Personalised algorithm – More than an oxymoron

In recent years, the term “personalised algorithm” has become increasingly prevalent in discussions of education and career development. Many platforms, such as LinkedIn and My Careers, offer personalised algorithms to help users navigate their educational and career paths. But what exactly is a personalised algorithm, and how can it be used to improve career education?


What is a personalised algorithm?

A personalised algorithm is a set of algorithms that are designed to provide personalised recommendations to users based on their preferences and behaviors.

These algorithms are used in a variety of applications, including e-commerce, social media, and online advertising. In the context of career education, personalised algorithms can be used to provide users with customised learning recommendations, job search assistance, and career development advice.


Personalised algorithms in career education 

One of the most important benefits of personalised algorithms in career education is the ability to provide tailored recommendations to individual users. This means that users can receive recommendations that are specifically tailored to their interests, skills, and goals. For example, a user who is interested in a career in engineering may receive recommendations for further study, certification programs, and job postings that are specifically related to the field of engineering.

In addition to providing tailored recommendations, personalised algorithms can also help users to identify gaps in their knowledge and skills. By analysing a user’s behavior and preferences, personalised algorithms can identify areas where the user may need additional training or development. For example, if a user is interested in a career in marketing but has limited experience with digital marketing, the algorithm may recommend courses or training programs that focus on digital marketing.

Another important benefit of personalised algorithms in career education is the ability to provide users with real-time feedback and support. Many career education platforms use algorithms to track user progress and provide feedback on areas where users may need improvement. For example, if a user is struggling with a particular concept or skill, the algorithm may provide additional resources or suggest a different learning approach.


Challenges of personalised algorithms

Despite these benefits, some critics have raised concerns about the use of personalised algorithms in career education. One criticism is that these algorithms may reinforce existing biases and inequalities in the job market. For example, if an algorithm is designed to recommend job postings based on a user’s past work experience, it may inadvertently exclude users who come from non-traditional backgrounds or who have limited work experience.

To address these concerns, it is important for personalised algorithms to be designed and tested in a way that minimises bias and promotes diversity and inclusion. This can be achieved by incorporating a range of factors into the algorithm, such as education, skills, and personal interests, rather than relying solely on past work experience.

Another potential challenge of personalised algorithms in career education is the risk of over-reliance on technology. While algorithms can provide valuable recommendations and support, it is important for users to also develop their own critical thinking and decision-making skills. Users should be encouraged to take an active role in their own career development and use the personalised recommendations provided by the algorithm as one source of information, rather than the sole determinant of their career choices.


Personalised algorithms have the potential to revolutionise the field of career education by providing tailored recommendations, identifying knowledge gaps, and providing real-time feedback and support. As the use of personalised algorithms in education and career development continues to evolve, it is important for users and developers alike to remain mindful of the potential benefits and risks, and to work together to create a more inclusive and effective system for career education.