1. Introduction

The career development center services at AAU aims to provide comprehensive resources and services that are complementary to and integrated with, the academic provision of the University, enabling students and graduates to develop, evaluate, and implement career decisions and employment plans.

Career development services will seek to ensure that students are treated equitably regardless of their gender, race, color, ethnic or national origins, age, disability, socio-economic background, religious or political beliefs and affiliations, or other inappropriate distinction.

The career development services should be managed by a team of professional career development advisers who will offer advice and support on career-related issues throughout students’ time at the University.

Where appropriate, Students may refer to other individuals, services or professional bodies inside and outside the University for special and further advice.

This office of students’ career development center was established formally with the assignment of the director on May 14, 2018. The office established under the president to enhance the students’ career development and increase employability opportunity. The office since the date of establishment has performed many activities and plans based on the MOE plan.

The office established student advisors/counselors at each colleges and institutes of Addis Ababa University. The office is now planning to open office for all the centers councilors at each office. The colleges and institutes are requested to provide office at each respective campus so that students obtain advice from nearby office on any issues related to their career skill development

Since August 2017 Addis Ababa University has formulated Deliverology plan aimed at increasing the employability of graduates- consistent with the direction of Ethiopian Higher Institutions as formulated by the FDRE MoE in consultation with stakeholders. The plan has identified seven relevant strategic actions to realize a 95% employability of the university’s graduate by the year 2020. Career services is one of these strategic actions selected to drive the result (i.e., realize the target). The priority has embraced improving students’ soft skills, entrepreneurial skills and career development through intensive trainings, career guidance, counseling, job fairs, career weeks and other related activities deemed relevant to enhance the employability of our graduates.

As indicated in the delivery plan of the university, the career services strategy will enable students to present and demonstrate their competency better, making them more attractive to employers. They will also have more clarity on their career path and will be in the position to meet the knowledge, skills and attitude requirements of wage employment or self-employment.

In addition to its importance to achieve the set target of employability, since the career services include a large number of distinct activities, and for the size of the university is undeniably big, it is found necessary to organize the services into a formal and legitimate work center. It has been also verified that there is no unit of the university currently engaged formally in provision of these services. As indicated in the action plan of the deliverology, it is also clear that the university leadership is committed to this end.  This concept note is thus an attempt to propose a preliminary framework to organize and manage career services at AAU.

2. Vision

Career Services at Addis Ababa University seeks to engage students and alumni in the process of exploring, developing and pursuing a high-performance career pathway, leading to positive impacts on the community where they live and on the global workforce as well as supporting in entrepreneurial skill development by 2023.

3. Mission

Addis Ababa University Career Services is committed to empowering students and graduates to discover their passion, explore their career options, develop their personal career plan, and attain their goals as part of their lifelong educational philosophy. Recognizing that career development is a continuing process, the mission of Career Services is to empower AAU students and alumni in their career discovery by providing career resource development, experiential learning opportunities, and community engagement, which make best use of their interests, skills, strengths, values, and knowledge.  Exploring and choosing academic majors and career options obtaining, participating in and reflecting upon experiential opportunities not limited to externships, internships, clinical rotations, practicum, field placement, service learning, co-curricular activities, undergraduate research and other experiences; developing professional and interpersonal skills as well as essential proficiencies for workplace success; providing assistance to alumni in job search and transition to professional life;

4. Values

AAU Career Development Center aspires to demonstrate the following values through our work with students, employers, university personnel, alumni, Entrepreneurs, and NGO’s. These values will also guide the development of new programs, services, and strategic plans and serve as a framework university program development

  1. Knowledge
  2. Competence
  3. Student-Centered Approach
  4. Holistic View of Students
  5. Excellence
  6. Integrity
  7. Commitment
  8. Collaboration
  9. Appreciation for Diversity and taking affirmative action to disabled females
  10. Compassion
  11. Creativity and innovation
  12. Respect for work culture Tradition

5. Objectives of the center

The Career Services Center at Addis Ababa University assists undergraduates students and alumni with all aspects of career planning, including choosing a major/career, exploring career-related interests, developing relevant soft skills,  developing effective job search strategies for employment, applying to graduate schools or changing careers as well as enhancing their entrepreneurial orientations. The objective of the center is to enhance and empower the student’s skill through development of theoretical and practical knowledge. Specifically:

  • To increase the students skill and enrich the university teaching by practical oriented approaches
  • To let the students know how to write CV, sell themselves, jobs hunting, present for interview, communication skill, build confidence, write application letter, how to be ethical in employment skill, work ethics, time management skill, entrepreneurial skill and build Companies’ trust on our students.
  • The ability to gain insight into their own identities including their Interests, skills, Values, Personalities, and future goals through self-assessment, self-reflection, and active exploration.
  • The ability to write well-constructed r structured and effective documents that reflect their personal knowledge, an understanding of the goal sought, and the ability to create connections between the two.
  • The ability to identify and research potential choices in the job or graduate school decision-making process and then to promote and market themselves to chosen opportunities in a professional manner.
  • The ability to initiate, develop and maintain professional relationships in ways that foster mutually beneficial and continuing professional growth and development.
  • The ability to understand new cultures and organizations and to negotiate the transitions to them and within them.
  • Ability to create and innovate their own jobs and start up business through entrepreneurial skill development.