the digital facilitation of career choice processes will be produced as part of the project. Existing digital applications will also be analysed.


The first exploratory interviews were conducted with over 20 experts from companies, vocational school teaching staff as well as teaching staff and management at general education schools. A literature analysis will be carried out on the topics of career guidance, career choice and the use of digital resources in this context. To obtain the perspective of learners at various decision-making stages, young people in general education schools and vocational schools will be surveyed using a specially designed four-stage discussion model. Based on the results of the empirical studies and the literature analysis, a pedagogical concept on the use of digital resources for career guidance will be developed adopting a hermeneutic procedure.

BeLEARN is a Swiss association promoting the digitalisation of education in which five Swiss universities are participating – SFUVET, Bern University of Teacher Education (PHBern), Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH), the University of Bern and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). BeLEARN aims to provide innovations, networking opportunities and solutions in the fields of digital skills, digital tools and data sciences.



Becker, R., & Lauterbach, W. (2016). Bildung als Privileg – Ursachen, Mechanismen, Prozesse und Wirkungen. In R. Becker & W. Lauterbach (Hrsg.), Bildung als Privileg. Erklärungen und Befunde zuden Ursachen der Bildungsungleichheit (5. Aufl., S. 3–53). Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

Bundesamt für Statistik (BFS) (2021). Lehrvertragsauflösung, Wiedereinstieg, Zertifikationsstatus. Resultate zur dualen beruflichen Grundbildung (EBA und EFZ), Ausgabe 2021.

Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest (2022). JIM-Studie 2022 - Jugend, Information, Medien. Online abrufbar unter [05.04.2023]

Diekmann, A (2011). Empirische Sozialforschung – Grundlagen, Methoden, Anwendungen (5. Auflage). Rowohlt Enzyklopädie.

Mayring, P. (2010). Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse. 11. Aufl. Weinheim.