CASCAiD: Software to Support Career Decisions
CASCAiD is the UK’s market-leading producer of careers guidance software. It traces its history back to a project within the Careers Service in 1969, when it began to create a computer database of high-quality occupational information. This was used to support careers guidance professionals in their work with clients.
CASCAiD has been owned by Loughborough University since 1996. Now one of the top 10 universities in the UK, Loughborough has a world-class reputation for technological innovation; the company is able to use this expertise to develop its market-leading products.
CASCAiD’s software is delivered via the internet. It is sold in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to:
- Connexions and careers services
- local authorities
- schools, colleges and universities
- Next Step and other IAG providers
- organisations involved with the Work Programme
- training organisations
- voluntary organisations
- prisons and organisations that work with ex-offenders
- Jobcentre Plus
- HR consultancies.
Individual home users, including parents, carers and those looking at their career options, also use CASCAiD’s resources.
CASCAiD is the only UK careers company that has an established reputation for working with international organisations, using its expertise to help them produce guidance programs for other countries. This approach relies on strong partnerships with public bodies and local software or information companies.
Systems are now available in the Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Canada and the USA. All these systems are widely used; in some cases they have become the de facto national standard for computer-assisted careers guidance. You can find out more about our international projects by clicking here.
Career Information Software
CASCAiD has developed a comprehensive database of occupational information which now encompasses over 1,900 job titles. Each is meticulously re-researched each year for up-to-date information. This includes: work activities, personal qualities and skills, pay and opportunities, entry routes and training, adult opportunities and links to reliable sources of further information. The database also offers the inclusion of UK-wide higher education course data, following a strategic agreement with UCAS.
The ‘hard data’ in the programs is supported by multimedia such as videos and photographs of people in a particular career, along with case studies which add a personal and informal perspective. The database deployed in products such as Careerscape can be ‘searched’ in a number of ways, eg, by keyword, industry or type of work.
Career Guidance Software
Careers matching was first used by CASCAiD as a way of identifying the careers in the database which would be of most interest to each client. Initial research was done to break each career down into ‘aspects of work’. A user could then be asked to score each aspect on a preference basis; the careers which most closely matched their preferences could be identified.
The matching first took place centrally, at CASCAiD’s offices, with each client asked to fill in a questionnaire that was forwarded to CASCAiD. This was then processed and the relevant careers information was returned for each user. At the peak of the questionnaire/report version, over 100,000 questionnaires a year were produced.
The CASCAiD matching system has remained fundamentally open and transparent. Users are able to see their responses and how they relate to the careers identified for them. They are able to revise these answers, in light of the information presented to them by the program or after consultation with an adviser, so that the software can be an integral tool in the guidance process. They are also able to see careers that have not been recommended for them and identify the reasons behind this.
The matching process has been reviewed and streamlined extensively over the years, in light of user feedback. Standalone interactive programs that could be operated using a pc by the adviser and, subsequently, the client, began to appear in the nineties. These have developed into the programs that we produce today.
The principles are the same, with over 1,900 job titles broken down into their component aspects. Users are asked to rate how much they like or dislike the ‘aspects of work’; then, a personalised careers list can be produced for them. The products also take into account qualification levels, health factors and transferable skills. With a commitment to researching and updating such powerful career choice diagnostics, CASCAiD continues to support all those involved in career change decisions.
Our Quality-assured Approach
Our researchers review each career profile every year. Careers texts are also approved by the relevant professional body. This allows our clients to be confident that our information is accurate and up-to-date.