What is a digital career? That’s an easy question to answer – digital is now an integral part of almost any career; financial services, public administration, the creative industries, construction, healthcare, retail all make every day use of digital. And if they don’t they soon will be! Year 11 students at Roundwood Park School got that answer to our question at a recent careers session run by Silicon Abbey. They also recognised that digital is as much a creative discipline as a STEM subject.
While there are lots of very well qualified people working in digital, there’s also lots of opportunities for people with passion and great practical skills. Nowadays, scary though it might be for many of us, digital is also a career where you can quickly be heading towards the top – whether within a larger organisation or your own start-up. In fact, new, unencumbered thinking is often a positive advantage when you’re looking for the next disruptive digital breakthrough. No more working your way up the slippery pole for 15 years!
More seriously I did wonder if the current debate about the future of work and the end of the career has filtered down to careers advice in schools. That’s not a criticism of any individual school and certainly not Roundwood Park, but the whole system remains predicated on getting good qualifications, your choice of Further/Higher education and making a 40-year career choice in your early 20s. That’s entirely understandable given it’s the experience of most parents of teenagers, and teachers who are, by definition, pursuing their vocation. Yet many commentators now talk about us having portfolio careers and the education system’s role in inculcating personal resilience and self-reliance to deal with that. Interestingly the Roundwood Park word wall displayed in the school reception had many of the words the students thought they’d need for a career in digital; team working, creativity, determination, research and communication skills…. So, keep a look out for a generation of digital stars from Harpenden!