Anne Rouh-Ling Chen, Board member of TCDCA,
Senior Consultant, Aspire Academy, Taiwan
陳若玲 / 標竿學院資深顧問
Rewind to Past
It was a hot summer in Madrid, Spain. I still remember very well that the Chairman of IVETA (International Vocational Educational and Training Association) requested hundreds of international participants to stand up and prayed for peace soul of Dr. Donald Edwin Super (1910-1994). He created Life-Span Career Development Theory which was one of the most important contributions to the vocational guidance & counseling even until now. It has also created enormous impact to the eastern country in Taiwan. Dr. Donald Super emphasized the importance of life long career development process for each person. It is regardless of gender, races or countries etc. Dr. Donald E. I illustrated a brand new 6-years career services plan based on Super’ s Career Development Theory. It was a very powerful belief and foundation for me to gain the approval the Board of University. Hence, Career Development Center at Soochow University was established at Feb. in 1991. As the pioneer of Career Guidance & Counseling Services for the university students , I had opportunities to conduct training programs to psychological counselors and placement officers of other one hundred colleges and universities with strong support from the Youth Development Administration / YDA ( former National Youth Commission /NYC), Ministry of Education, Taiwan. Students come and go. However, the career needs and challenges are still evolving as changes of society and new development of Technology Island.
Highlight of Taiwan Career Development & Consulting Association (TCDCA)
TCDCA was founded in Sept. 2012. We have close contact and interactions with the government, such as Ministry of Labor, Youth Development Administration of Ministry of Education, Career Planning Education Resource Center, Vocational Centers of cities and frequent seminar and training with school career centers, strategic alliance with industries and HR professionals, training program for career facilitators, publications of local career materials and books, research on local career programs etc. We are also offering more services to employees, mid-life career assistance and career services for the elder people and new immigrants etc. International connections are vital for continuous growth too. The APCDA was also held in Taiwan in 2016, led by Professor Hsiu-Lan Tien, Chairman of 2nd TCDCA. There were about 500 participants from USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Singapore, Japan, China, Korea, India, Philippines and Taiwan etc.
Changes and Challenges in Taiwan
I. Facing up to Fewer Young People and Aging Population
With low birth rate and life expectancy increasing, the aging of Taiwan population has become important issues and business opportunities. As of November 2015, 12.5 % of the 21 million population was 65 or above. The average life expectancy of Taiwanese was 79.8 years in 2014 based on the data from Ministry of the Interior. The World Health Organization already classified Taiwan as a society with an aging population. When we see our parents, we can see their decline energy and slow footsteps. However, the way of dealing with aging process is much different nowadays. Many elderly people are not willing to go to elder institutes. The government and society need to provide health care at home and in community centers to offer other alternatives.
II. Change of Manpower Structure
The family has fewer babies, only 1.7 children each, as the society becomes more industrialized. According to the data of Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), only 3.19 million people are under age of 15 in November 2015. The labor participation rate in Taiwan, aged 15 and older who work, was 58.81 % in 2015. Growth of elder population was 12%. The unemployment rate was 3.95% as of Oct. in 2016. There were about 10 wage earners in Taiwan for every senior citizen in 1993. But the ratio will flatten out to about 2-3 wage earners for every senior in 2033. The younger generations will face burden of aging family members.
The shift in the age structure of Taiwan’s population has enormous implications for labor force, the education system and the quality of life of elderly. Moreover, with only one or two or perhaps no children in families, the future generations will have fewer siblings. They are more educated and support from their parents. They incline to have less patience to face work frustrations and need more help in social interpersonal relationship and teamwork. Nevertheless, the young people have innovative ideas, learning fast and strong energy.
III. Challenges of Current Educational System
Fewer new born, globalization and digitalization are the three major challenges to the higher education in Taiwan as pointed out by Mr. Wu, Minister of Education in last December. There are many other resources for students to gain knowledge which are not limited to classroom teaching, textbook and teachers. Learning innovation, professionalism, regional innovative integration and join with industry for more research and innovation, international alliance are multiple developments in next stage. 159 colleges and universities will be merged or integrated to 100 schools in next five years. For example, integration of Chiayi Normal College and Chiayi Technology as National Chiayi University; Hualien Normal College is being intergrated to National Dong Hwa University; integrated Pintong Normal College and Pintong Commerce and Technology as Pintong University etc.
Looking Beyond for Future Career
Globalization is the biggest trend and challenges for all countries. As Peter Druker, the Management Leader, in his book”Next Society”, pointed out that “Change of population plus globalization and knowledge economics will be three major trends in the upper half of 21st century among internationals.” It is also vital for Taiwan as I have illustrated with some facts and change.
Below are the four major business trends in Taiwan and implication to the new career services:
1. Aging population with low retirement rate:
More health care services including career counseling for the elders, re-construction of family relationship, medical care and home care system etc. will be increasing. More companies encourage employees to have more babies and apply maternity leave. Many retired people have started their new career as entrepreneurs, consultants and health-care to substitute foreign work force etc. They share their wisdom and profound work experience with young people to have start-up or new business models especially in the innovative products, cultural, design and agriculture fields etc.
*Implication to career services:
Work, learn and leisure are three independent career parts before. Nowadays, work, learn and leisure have been interweaved into a continuous life cycle. In order words, people need to keep life-long career concept in mind and be prepared for the change. Employee Assistance Program should not only provide welfare and leisure programs, but also employee counseling for work and life balance. Each city and or community may provide career counseling service to assist the senior citizens to have their 2nd or 3rd career.
2. More internet population
More than 20 billions people use internet and smart phones, as reported by the Computer Industry Almanac. There are more than 42% of Taiwanese use internet, at least 2 hours per day. Mobile office will be replaced office-based.
*Implication to career services:
Virtual office and team members are increasing. Flatter organization structure, cooperate culture and work ethics need to be re-shaped for different generations-baby boomers, X generations and digital generations.
3. High work mobility
International companies prefer to hire middle management and young people with high mobility. People will have more business trips or work as expatriates especially in China and South East Asia countries.
*Implication to career services:
Cross-cultural counseling service and career shifting programs will enhance their performance and better teamwork.
4. Change of business model and career services
As shown in Market Information Center of III, on-line shopping has grown to 3 times as compared to 2005. Customers demand reliable products and fast transition and delivery. Bio medical companies use smart materials for their new products. Automation has increased higher productivity such as Foxconn Technology Group. HIWIN Technology produces world-high class robotic arms. Robotic arm are popular in manufacture, agriculture, and surgery etc. iRobot Roomba can help you to clean house. There is also Robot Restaurant for fun and dine. In fact, it is not just “Digital” connection with information, but more opening consortium reach out event, shifting from IoT to IoS, more focus on “solution provider”.
Innovation of young start-up are increasing. iKeybo is the world’s first virtual projection multilingual (English, Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic) keyboard & piano at anywhere, anytime. It was developed by Serafim eight young experts in 2100. They have great passion to reach their profession to offer affordable, useful and cool consumer electronics for a better computing experience. Another unique design “Hear Me”, for the blind people, won the world class Red Dot Award in 2014. This special product were created by two young compassionate lady students, Miss Lin Ei-Chin, student of Industrial Design Department at National Taiwan University Science and Technology and Miss I-Shuan Tsai, Digital Content Master Program of National Chengchi University. “Hear Me” is now available at APP store for those who need to record their life or thoughts.
*Implication to career services:
People always watch mobile and respond friends and or office messages. They become more anxious and stressful because of more digital information in faster pace and more demand of quick response. On-line career consultation and or counseling can be another good source to help them to handle stress and better interpersonal interaction. Inter-disciplinary studies and cross boundary cooperation will play important roles in new products and job opportunities.
5. TCDCA Responding to Local Career Needs
TCDCA Board members share strong belief that “Career is the life mission of TCDCA” and also for each one of us. Just as the Chinese saying, “To do a better job, you much broaden your knowledge and sharpen your skills.” Therefore, TCDCA focus on upgrading the professional career training and tools in responding to the future needs as above mentioned:
1) Certified CDA training program:
The purpose of CDA program aims to help people become a professional Career Development Facilitator with 12 career competencies, such as career development models and theories, helping people skills, case management, Professional ethics, Career resources and labor market trends. CDA offers 80-120 hours classroom learning and 30-50 hours case studies and practicum, at least 10 hours consultation with supervisor and case report etc. This CDA program is not only offered in Taiwan but also in China.
2) Promotion of Local New Career Tools in junior and senior high school:
2-1) The Career Planning Education Resource Center for the Senior High School, sponsored by the Ministry of ducation, was started by National Normal University in 2005. They have developed professional competency index and teaching observation workbook and check list etc. Several TCDCA board members are also the advisory board of CPERC. Career Interest Card is one of the most poplar tools used by high school teachers and guidance counselors.
2-2) “Do Go CARD” for career identify
This is developed by two junior high school guidance counselors, Miss Chi-yin Huang and Miss Sy-yuan Chunag. They adopted the “Self-Concept “ by Dr. Swan Career Triangle as major framework and integrated Career Interests and Reality Therapy to develop “Do Go CARD”. It is a useful tool for the junior high teachers and counselor to help students to identify their career achievement, career diffusion, career moratorium and career foreclosure.
2-3) Career Group Teacher Guide
The “Positive Career Group-Teachers Guide” for junior high school students were developed and led by Mr. Chang Cheng Yaun & Miss Su Li-chuan of Kinhwau Junior High School. They integrate Psychology for the youth and Career Development in six session program, namely Positive Psychology, , Well-being, Flow of Mind, Gratitude and Forgiveness and Discover Your Own Life Purpose.
3) Enhancement of Local Career Professionals
Outstanding career professors are invited to share their research and viewpoints to enhance career counselors, such as “How to Face Change and Un-change in Career” by Professor Shun-Ren Jin; “Well-being in Post Contemporary-Integration of Change and Un-change Career Theories” by Professor Su-Fei Huang, the 3rd Chairman of TCDCA and “Courage in Work-Alder’s Career Constructive Counseling” by Professor Julia Yang etc.
Finally, it is also the time for us to have more in-depth reflection especially in Chinese career model and study. Taiwan has her own unique historical background and blends of traditional Chinese culture, Confucianist beliefs and some western values. Nowadays Taiwan has high industrialization and export-driven economy. How can we blend the western career theories as basis and Chinese philosophy as application to develop a suitable local career professional path is also one of the future challenges for career professionals in Taiwan.
原文發表於亞太生涯諮商與發展會會刊2017 年2 月
Taiwan Facing Life Span Career Change and Challenges,
by Anne Rouhling Chen, APCDA newsletter 2/2/2017