Career opportunities

I’m interested in presentations of careers and careers work in popular culture. I’d be interested in some nominations.

To start off I thought I’d put up The Clash’s Career Opportunities. All in all a pretty negative image of careers work. Essentially it paints careers advice as a tool of “the man”. It is a way of pushing young people into doing things that they don’t want to do in order to make them less dangerous.

Are there any more positive examples out there?

The lyrics follow – judge for yourself

Career Opportunities lyrics
The offered me the office, offered me the shop
They said I’d better take anything they’d got
Do you wanna make tea at the BBC?
Do you wanna be, do you really wanna be a cop?

Career opportunities are the ones that never knock
Every job they offer you is to keep you out the dock
Career opportunity, the ones that never knock

I hate the army an’ I hate the R.A.F.
I don’t wanna go fighting in the tropical heat
I hate the civil service rules
And I won’t open letter bombs for you

Bus driver….ambulance man….ticket inspector
They’re gonna have to introduce conscription
They’re gonna have to take away my prescription
If they wanna get me making toys
If they wanna get me, well, I got no choice


Ain’t never gonna knock




Guess who’s back?

I’ve been off on holiday for a couple of weeks. Phone and laptop turned off. I haven’t written anything or communicated with the outside world durning this time. I have been thinking and reading however. I’ve also be cycling, swimming and generally having fun. Holiday’s have much to recommend them I believe.

I’m now back. Normal blogging etc services will be resumed over the next couple of days.

The Derby Academic

Here is a poster that I put together with Kieran Bentley about some research that we are doing on ???the Derby Academic???.


Our initial findings are that at the University of Derby there seems to be a remarkable alignment between academic values and the values of the institution with both academics and official documentation emphasising the primacy of teaching, a supportive learning environment and the importance of socially and economically productive outcomes from higher education.


The poster is a bit text heavy, but hopefully it shows what we are finding so far.


Researchers, fixed-term contracts and universities: understanding law in context

Vitae has just published the Researchers, fixed-term contracts and universities: understanding law in context report that I wrote with Liz Oliver. I’m really pleased witht the way that it has turned out. In particular I think that it is a valuable contribution to the discussion of researchers’ career development because it widens out the focus beyond the individual. A lot of the work that we have done around researchers’ careers has tended to emphasise the role of the individual in responding to whatever happens to them. This report refocuses attention on the opportunity structure and demonstrates how fluid that is and how much scope various actors within HEIs have got for influences the circumstances within which researchers pursue their careers.

I hope you enjoy the report.