Podcasting in Career Development

By Chadwick Royal

The term "Podcasting" is a bit of a misnomer. It is a combination of the words "iPod" and "Broadcasting". However, to "podcast" requires neither an iPod nor over-the-air broadcasting. The commercial success of the iPod (Apple's brand of portable mp3 player) can be credited for the advent of the term. However, a podcast is simply a digital recording in mp3 format - and is often distributed using the internet (mainly to "subscribers"). Podcasts are relatively easy to record and distribute. Anyone with a computer, a microphone, and an internet connection with webspace can publish an audio podcast.

In addition, listeners of podcasts do not have to have an iPod (or any portable mp3 player, for that matter) in order to hear the recording. Desktop and laptop computers (with the appropriate software loaded) can play the digital recordings. The majority of the mainstream software that can play mp3 files is available to download for free on the internet (e.g., Windows MediaPlayer, iTunes, Quicktime, RealAudio Player).

Wherever and Whenever

The success of the podcast is a result of its portability and "on-demand" capabilities. With a portable mp3 player, listeners can take their podcasts with them so that they can listen to them wherever they go (while commuting, exercising, shopping, etc.). Because of the capabilities of the technology, mp3 players can store an enormous amount of content. In addition, unlike radio, podcasts can be reviewed whenever the listener chooses.

Why Podcast?

The answer to this question is simple. Meet your clients where they are. Take a look around your surroundings. How many people do you see using mp3 players? Computers? How many television commercials have you seen regarding cellular phones that also serve as mp3 players? The technology is available, and people are using it. It has been estimated that 5 million people downloaded podcasts in 2005, and that 9.3 million people downloaded podcasts by the end of 2006. Within the next 5 years, over 60 million people are predicted to download podcasts (Joly, 2006).

Podcasting and Career Development

As career development professionals, a lot of what we do is to provide information - so that our clients can make informed choices and decisions about their lives. Podcasting is an excellent way to deliver information. Anything in which you find of value in relating to your clients can be contained in a podcast. Information that you provide orally or in writing can be re-created as a podcast (within the limits of copyright laws). Examples of podcast content include the following:

- Interviewing tips - record a list of tips that you would normally provide to clients about interviewing.

- Record instructions and tips on how to conduct a job search.

- Dictate examples of items to include in a professional portfolio.

- Dictate strategies for how to write a resume.

- If you are working in a university or college career center, interview someone who is routinely on campus interviewing students. Talk to them about their organization, what they are looking for in employees, tips that they might give your students/clients, etc.

- Interview alumni or graduating students who have been successful in the job search process. Talk to them about what made the process successful.

- Record any live panel presentations or speakers that you might have organized for an event on campus. By recording your event, you will be able to recycle and distribute the information indefinitely.

- Record a sample or simulated job interview and provide a critique or commentary of how it progressed.

- Record and distribute your own regular "program" - for example, your program could focus on a "weekly career development tip".

- Record a discussion with a colleague about the importance of understanding career interests, values, or personality.

- Record a discussion with a colleague about different career development theories (e.g., trait-and-factor theory, developmental theory, family influence, social-cognitive).

- Record ideas that you have about making successful career transitions.

The list above is not an all-inclusive list of the possible applications of podcasting in career development settings. It is intended to provide some initial suggestions for its use. The content obviously would be dependent upon the needs of the career development setting and copyright law (if you are using material that was created by someone else, you must obtain permission and rights to include another person's material in your podcast). If the material is your own creative work, copyright law should apply to this medium of creative and expressive works (Vogele, Garlick, and Berkman Center Clinical Program in Cyberlaw, 2006).

Overall, the ease in recording and distributing a podcast make this technology almost limitless. With the mobility of podcasts and the storage capacity of most mp3 players, users can literally carry hours upon hours of content in the palm of their hand.

How to Record and Create a Podcast


Podcasting Legal Guide



Joly, K. (2006). The power of podcasts. University Business, 9(2), 71-72.

Vogele, C., Garlick, M, & Berkman Center Clinical Program in Cyberlaw. (2006). Podcasting Legal Guide. Retrieved March 5, 2006, from http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Podcasting_Legal_Guide

Chadwick Royal, PhD, NCC, LPC, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counselor Education at North CarolinaCentralUniversity, and a contributing editor to http://www.counseloraudiosource.net/ ; a source of weekly podcasts for the counseling profession. The Department of Counselor Education at North CarolinaCentralUniversityis one of only eight counseling programs that have a CACREP-accredited program in career counseling. He can be reached via:

Chadwick Royal, Department of Counselor Education, NCCU, 712 Cecil Street, Durham, NC 27707 : croyal@nccu.edu : 919.530.6465

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