As Head of iCeGS, I have responsibility for overseeing the Centre's research and teaching and learning portfolio. I have a background in the careers guidance sector, which encompasses over 30 years of working as a practitioner, trainer, manager, lecturer, and researcher. I am a qualitative researcher with interests focusing on continuing professional development, workforce development and professional identity.
I am a Fellow and vice-chair of the National Institute of Careers Education and Counselling (NICEC), a registered practitioner and Fellow of the Career Development Institute (CDI), and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2021 I co-chaired the Skills Commission Workforce for the Future Inquiry which published the Transition to Ambition report. I am also a founder member of the Career Development Policy Group which in Oct 2021 launched the Career Guidance Guarantee.
I have an extensive background in teaching and learning in relation to guidance and career management and have developed several programmes to support practitioners, these include: career management courses, careers education and guidance studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I teach on the MA in Career Education and Coaching, the University's Doctor of Education programme.
I teach on the MA in Career Education and Coaching, the University's Doctor of Education programme. I am currently the External Examiner for the MA in Career Coaching at the University of East London and the MA in Guidance Counselling and Lifespan Development at the University of Limerick. I have previously held EE positions at the University of Limerick, University of East London, Canterbury Christchurch University and the University of Strathclyde.
I supervise several EdD and PhD theses in areas related to career and career development.
The career journeys of graduates from Orkney and Shetland
Young people and the online gig economy
Students’ and employers’ view of business accounting education in preparation for employment
DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD: How International Students deal with a new National and Academic Culture where no Host Culture Students Exist?
Professional identity for Environmental Health Practitioners
My professional interests focus on training and CPD for career development professionals, practitioner research and reflective and ethical practice. I also have an interest in developing career management frameworks and personal guidance.
Book review editor for British Journal of Guidance and Counselling since May 2018
Regular peer reviewer for British Journal of Guidance and Counselling since 2015
Peer reviewer for the following journals: Educational Research, British Educational Research Association, Medical Education, Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training
Member of the Scientific Committee for NICE symposium 2018
Panel judge for the EDUCAWEB Guiding Cities award 2018- 2021
Chair of the CDI Research award 2017/2018/2019
Chair of the CDI Task Group to develop a Fellowship for the Institute
My research interests focus on developing a better understanding of the careers workforce, who they are and what attracts them to the field. Specifically, I undertake research into career management frameworks, continuing professional development and professional identity for guidance professionals.
Membership of professional bodies
Career Development Institute (CDI)- Fellow and Registered Practitioner
Fellow of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling (NICEC)
Network for Innovation in Career Guidance and Counselling in Europe (NICE)
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Doctor of Education (EdD)
MA Research Methods for Health and Social Care
PG Certificate in Education Studies
Diploma in Career Guidance (Dip CG)
BA (Hons) Combined Studies
Neary, S. (2021) Constructing professional identity through adopting critical perspectives. Career Development Institute annual student virtual conference. 25th March 2021.
Neary, S. and McMahon, M. (2020) Professionalization of the career development workforce. Evolving Education and Careers. Virtual International Conference. 20-22 October 2020.
Neary, S. (2019) The importance of reflexive practice. Euroguidance Serbia Annual Conference, Belgrade, 3rd October 2019
Kavkova, E and Neary, S. (2019) Critical Reflection as a tool for social justice in career guidance and counselling. IAEVG, Bratislava, 9th-13th September 2019
Neary, S and Haug, E. (2019) Quality in careers: Where are we going? Current trends and issues. IAEVG, Bratislava, 9th-13th September 2019
Hanson, J and Neary, S. (2019) The Gatsby benchmarks and its contribution to social mobility. IAEVG, Bratislava, 9th-13th September 2019
Neary, S. (2019) Developing a professional workforce: Challenges and opportunities. NICEC confernece, Manchester, 15-16th April 2019
Neary, S. (2019) Quality Assurance in career guidance: A European Perspective. Careers in transition- career guidance as a beacon of light. NOLOC Conference, Hertogenbosch. 15th February 2019
Neary, S. (2018) iCeGS: Past, Present and Future. Imagining new perspectives on work – the role of career development in shaping futures, University of Derby, 23rd-24th May 2018
Neary, S. (2017) Career Management Skill: Matching the paradigm shift from matching to constructing a career, Career Development Institute Annual Conference. Solihull, 4-5th December 2017
Neary, S. (2017) Developing the researcher-practitioner. Decent work, equity and inclusion. University of Padova, 4th-7th October
Neary, S. (2017) CMS and career guidance in relation to students in general upper secondary education - Experiences from the Leader Project. Career Competencies and Career Guidance – What is happening in Europe? Euroguidance Conference, Copenhagen 22nd September 2017
Neary, S. (2017) Engaging career professionals in research-based reflective practice. British Educational Research Conference (BERA), University of Sussex, Brighton, 5-7th September 2017
Neary, S. (2017) Professional identity and developing a career in the careers sector. National Career Guidance Show. Leeds, 9th March 2017
Neary, S. (2017) Profession, Professionalism and Professional identity. At the Cutting Edge- Research into Practice, CDI/NICEC Conference, Cardiff, 7th February 2017
Experience in industry
I have experience working as a careers adviser in schools, colleges and within Higher Education. I have previously managed an adult guidance network and been employed as a quality improvement consultant to support the implementation of quality standards for the guidance sector. Additionally, I worked as a freelance consultant prior to working in iCeGS.
I have extensive project management and consultancy experience which covers all areas of the guidance sector for adults, graduates and young people.
Examples of international projects have included the delivery of training in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to stimulate a career guidance infrastructure. I have worked with the Ministry of Education on the Education for Knowledge Society Project (EKSP) in Sri Lanka to support an integrated approach to the delivery of careers services and training and resource development for a train the trainer programme for schools. I have worked with the University of Nottingham Careers and Employability Centre to review and develop the careers provision for students at their international campuses in Malaysia and Ningbo, China. In 2016-2017, I worked with the Human Resource Development Council in Mauritius to support them in developing a lifelong integrated career service for their citizens.
Most recently I was part of the England team at the International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy (ICCDPP) international symposium in South Korea and coordinated the production of the England paper.
I have also led a UK team on a number of Erasmus+ funded projects including
Erasmus + LEADER project supporting the development of career management skills in partner countries
Erasmus DICPDPEC project to develop integrated career guidance and HR academic programme for universities in Europe
Part of the England delegation and co-author of the country paper for ICCDPP symposium in South Korea in 2017
I have wide-ranging experience in developing training programmes for practitioners; recent examples include; working with VOX the Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning to develop a masters’ degree for career practitioners in Norway and with the (NCGE) National Centre for Education and Guidance in the Republic of Ireland to explore the professional identity of adult guidance counsellors.
I am also the External Examiner for the MA Guidance Counselling and Lifespan Development at the University of Limerick.
Additional interests and activities
I am currently
The book review editor for the British Journal of Guidance and Counselling,
The web editor for the NICEC website
The England representative for the Professional Standards Committee for the CDI and has held this position through two elections
The iCeGS team and I won the Staff Certificate of Excellence in Outstanding Contribution to Research Excellence, Winner, (2017/2018). I have also been shortlisted for this award in 2016-2017.
Galfalvi, E., Hooley, T., & Neary, S. (2020). 'Are young people aged 16-19 using or expecting to use the gig economy for their careers?' Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling, 45, pp. 34-40
Hearne, L. and Neary, S. (2020). 'Let’s talk about career guidance in secondary schools! A consideration of the professional capital of school staff in Ireland and England'. International Journal for Educational & Vocational Guidance, pp. 1-14
Neary, S. (2019) 'Introducing a fellowship scheme for the CDI'. Careers Matters 7 (3), pp. 25
Neary, S. and Hanson, J. (2019). A new career in Careers. In C, Burke and Christie, F. Graduate Careers in Context, Research Policy and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge
Weller, P., Neary, S., Artess, J., and Sahar, A. (2019) 'Leadership and ministry, lay and ordained: insights from rural multi-church groups'. Derby: University of Derby
Zahid, G., Hooley, T. and Neary, S., (2019). 'Careers work in higher education in Pakistan: current practice and options for the future'. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, pp.1-11. DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2019.1576030