The Buzz about STEM: the skills every school leaver needs

Image by Ben Mullins on Unsplash.

Our podcastThe Buzz About STEM, is for parents who want to help their teens navigate the journey into study or work after school. In this episode we talk tech skills beyond school, and what parents need to know about the many different paths to a career in technology

Are you set on university for your child, or have you considered that a tech career might not require a degree?

In this episode our guests Patrick Kidd, CEO of the government-funded Future Skills Organisation, and Cia Kouparitsas, chief marketing officer with social impact organisation With You With Me discuss this, along with the skills they say every job will soon require.

Patrick says in the coming five years Australia will need more than 300,000 additional people to get into the tech sector, but that we also need to upskill the whole population to be digitally literate.

“To get to a level of digital capability so they can thrive in the world that we now live in.

“The reality therefore is that we can’t keep on doing things the same way that we’ve always done them. You know, the traditional educational models will suit some people, but they don’t suit everybody.

“I’d love to see us get to is to a place whereby we recognise that, you know, some people will thrive in university, some people will thrive in vet doing a long form course such as an apprenticeship. Some people will want to go and do a hybrid degree in VET/university, but other people need to just go and do a short course and get the skills that they need to go and be useful in the workplace.”

Likewise, Cia says “It’s important that both parents and students understand that university isn’t the only option.

“We’re all familiar with that apprenticeship model, you know, someone who’s a builder or a plumber leaving school to receive practical work experience for an entry level role, and we see a tech apprenticeship is no different. It’s just about creating a pathway for young people who may not have done any formal tech study yet.”

Listen to the podcast for more from Patrick and Cia on how to help your children get the skills they’ll need regardless of the career path they choose.

Charis Palmer

Author: Charis Palmer

Charis is Managing Editor of Careers with STEM. She has spent her career making complex subjects fun and interesting for general audiences. She’s worked as a reporter, news editor and publisher/founder across science, energy, business/economics/markets and tech for organisations including The Conversation, iTnews, Monash University and Schwartz.


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