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Maggie Greyson, George Wang. and Angith Mohanarajan

The career landscape is changing at an unprecedented pace. As a result, students in post-secondary education, and those that have recently graduated from post-secondary education, face tensions between the education system and real-world employment. Are post-secondary institutions sufficiently preparing students to navigate the changing work environment with the training and skills they acquired during school? This study explores “How might individuals discover future work aspirations during a conventional post-secondary course of study?”.

While every person has the right to write their own story, dysfunctions in the social system inhibit our journey towards finding the right places where we can realize our full potential. For example, the lingering perception that post-secondary education is the default path to success and a curriculum that hinders self-reflection results in disillusionment among generations of graduates who find themselves stuck on a career path leading in the opposite direction than their actual goals. Fixing the dysfunctions can help alleviate the problem of 40.5% of graduates being unemployed and underemployed (CIBC).

A gigamap is a visual design tool used to describe and illustrate the complexity of a wicked problem and the associated greater system in consideration with respect to the research question. The research team conceptualized this system as a pinball machine to emphasize the limits of control that youth have in finding a career in Canada. The eroding goals and shifting the burden archetypes and the multi-level learning loop diagrams are used to describe different reactions to the feeling of being stuck. Through this gigamap, we can begin to unravel the forces that move individual aspirations in hopes of generating insights that lead individuals onto the path of fulfillment. Thus, our wicked problem is the tension between inter-generational values, the needs of the changing world and the speed of the educational system adapting to this phenomenon.

Tal, B., (June 20, 2013) In Focus Tenth of Canadians aged 15 to 24 not employed or in school. CIBC Capital Markets.


Pre-proceedings drafts are available for review. The corresponding paper number is at the end of the title.




Citation Data

Author(s): Maggie Greyson, George Wang, and Angith Mohanarajan
Year: 2022
Title: Finding yourselves in a changing world of work
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 204
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 1 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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