The International Baccalaureate: Education for life

Published 22/04/2022

International Baccalaureate students are ideally placed to face their futures head-on, whether it’s going on to study at university or thriving in employment post-graduation. Skills such as cultural intelligence and adaptation, or learning to work respectfully alongside others, are taught within both of the post-16 IB offerings: the Diploma Programme and the Career-related Programme.

Such competencies interlap between university and employment, and, by learning within the IB framework, students are equipped with an unshakeable resilience, no matter what their future holds.

The ability to adapt, a core strength in today’s changing world, is crucial for success. Modules that focus on cultivating this skill lead to the development of young people who are internationally-minded, self-aware, independent and resilient, prepared for higher education or the start of their career.

The learner profile that underpins both the DP and the CP – comprising a list of attributes students work to cultivate – is key to forming robust, prepared learners who are ready to take on any challenge; tools which a recently conducted employability research study found to be in short supply among young people.

Access to respected higher education institutions

Of all the IB Diploma students, 95% of graduates go on to higher education. For those moving on to university, both DP and CP students find a more seamless transition, having evolved their independent learning and critical thinking skills over the two-year duration of their chosen program.

Information literacy helps them to identify truthful discourse, and empowers learners to take ownership over their own education. This means that IB students create strong study habits and they are young people who are not afraid to ask for help when they need it.

The DP supports students with receiving feedback from their instructors, then understanding how to apply that feedback to their own learning. This is a vital skill for transition and in approaching the next stage of learning; setting them up for success in a university setting and placing control firmly in their hands so they can take responsibility.

“The diversification of assessment in IB programs also means students have the freedom to express their learning in different ways”

The diversification of assessment in IB programs also means students have the freedom to express their learning in different ways; a more inclusive approach to learning. The IB’s theory of knowledge content and extended essay format makes for learners who are excellent communicators. Student reflection in the form of ethical dilemmas and discursive argument creates strong critical thinkers who know how to get the information needed to move forward, self-aware of the ways in which they learn best.

Thriving in employment

There is a lot of crossover between academic and employability skills, and the DP and CP both have foundational materials to help students on either path. Independent career coaching and career development are built into the programs, and staff are on hand to help students consider how what they’re studying contributes to the next stage of their development.

Students are taught to consider entrepreneurship and there is a breadth of opportunities for placements and internships to make the transition into employment more successful. Instructors understand the challenges and the students learn how to use what they’re learning to find their feet. Their foundational knowledge diversifies meaningful work experiences, leading them to employment that excites them.

The learner profile within both post-16 programs is embedded in everything students learn, enhancing their opportunities for growth. At the core of the profile is intercultural understanding, creating a continuum from classroom to higher education and beyond. The young people who have been cultivating these skills with the blend of coursework, internal assessment and practical skills that are offered within the IB thrive wherever their ambitions lie.

About the author: This is a sponsored post from IB. To discover more about how the IB prepares students for career-related learning, employability and university. Click to watch the recent webinar from expert panellists and educational partners on how the DP and CP pave the way to meaningful employment and higher education.

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