Career Introductory Videos for Youth: Shaping Visions for Professional Development
Despite being a pillar of Cambodia’s national economy, youth lack the information to make informed decisions and plan for success in higher value-added areas of the job market. Cambodia’s rapid economic development has opened new career pathways in Cambodia, but many young people start on their career paths dependent on family or friends for guidance, and career counseling support is available in less than 1% of secondary schools. A recent Asia Foundation study showed that many students find it hard to choose a career because they simply don’t know the necessary information to set career goals. On the flip side, many employers complain that they cannot get the qualified applicants they need for available jobs.
Responding to this challenge, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MOEYS) and FinnChurchAid have completed a successful pilot project for career counseling in Battambang province that is set to scale up with support from the ADB. Based on feedback from secondary school teachers, however, it is clear that getting access to accurate local and up-to-date information on careers is still a missing step in the journey from education to employment.
Addressing this gap, The Asia Foundation has a novel initiative creating Career Introductory Videos (CIVs). Working in partnership with MOEYS, we engaged 30 university students in volunteering their time to create these career videos using their own smartphones. In collaboration with Lens Pro Media, the Foundation organized a training workshop for the volunteers on how to produce short videos. Following the workshop, students competed in a two-month long video contest to portray Cambodians at work for a young audience. The winning videos will best explain what each career involves and what educational preparation is required for entry-level positions. STEM careers are a special focus of this initiative.
With the path paved, The Asia Foundation hopes that others will join in CIV production. As Lim Siv Hong, a senior program officer for the Foundation in Cambodia, puts it, “They are open source. Anyone can use them. Anyone can make a CIV. In this sense, CIVs are really a call to private sector partners to come forward and tell young Cambodians what their jobs are like and what working in that job will bring for their future.”