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Making the right career choice

19 January 2012

Career Choice

Careers advisers in Wales and England are embarking on a pilot course at Cardiff to help improve advice for young people in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Funded by the National Higher Education STEM Programme in Wales, the course has been developed in response to the need for more support for people advising on careers in schools and colleges. Following a recent shake-up of school level careers advice in England, schools are now also required to develop their own systems to deliver impartial careers advice.

18 careers advisers and 6 teachers will take part in the course which consists of guided online study and will be held at the University's Careers and Employability Service. Content has been developed by Warwick University while Sheffield Hallam University and Babcock Careers Management have designed assessment tasks for modules.

Other partners along with Cardiff's Careers and Employability Service include Cesagen - a collaborative research centre between Cardiff and Lancaster universities, the Wales Institute of Mathematical and Computational Sciences (WIMCS), the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) and the National STEM Centre.

Speaking about the course, Alison Braddock, of WIMCS and Director of the Wales National HE STEM Programme said: ''There seems to be wide agreement that STEM careers advice for young people on the careers available to those who study STEM subjects and the appropriate combination of subjects to take at school and college is not as effective as it needs to be. Working with the National STEM Centre and other partners, this pilot course provides the opportunity to develop an accredited masters level module open to those who advise young people in the UK."

Julie Hepburn, Deputy Director of Cardiff University's Careers and Employability Service added: "It is vitally important that students considering studying STEM subjects at degree level should be well informed about the possible career options following the various degrees available. This course for careers advisers will help to ensure that both knowledge and guidance about STEM related careers are available to students when they are making these important decisions."

The course has also been welcomed by Michael Grove, Director of the National HE STEM Progamme: ``I welcome the initiative as an example of HE-led cross-national co-operation to help address the need for informed STEM career guidance at appropriate level in both countries," he said.

Following the pilot, the programme could be implemented as an accredited masters-level module.

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