Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Bioscience for Life!

Each time I launch a new blog I will try and open up a potential STEM job growth area for you to consider undertaking some practical exercises for groups within the school.  At the beginning of this new decade and in keeping with the theme of this month's blog - JOBS IN 2020 - I want to highlight BIOSCIENCES as a career area for you to focus on during the month of March. I would like you to consider using a sample of the sixth form science students as 'experts' on Biosciences to work with KS3 pupils in preparation for GCSE subject choice. Perhaps I could ask you to liasise with your science department in producing some poster display materials to be viewed by younger pupils in the school.(Material is available free of charge) read more 

Planning: a career for people who want to keep growing after they grow up

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Not many 5 year olds dream about being town planners when they grow up. But when being an astronaut, ballerina or train driver starts to look a bit less realistic, it’s a career your students or clients should consider. They may not play with building blocks any more, but through planning they can shape the world around them and help build a better future.

How will you earn a living in 10 years time? Key skills for the next decade?

How will you earn a living in ten years time? The way we work in 2020 will be shaped by those entering the workforce - pupils like those currently in their KS3 years!

If we were to ask them what kind of jobs they expected to be doing in 2020 what would their answers be - TV/film director; barrister; accountant; designer; journalist; police work; professional sports person; actor; doctor etc and what do they want from work? Money? status? or to have a job that's fun enjoyable, helping people, making a real difference?

Perhaps there is an opportunity for you to engage your sixth form students conducting just such a survey with Years 8, 9 or 10 to find out what kind of future they foresee for themselves. The results could really provoke interesting discussions on the skills required to address their many career ambitions! 

What careers don't you need mathematics for?

"Theatre design, climate change modelling, designing computer games: What careers don't you need mathematics for?

In December 2009, Kate Bellingham, the government's career champion for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects launched http://www.mathscareers.org.uk/.

Talking about how maths made her career, Kate suggests that the great thing about maths was that the further you took it, the further it takes you. Her passion for the subject underlined how much she'd done in her own career to date: physics, sound engineering, teaching, TV presenting (formerly on BBC's Tomorrow's World), promomoting science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for the government.

The future of universities in a knowledge economy.

It is vital to the economy to have flourishing universities, as Presidents Obama and Sarkozy know.
Editorial The Independent 18.02.2010

Lord Mandelson, the secretary of state for business, innovation and skills is pushing universities to use 'contextual data' to accept students with lower graded A-levels, or none at all, if they show potential despite being held back by social disadvantage, poor health or a difficult home life. But how does this tie in with cuts to university budgets, restrictions on the number of students, unprecedented numbers applying for degree courses and soaring A-level results? It all adds up to intense competition for places and large numbers of disappointed applicants. The economic climate means more students will be likely to apply to university, while those who didn't get places last year may re-apply, and there will be less available to pay for them. Everything it would appear is being squeezed at the same time!

Be Skilled, Be Qualified, Be Paid!

Travelling the two miles recently from Donaghmore to Dungannon by Ulsterbus, I was drawn to the large advertising poster to the back of the driver. The content of which ran something like this;

APPRENTICESHIPS _ Which one works for you?

Be Skilled, Be Qualified, Be Paid

In these recessionary times the Stormont Committee for Employment and Learning has sought to establish why tens of thousands of young people in the North are disengaged from training and employment.
There are some 40,000 NEETS (not in employment, education and training) in the North, many of whom are not willing to participate in alternative provision.

What will work look like in 2020?

As we begin the second decade of the new millennium, Ian Wylie, writing in 'The Guardian' (Saturday 9th January) posits an interesting question for us on what work will look like in 2020. According to futurists, trade unionists and human resource specialists in 10 years' time, jobs will be very, very different. Perhaps now is a good time at the start of a new decade to figure out which sectors, industries and jobs are destined for growth.