For all the talk of opportunities in STEM, the idea of what an actual pathway looks like remains amorphous for many teenage students. It probably doesn’t help that so many of the stories in the media revolve around people giving up studies to make billions or getting lucky. There’s not enough focus on local businesses like WiseTech where decades of hard work translate into success.
Anyway, the Big Day In is a careers fair for technology. It is designed by students for students and is aimed at both high school (Years 9-12) and University students interested in careers in technology. There’s a wide array of speakers and presenters – which makes sense given the interest in attracting STEM graduates at the moment.
Now I have no idea what the conference will look like in action, but I hope that it will go beyond the ‘there are lots of jobs in STEM and, look, you get a free lolly bar’ approach. What so many kids need now is not to be persuaded that STEM study creates opportunities, but to understand what those opportunities actually look like on a day-to-day basis and what’s the pathway to get to them. Do they really want to be a game designer or is an architect role with a company producing business software really a better fit? What’s the day-to-day reality of the job; not the side benefits, but the actual job? Students and parents know, or think they know, what a doctor or a lawyer do. But it’s these sorts of questions that remain elusive in the STEM field.
So hopefully the Big Day In, which is of course being sponsored by the wonderful WiseTech amongst others, can help provide some answers. The Big Day In is being held all over the place in March including two Sydney locations. Details and tickets are on the website.