This study investigated the career guidance needs of post-secondary learners who used the
NQF and CAS Helpline during January 2014. The objectives-opportunities-constraints (OOC)
theoretical framework of Dickenson and McIntosh (2010) was used to describe the career
guidance needs of these learners. The documents from the NQF and CAS Helpline were
purposefully selected and comprised transcripts of conversations that took place between the
post-secondary school learners and advisors at the NQF and CAS Helpline and that were
captured on the Insight 2 database. The data from the transcripts and research journal were
deductively analysed, and three thematic categories were used to answer the research
The learners requested information from the Helpline advisors on educational goals
(including information on tertiary training institutions, on admission requirements for tertiary
institutions, on the accreditation/registration of institutions, and on improving Grade 12
results) and on opportunities (such as learnerships and employment) in the post-secondary
environment. They also requested support in overcoming constraints such as career
confusion and financial challenges. The findings confirmed the need for a career helpline
service to provide learners with career information and career guidance in order to help them
achieve later career success.
It is hoped that the study will raise awareness of the career guidance needs of postsecondary
learners and also inform the training of advisors at the NQF and CAS Helpline.
The findings may also shed light on strategies and interventions to assist learners with the
career decision-making process at school and in the post-secondary environment.