Careers in Curriculum
Calling all teachers: Do your students need more insight into the workforce ahead of them? Would you like to present real-world examples of work opportunities and career paths? Are you seeking industry involvement for lecture content? Are you interested in your students having access to some Career Readiness online courses?
Yes? Then the Careers in Curriculum (CIC) Initiative developed by Career Services is what you’re looking for! Career Services will assist with facilitating programs and classes, by providing resources and teaching assistance, which explore and identify graduate career readiness.
We got in touch with those who were involved in with a CIC program which has been running for the past two years. This is a professional practice course (Maths 3025) which is compulsory for all final year mathematics and computer science students.
This course was tailored to focus on:
Getting a job – Job sourcing, resumes, applications and interviews and;
Keeping a job – Presentation skills, communications styles, business report writing, telephone and email etiquette.
We did a quick Q&A with the course coordinator, Dr Peter Hochs, the careers educator, Michelle Mckinnon and a student who completed the course last year, Matthew Kuss (recently secured a graduate job with DXC technologies).
Career Services (professional Staff): Michelle McKinnon, Careers Education Officer
Academic: Dr Peter Hochs, Senior Lecturer in Pure Mathematics
Graduate: Matthew Kuss (Bachelor of Mathematics and Computer Science student – completed July 2019)
How do you tailor Careers In Curriculum for each discipline?
Michelle: As Careers Educators, we are mindful that content delivered in curriculum has to be tailored to each discipline. We provide specific examples of career pathways, trends in the employment landscape, job advertisements and graduate recruitment practices. We leverage our industry and employer contacts to deliver content that is up to date, reflects graduate recruitment trends and we also use information from our extensive database of past graduates to highlight examples of realistic career pathways.
Why is it important for students to think about career exposure early?
Michelle: One of the biggest challenges for students when planning their careers is gaining awareness of job opportunities and employers in their discipline. This area is a main focus of careers teaching in curriculum alongside personal branding and competing for jobs. It’s important that students are exposed to a wide range opportunities as early as possible so they have an understanding of employer expectations and how to stand out from other graduate applicants. For this reason, we partner with Academic colleagues at all stages of the student life cycle.
What type of practical content can be delivered in Careers In Curriculum?
Michelle: A “Careers in Curriculum” delivery is so much more than resume writing! When teaching careers in curriculum we endeavour to make the sessions as interactive as possible with industry panels, skills audits, site visits and recruitment related activities. Our lectures and activities focus on all stages of the career planning process from self -awareness through to sourcing jobs, decoding job advertisements, branding and interview skills.
Why is a career important to your class and at that stage in their degree?
Peter: Throughout their degrees, our students mainly focus on technical maths and coding skills. This course is an important opportunity for them to learn other skills they will need in their careers, such as team work, communication, and successfully applying for jobs. They take this course at the start of their third year, when most of them start exploring the job market. That means they can immediately put what they learn into practice. For example, many students use the resume and cover letter assignments in this course to improve actual job applications they submit.
Why do you seek support from Career Services to deliver/partner for content?
Peter: Careers Service staff are great at what they do, and their input was very important to the success of the course. They helped design the course content, gave lectures on relevant topics, arranged guest speakers from industry, and supported the use of an online system for video interviews in the course. Especially because the content of this course is not the main area of expertise of most academics, it was great to work with people who are experts at career skills.
What did you learn most from the course?
Matthew: The course taught me what opportunities are out there (I’d never heard of a graduate program before the course, for example), and what employers I should look into. I also learnt how to sell myself, by thinking about what matters most to employers, and what personal stories best emphasis these attributes.
How did it assist you in your (super successful!) graduate role?
Matthew: Practicing strategies such as STAR has helped me feel prepared for various types interviews. And while I have not yet started work, lessons on phone call and email etiquette have helped me to confidently navigate offer negotiation and onboarding processes for offers received. But most importantly, the course helped me to realise my strengths, and left me feeling that I have something valuable to offer employees.
Continue the conversation with Career Services to talk about joining in on the CIC program for 2020.