Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Topic: inspire

Tips for achieving your best! Part 6 - Guest blogger Keon Richardson

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📥  Advice, Diversity, inspire, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Our final blog in this series of "Tips for achieving your best!" Guest blogger Keon Richardson (Sport and Social Sciences 2107) talks about how getting up early helped to achieve his goals and why he decided to turn down a more exciting social life to reach his goals!

10.    WAKE UP EARLY!

Everyone has their optimal hours of the day when they work best. But as I previously mentioned in Tip Number 6, your brain operates at its highest rate when you first wake up early in the morning. A tip I would suggest to avoid hitting the snooze button is to change your alarm to your favourite song to get you excited to get out of bed! My alarm is DJ Arafat - Tapis Vélo. Another technique that I learned from tearing my groin in Second Year and being sidelined from playing was to treat studying like training. To get to 7.30am training from town, I would wake up at 5.50am (takes me an hour to get ready and 30-40 mins to get to campus). Being on campus at 7.30am is early enough as it is, and my earliest lecture in Final Year was at 10am. So I played a trick where I started waking up at 6am on the days that I didn't have training and started working at 7am in my room. That meant that I already had a three hour head start over my classmates who started at 10am. I took the game one level deeper and started waking up early on the WEEKEND. This was pretty easy as I didn’t go out at all during Final Year so I didn’t have to burden the pain of attempting to wake up early on Saturday with a Friday Night Hangover. So the key thing is to find out your optimum hours when you work best!

11. Make “No” your Vitamin C!

In order to reach my goals, I found that I had to give up  and ultimately sacrifice certain things by saying “No” to things I would normally say “Yes” to. In First and Second Year, I always used to talk to one of my close friends from school on the phone for 2-3 hours daily. This was mainly because I only did work on the days that I had training and lecturers. So, when I would go home after lecturers, I would phone him, watch shows online or have a nap. In Final Year, I had a different mentality and I knew that my work ethic had to quadruple. I worked everywhere that I could. On the 403 National Express back home to London; in the Barber Shop; on the coach to Away Games; and making mental notes in the shower (Weird!). People would look at me as if I was mad when I worked in certain spaces but I knew I was working towards a bigger picture which would come in small steps.

"Do you want to go out tonight Keon?"

In Final Year, if I spoke to my friend on the phone it would be briefly or my phone would be unavailable as it was on Flight Mode. I remember he asked me on WhatsApp when he could call me and I replied, “When I graduate”. I could tell that he was annoyed, but he said “OK, do your thing”. I respected that he gave me space and understood what I was doing was temporary to get to the point where I could finish all my work on time without the need for extensions (as I relied on extensions for EVERY essay in Second Year). Likewise, he respected me because I told him the truth and set it clear that I just need to give up our phone calls for a short period to focus on getting my work done. I made a commitment that I would not request a single extension in Final Year, and I had to say “No” to phone calls, partying, link ups. All of it. The last party I went to was in October 2015. I even got to the point where I had to temporarily give up certain apps on my phone. I deleted Snapchat and Instagram because I found myself procrastinating on these apps when I wanted to take a “break”, and my break ended up being more than one hour looking at everybody’s Snapchat and replaying it again just to avoid my work. It takes a lot of guts to say "No" especially to things that you enjoy and are so used to instinctively saying "Yes" to. But if you want to achieve your goals, you are going to have to give up your short-term “needs” for long term achievements.

What's Next Keon!

"What have you been doing since you finished University?"

Since graduating and returning home from my eventful summer, I secured a full time role as Disability Officer at Palace for Life Foundation (charitable arm of Crystal Palace Football Club). This is my dream graduate job and I have loved every minute of it so far! I am responsible for developing and delivering the “Inclusive Eagles” Disability Football Programme in the London Boroughs of Bromley, Croydon and Sutton. This involves: establishing PE curriculum sessions in Special Schools, leading football sessions for the Crystal Palace Down’s Syndrome Eagles; line managing a team of Foundation sessional coaches who deliver on the Inclusive Eagles programme and liaising with external partners such as Surrey FA and Royal Society for Blind Children.

Outside of my graduate job, I am a Gold Scholarship Programme Alumni Mentor and continue to manage the communications for IBSA Blind Football. I have published six IBSA articles on the development of Blind Football across the world, of which five have been re-published by the Paralympic Games. I recently went to Nantes on behalf of IBSA Blind Football to write an article on the first phase of the French Blind Football Championship. As for what’s next, I want to continue developing my expertise in disability as well as coaching and developing blind football. In 2018, I will be going to Enugu, Nigeria to deliver a Blind Football Coaching Clinic to Bina Foundation Blind Football Club and running the social media pages for the IBSA Blind Football World Championships. One of my long-term goals is to manage the communications for IBSA Blind Football at the 2019 African Championships and Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. In the small amount of spare time that I have, I’ve been learning French, Igbo and Swahili on YouTube (I enjoy learning other languages and hope to become fluent in one of them!).

For me, I'm not only proud  that I've obtained a degree and not become another society statistic. I'm more proud of the fact that I stuck to what I am passionate about and now I'm beginning to reap the rewards. I'm happy that I can pursue what gives me joy and peace of mind, rather than be involved in gang wars, knife crime and the all rest of it.  I don't look down on anyone who does that as everyone has different circumstances but growing up and especially today more than ever, a  lot of young black males go down that route without knowing the long-term consequences. University is financially and mentally draining, but there are so many fantastic experiences that you can gain than just a degree. Whoever or wherever you are, take your approach to your education how Buster Douglas took his approach to defeat Mike Tyson! Be brave. Be bold. Be Brilliant. Whatever you want in life is achievable!  If you would like to leave feedback or need any further advice, email me at: keonrichardson@hotmail.co.uk or follow me on Twitter: @FinallyKeon. Asante Sana and Kwaheri! (Thank you and Goodbye in Swahilli)

 

 

Tips for achieving your best! Part 5 - Guest blogger - Keon Richardson

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📥  Advice, Diversity, inspire, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Our guest blogger Keon talks about the importance of writing down your goals, finding someone you trust to support you in reaching those goals and importantly ignoring those who may criticize you along the way .....

7.    Write down your Goal(s) and TEN reasons WHY you deserve it!

The motivational tapes, that I mentioned in my last blog, were key to helping me get through my dissertation, but just listening to them would have been pointless if I didn’t have clear goals to work towards. The tapes resonated with me a lot better when I could relate to the motivational speaker’s trials and tribulations towards reaching their goals. I had two pieces of paper stuck to my wall. One was a list of everything that I wanted to achieve by the time that I left the University of Bath. The other (and what I needed more than the former) was ten solid reasons why I believed that I deserved to graduate with a First-Class Degree. This took a lot of immense soul-searching and deep reflection to draw out ten firm reasons. Although, when the tough times came (a week with no heat or hot water in my student house; my Laptop breaking; and walking with a bruised toe for two weeks like an injured pigeon), I could return to my wall and look at why I should continue despite the struggles. At the bottom of my list I wrote “I OWE IT TO MYSELF!!!” in block letters and underlined to ensure that I would do whatever was necessary to obtain my goal. To quote Les Brown again – “You can either have reasons or results. Reasons don’t count”. Even though it was bitterly disappointing not to receive a First Class Degree, I got a 2.1 Degree and a First in my Dissertation, which is the next best thing. As I said before, who you become in the process is bigger than the goal itself!

8.    Find someone that will make YOU responsible for your goal!

If you just write down all your goals and you don’t tell someone, then it’s easy to feel guilt free if you don’t achieve them. Why I suggest telling someone who you trust about your goal is that this person will make you accountable for your actions. In Semester 2, I became best friends with a student who is studying Pharmacy. At the end of March, I told her that I wanted to get a First in my Dissertation and I mentioned the date that I would have my dissertation completed by. She challenged me to have it completed four days before my personal deadline. It took a lot of confidence to tell her about my goal and she rightly tested me to see if I was serious about my goal. There were occasions where I was in the library watching Futsal on YouTube and she would say, “so you are wasting Student Finance to watch YouTube”. As funny as it was, it kicked me back into action to get on with my work. To quote Les Brown again, "we have so much energy that can take us so far – it’s necessary that you hook up with some other energy that can take you to the next level." I ended up finishing my Dissertation a day before our agreed date and my Dissertation was finished a week and a half earlier than the actual deadline. This gave me boundless time to proofread my work before handing it in.

9. Use your "haters" as a goal!

You have to believe that you deserve your dream. MANY people will attempt to derail you from your dream. I’ll never forget when a teacher from my secondary school/sixth form said that I have an attitude problem and that I won’t last in Bath. One summer, my friends suggested to this teacher that I should speak to the students at our old school about my university experience, and this teacher said that I must have a “hidden agenda”. When I went to school a week later, he asked, “haven't you dropped out of Bath yet?”. As much as this angered me, this motivated me because I said to myself that I’m going to make sure that everything he thought about me was a lie. The day I received my First in my dissertation I 'pulled' up to see him. He asked how I was doing at Bath and I told him that I received a First in my Dissertation. The only words that he could utter was “MY GOD!”. It was an unreal feeling knowing that I made him eat his words and all the negativity that he said about me was a lie. People are going to criticize you when you’re working towards your goals, but you have to believe in yourself that your goals are possible, your goals are necessary, and you achieving your goals will help to inspire others.

 

Tips for achieving your best! Part 4 - Guest Blogger- Keon Richardson

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📥  Advice, Diversity, inspire, Tips & Hints

Keon Richardson (Sport and Social Sciences graduate 2017) continues with his tips for achieving your best with his own personal strategy for dealing with exam stress (chocolate!) and how he used motivational tapes to keep him on track ..

5.    Create a coping strategy to deal with essay and exam stress!

Mmmmm chocolate!

Following on from the wise quote that “Final Year is a marathon not a race”, I really recommend that you develop and implement a coping mechanism to deal with those moments where you are in your room at 11 pm panicking whether your all-nighter will be handed in on time or not. Each student deals with stress differently. However, I believe that we have consciously or subconsciously developed a method to counteract the stress that we face within education and everyday life. The options for students to relieve stress are endless: smoking, drinking, partying. The list can go on forever. For me, none of the above was a viable option because of how seriously I took playing Futsal. Futsal training for an hour and a half three times a week allowed me to get away from the books and channel my energy in something that I love. It also prepared me for the day as training was from 7.30am to 9am (except Thursdays). However, after the season finished in a heart-breaking cup loss to Northumbria University, I decided to take a rest from playing to recover from Patellar Tendonitis. Consequently, the only alternative I felt that I had was food. A 114G bar of Galaxy Cookie Crumble was my sacred haven to get away from the fear of completing a 15,000 dissertation in three months, the anxiousness of waiting to find a full-time job in Disability Football Development, and the other stresses in life. The moment that the blocks of soft melted chocolate biscuit swirled in my mouth, all my life fears went numb and I was entrenched in a Tango Dance with the sensation of the Galaxy Cookie Crumble. I would eat chocolate when I was writing essays, when I wanted to get away from my thoughts or when I rewarded myself for working hard (my room was full of Cookie Crumble and other treats especially when I received my Assignment Feedback). Although my chest would be heavy for a few days, it calmed my nerves and gave me comfort in the periods of Final Year where I went into isolation mode to complete my work!

6.    Listening to motivational tapes every morning an every night!

For me personally, I believe this is my KEY point to doing well in academic studies and succeeding in life. As I alluded to in the last tip, chocolate was my instrument to counteract my overthinking. But what really got me through Final Year was listening to motivational tapes.  No matter who you are, at some point during University (particularly in Final Year) you will get tired. Everyone reaches their plateau where they feel that enough is enough. What motivational tapes did for me was that it distracted me from my current situation and elevated me into a positive mindset to get through the day. There are three Motivational Speakers that I listen to: Eric Thomas, Les Brown, and Lisa Nichols; all three are renowned global speakers from the US. Eric Thomas ("WAT UP! WAT UP! WAT UP! IT’S YOUR BOY E.T!") would give me the fuel to do work when I didn't feel like doing it and the desire to push through the moments when I was getting writer’s block in my dissertation. He was the go-to-person when I was in the writing mode. I would put on his hour long tapes and let it hit the back of my mind as I was writing. Les Brown and Lisa Nichols are much older folk so they aren’t as hyped as Eric Thomas. Their motivation is a lot more soothing and the first thing I played in the morning and would listen to whilst I was falling asleep. This helped block out all the doubts and questioning myself I would usually do while I was tossing and turning in my bed. It gave me the faith that I would graduate, as Les Brown says “faith comes by hearing and hearing; death and life is in the tongue. Watch your words. Watch your thoughts; for they have magnetic powers”. Although I do not know them and have not physically seen them, they were mentoring me and developing my psychological strength to get through the workload. I found it helpful to listen to motivational tapes when I first woke up in the morning. Scientifically speaking, your brain operates at a 10.5 wave cycle per second, which is the highest it will operate across the whole day. The first 15-20 minutes you wake up you’re in an unconscious mind zone, so why not fill your brain with positive messages? Alongside this, you can write down your short-term and long-term goals! I know that you may have other ways of motivating you to get through challenging times so think on what these are for you .......

Support from Student Services - If you would like to discuss coping with exam and essay stress or struggling with workload, then do have a chat with a Wellbeing Adviser or see information on their website http://www.bath.ac.uk/departments/student-services/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for achieving your best! Part 3 - Guest Blogger- Keon Richardson

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📥  Advice, inspire, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Today Keon Richardson (Sport and Social Sciences graduate 2017) continues his tips for achieving your best with why its important to write something that you are passionate about and to speak to people who have been there and done it.

3.    Write about something that YOU are passionate about!

What I loved about my course was that there is no right or wrong answer. Studying how sport and societal issues intersect is different to studying Maths, where there is one definite answer (e.g. 1+1=2). With this in mind, we had complete autonomy to study whatever we desired for our 15, 000 word dissertation. After completing my placement year where I delivered community football programmes in local estates, I decided to analyse the degree to which participation in Premier League Kicks could enhance the social mobility prospects of ‘hard-to-reach’ young people from BAME backgrounds in Haringey. Sport-mega events and Health were the main areas of study that my fellow students completed their research on. Initially, I felt put off from my study as mine was unorthodox from what everyone else was studying and I was the only student completing research in Community Football Development. Albeit, completing my dissertation was surprisingly fun because I was reading concepts (Social Capital, Social Mobility, Neoliberalism) that I was competent in analyzing and it was enjoyable to read/write because of how it was connected to my own life. My dissertation gained unexpected attention on LinkedIn as I wrote an article about the study. Sport Professionals from the UK, Canada, America, Trinidad and Tobago (my homeland) and Kenya (my favourite country in Africa after Zambia) liked my post and created a snowball of professionals sharing my post and abundance of messages came through asking to receive a copy of the study once I had finished. This gave me further motivation to not only complete the study, but to take quality care of every single chapter from the Acknowledgements to the Final Appendix as the study was of meaning to people involved in sport across the world. I've had my dissertation praised by two senior worldwide research authors (Ramon Spaaij and James Oloo).

4.    Speak to people who have been there and done it!

Most of my friends graduated last academic year whilst I was on placement at QPR in the Community Trust. Although I was ready to conquer Final Year by myself, the Final Year hit me back and it was reassuring to have advice coming from people who had graduated. Whenever I had my doubts and felt like quitting University, I messaged my sister who studied Photography Science; my cousin who studied Economics and is currently completing his Masters; and two of my closest friends who studied Cardiovascular Physiology and Drama Studies. I particularly contacted my two closest friends as they had most recently finished University, so their memory of Final Year was still fresh in their mind. What was most beneficial was my friends and family studied degrees that were different to mine but I could draw from some of the techniques that they used for their course and apply what was most applicable to mine. This came from academic to general everyday techniques, like turning my Phone on Flight Mode when I went to the Library to study, or pace myself with writing essays – “Final Year is a marathon not a race”.

Read more on Keon's tips tomorrow........

 

Tips for achieving your best! Guest blogger - Keon Richardson

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📥  Advice, Diversity, inspire, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Happy New Year to all our readers! It's a time of the year when we often think about whether we should make New Year's resolutions and then if we do whether we can actually keep it longer than the month of January! Our Career blogs over the next few days will feature a recent graduate, Keon Richardson, who did decide to make some changes to the way he did things during his student life and for him personally this helped him to go on and achieve many awards that he had not thought possible at the start of his journey. Keon wrote a blog on his experiences at University and so over the next couple of weeks we will be featuring different aspects of his blog. Find out how Keon successfully managed his time to achieve what he wanted from his University experience. Read his tips for succeeding, his low points and how he handled this, and the challenges of being a black student at a University like Bath.

Keon Richardson graduated 2017 from the University of Bath with a Second-Class First Division Bachelors Art Honours Degree in Sport and Social Sciences with the Bath Award and Half Blues Award. By the end of 2017 Keon started his dream job as the new Disability Officer at Palace for Life Foundation.

 

Posing at the River Avon!

"My four years at Bath has been special and full of memories that I will cherish forever. I was the only student from the University of Bath to complete a professional placement at QPR in the Community Trust; to achieve the London FA and The FA Young Volunteer of the Year; the only student from the University of Bath Football and Futsal Club this season to be presented with the Half Blues Award; and one of two University of Bath students to represent Team Bath in the Zambia IDEALS Project last year and compete for Bristol City in the FA National Super League. Last summer I was awarded a football coaching scholarship by Team Archie to shadow a football coach educator deliver Premier Skills across China and support the delivery of the Federation of University Sports of China High School Girls’ Football Final from 22nd July for four weeks.

Despite the amazing accolades, I was hugely frustrated of just missing out on a First-Class Degree. Nevertheless, I am personally proud of my own personal development over my four years of academic study. As hectic as my studies and extra-curricular activities sound, it gave me discipline to prioritize my time wisely and balance “work and play”. And with God’s grace and a plan of action, I received a First in my 15,000 word dissertation.

The purpose of my blog is not to impress you that I received a 2.1; my message is to impress upon you that you have greatness within you more than you are currently expressing. You have something special in you that eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, nor hearts that have not felt. I know from my own personal life that anything is possible if you have a vision and you are dedicated to working every day to make that vision into a reality. I went to a state school in North London where I was told more about my ­limitations than my potential. “You’re not socially ready to go to University”; “You’ve never been in an academy. How can you play at University Futsal First Team Level?”; “You’ll never get into Bath”. This was a typical reaction that both students and teachers threw at me to derail me from going after my dreams to both study sport and play first team futsal full-time. As a young black male living in Tottenham (London Borough of Haringey) which is outlined as “one of the most deprived authorities in England and ranks as the most deprived in terms of crime” by the Department for Communities and Local Government, drugs, gang wars, knife crime, and robbery has been impinged on myself and other young people throughout our adolescence. But I got to a point where I realized that I should not deprive myself from obtaining knowledge nor experiencing the best life that has to offer just because I live in deprivation. Adding further to the plight, the Independent Commission on Social Mobility highlighted that “there are more young black men in prison in the UK than there are UK-domiciled undergraduate black male students attending Russell Group institutions”. In the summer 2007, I was robbed for my Sony Ericsson and Apollo Mountain Bike by one of Tottenham's rivalry gangs and that was the day that I decided that I won't fall into this type of lifestyle and I will overcome this negativity.

When I began University in 2013 I decided to set my goals high and aimed to receive a First Class in my degree. In the moment, I set that goal for the sake of it. However, between finishing my placement year at QPR in the Community Trust and preparing to coach football in Zambia, my motivation to receive a First was to take my work ethic to another level that I had not been to before. I realized that to get a First I would have to do things I had never done before, such as: preparing lists of questions for my Dissertation Supervisor; reading Books and Journal Articles with a close analytical eye; sticking to a weekly work schedule; working on days that I didn’t have lectures; and setting myself personal deadlines to finish my essays. What I have now come to believe is when you set extremely high goals for yourself, who you become in the process is much more important than the goal itself.

Even if you don't achieve the goal, your personal development through the process outweighs the goal itself. I know that's easier said than done. I cried and was very upset for most of the day when I received the email stating that I received a 2.1 and not a First. However, I am slowly coming to understand that the person I've matured into physically, mentally, spiritually and socially over the past four years at University is greater than a First Class written on a piece of paper. So how did I do this?! Over the next few days I will share with you my eleven tips to achieve your best in whatever you are studying……"

 

Thinking about a career in teaching - Part 1

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📥  Career Choice, inspire, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Many students consider teaching as a career option during their time at University. In October we had a Getting into Teaching event so I thought it would be very timely to give a teaching update and what routes are available to get into teaching as there is a lot of choice out there! Many graduates choose to do a PGCE in Higher Education, but it’s worth investigating other routes into teaching. Last week for example we heard the news of the apprenticeship route into teaching.

As there are several routes to cover there will be two blogs – Part 1 and Part 2! Today’s blog will look at Bursaries, EYTS, Primary and Primary and Secondary PGCE and the new postgraduate apprenticeships. This blog will give you a quick overview on the different routes and a few key pointers on what to consider when making your decision from some teaching professionals. However, for further detail do check out the main government website on Getting into Teaching at https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/

Those entering teacher training remains fairly static. However, school led routes have grown now to around 56%. The Government has targets by subjects of number of teachers needed and as applications for Business Studies, Chemistry, music and PE are down were down in 2016, it is likely there will be a real push to increase more places in these subject areas.

So how many routes are there into teaching? Well, there are HEI led, School led, and Specialist routes and options within these.

HEI led
PGCE and PGDE
Also options to train in Early Years EYTS
School Led Routes
Teach First
School Direct (salaried)
School Direct (non-salaried)
HMC Teacher Training (2 year Independent private schools) leads to PGCE and QTS
School Centred IIT (SCITT)
Apprenticeships
Specialist Routes
Researchers into Schools (PhDs)
Assessment Only – must have good experience
Now Teach – London only – career changers – runs like Teach First – early stage
For HEI and School Direct routes apart from Teach First, you need to apply through UCAS

Applications will open 26th October 2017

https://www.ucas.com/ucas/teacher-training/ucas-teacher-training-apply-and-track

Bursaries available for training

To encourage applications from some shortage subjects bursaries have been in place since 2011. The large bursaries given for some subjects means for example that a student wanting to teach a shortage subject with a First Class Honours could be better off doing a School direct – non salaried and taking the bursary than doing a Schools Direct – salaried. So it’s very important to take into account the subject you are wanting to teach and the bursaries offered for different degree classifications.

The NCTL has announced details of the bursaries which will be available to trainees on postgraduate teacher training courses beginning their training in autumn 2018. For shortage subjects you could earn up to £28,000 whilst training for your PGCE! Check out https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-and-salary/overview for further information.

To receive a bursary or scholarship trainees must be entitled to support under the Student Finance England criteria.

Early Years Teaching Status (EYTS)

An EYTS course covers 3month to 5 year olds. The curriculum will have more emphasis than the primary route on social, health care, child psychology and child development of this age group. It is important to note that EYTS status does not have Qualified Teach Status (QTS). However, it is structured around a PGCE course and you must be prepared to work across all age groups. You wont be able to get any funding if already have the EYPS. Graduates holding an EYTS can teach in a reception class setting.

Various routes within EYTS

PGCE birth to 5 Graduate EYTS £7,000 paid towards fees. A full time pathway
Professional certificate – part time work based. Bursary of £14,000 - £7K towards fees and £7K to employer
Assessment only pathway for more experienced practitioners. Will gain experience across the age groups. Assessment covers 5 days in Key Stage 1 and 5 days in key Stage 2. Assessment period altogether is 12 weeks and included a portfolio.
Many graduates go on to work in various locations including Disney – cruise ships, family centres, nurseries, and hospitals.

Primary PGCE

This route is again a university-led postgraduate teaching programme. Information can be found here. So I thought it would be useful to focus on what skills do you need for teaching in a primary school?

The main challenge teaching in a primary school is that you need to be an expert in all 11 areas of the curriculum. Universities offering Primary PGCE will normally offer seminars in all the different areas Maths, English, PE to get you up to speed. You will also need a good deal of resilience because teaching is hard, but the real X Factor of teaching is the need to be able to get along with children and establish a rapport. So, if you have some good experience of working with children then this will help you with an interview for this course. One additional point to mention is that modern languages have to be taught in primary schools now so it’s a real advantage if you have another language!

Other Useful information about this route!

9 month course with 5-11 age group pathway or 3-7 pathway. Both pathways lead to QTS.

Generally those on the course are 50% new grads and 50% previous career or sometimes women returners.

There are normally three large periods of school based work experience – 6 weeks,7 weeks, and then 8 weeks across all age ranges. You will also study pedagogy which is based on years of research.

The course includes 3 Masters level components leading to 60 credits and you can often complete the Masters at a later date.  It’s worth doing this as the Masters is becoming an important step forward if you want to be considered for promotion.

Working in Special Schools

The normal route is to do a PGCE and then specialise afterwards and do a Masters. Some courses will offer an option to specialise on your course. For example:

Perry Knight from the University of Bedfordshire who offer Early Years Teaching Status advises that those wishing to work in special schools or as an SENCO teacher can do one week in a specialist school on placement and if successful offered a full placement in that area. The student would then go on to do the Masters in Special Educational Needs.

PGCE Secondary School

There are many providers offering the PGCE Secondary and this is probably the best known route and a university-led postgraduate teaching programme. All applications are through UCAS.  Further information can be found on the link above on primary.   A key piece of advice here is to make sure you check out the teaching experience you will get on your selected course. For example, Nigel Fancourt – Acting Director PGCE Course Oxford works only with non-selected schools and not even grammar schools as he feels that students needs a wide experience of different schools.

There is still a shortage of teachers in secondary education particularly in Physics and Chemistry. However, Biology remains oversubscribed.

If you are a Psychology graduate and interested in teaching, then its important to demonstrate enough knowledge of chemistry and maths/stats to get in. Again, those graduating in Engineering may be able to gain a place on a PGCE course if enough Maths can be demonstrated

As in the PGCE primary, the pedagogy taught is key in drawing on wider context and research. 60 Credits are also gained towards a Masters which Fancourt stressed was needed for leadership positions. Its worth noting that for the future research informed practice is likely to be the main model  and possibly a 2 year teacher training postgraduate course incorporating a Masters

Latest News! Postgraduate Teacher Apprenticeships

The DfE announced last Thursday a new post-graduate apprenticeship route into teaching.  The post-graduate teaching apprenticeship is a school-led initial teacher training (ITT) route, enabling schools to use their apprenticeship levy to support the training of new teachers.

Entry requirements are the same as for existing PG ITT routes.  The apprenticeship combines work with on and off the job training and on successful completion, apprentice teachers will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status.  Apprentices will be paid at the rates applicable to unqualified teachers.  Schools may receive further financial support from the government for apprenticeships in the shortage subjects and also to a lesser extent for general  primary. This route is available for candidates starting their apprenticeship in 2018.  Applicants will apply for school-led places listed on UCAS and potentially convert their place to an apprenticeship at a later date. For further information click here.

Tomorrow’s blog will look at PGCE (FE), Teach First, SCITT and resources and support for potential teachers with a disability.

 

 

So you want to work with Robots....

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Commercial Awareness, Finding a Job, For PhDs, For Taught Postgraduates, inspire, Subject Related Careers, Tips & Hints

Earlier this year, I read this article on the Guardian which in a nutshell suggested, Robots will be our bosses in the future. As machine learning improves, the robotics sector is booming and who knows what the possibilities are. According to Recruitment buzz, there has been a five fold increase in the number of jobs in AI. Currently, there are more than double the number of jobs than applicants – with companies fighting to grab the best talent. In fact the job market in the next 10-15 years will be totally different with job titles that are yet to be born.

According to Robert Hillard, managing partner at Deloitte, future work will fall in one of three categories:

  1. People who work for machines such as drivers, online store pickers and some health professionals who are working to a schedule.
  2. People who work with machines such as surgeons using machines to help with diagnosis.
  3. People who work on the machines, such as programmers and designers

AI/Robotics is an evolving field and is still organic in its development. Therefore the market hasn't created a set career path or indeed  established entry requirements. However if you wish to work as a programmer or designer within robotics, it may be worth considering postgraduate study. Graduate schemes with companies like Microsoft, where you can pursue a technical pathway may enable you to move internally into their Robotics department. Recently the Guardian hosted a Q&A about starting a career in robotics, the tips below are worth considering:

  1. Motivation is key to getting your foot through the door. Upskill your coding skills – consider doing a MOOC (Coursera, Udemy, O’Reillys Safari and Kaggle are useful starting points).
  2. Ensure you are building a solid background in C/C++
  3. CognitionX provides a useful way to stay on top of developments.
  4. Get involved in Open Source projects, you’ll develop a network and also learn about the latest workflow processes.
  5. Robotics isn’t just about hard-core coding, there are plenty of opportunities working with datasets for example to influence marketing. There will be growth in support roles such as HR as start ups expand.
  6. The field is ‘Industry-neutral’ – you could work in manufacturing to preventing fraud, to interpreting medical devises to pricing up insurance. Almost every company will have an interest in AI / Robotics.
  7. Don’t expect a straight forward career path, this is a field that is evolving all the time.

Companies leading in Robotics /AI:

  •  Amazon – there are lots of opportunities  in technical as well as business / support roles.
  • Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter offer interesting graduate schemes in data analytics and in development based roles.
  • You’ve all heard of Elon Musk founder of Tesla, Space X and OpenAI. Worth looking at graduate jobs with them.
  • Other experts in the field include Google (DeepMind), Universal Robotics (Denmark) and Element AI (Canada)
  • Finally, this article from Business Insider lists 10 British AI companies to look out for. It’s worth noting lots of opportunities within Start-ups and also the wide range of fields AI / Robotics touch upon.

Now, like me if you watched the Terminator films, you'd quite rightly have concerns about 'this' super-intelligence escaping human control and Skynet becoming a reality...... ah well, this is a blog post for another day.....

 

Every company needs a Data Scientist...

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📥  Career Choice, Careers Fairs, Graduate Jobs, inspire, Labour Market Intelligence

What if there was one skill you could acquire that would help you secure a job in any industry?
That skill set is: Data Science.

 

In a report published by IBM this year, demand for Data Scientists will soar by 28% in 2020. Key take aways from the report were:

  • 59% of all Data Science and Analytics (DSA) job demand is in Finance and Insurance, Professional Services, and IT.
  • By 2020 the number of Data Science and Analytics job vacancies are projected to grow to approximately 2,720,000.
  • Machine learning, big data, and data science skills are the most challenging to recruit for.

Think of the sheer amount of data available to organisations and individuals today. As a result, we are no longer able to rely on humans to derive any meaningful insights. Instead we are relying on algorithms which has given birth to the term machine learning. The field of Data Science is bit of a moving target, with new jobs emerging daily - however below are the key roles you may wish to consider:

  • Data Scientist / Engineer: I think this is one of those all encompassing titles. Every organisation can potentially benefit from someone who can analyse past performance of their business to predict future opportunities. The 'Data Scientist' role is more generalist and could be the first step into this field of work. You will need to be confident with stats and have the ability to communicate complex information in an accessible way.
  • Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst: According to Microsoft, BI is all about simplifying data so that it can easily be used by  decision makers within a business. This is a technology driven position, with few entry level roles.
  • Machine Learning Specialist: Machine Learning is a method of teaching computers to make and improve behaviours and predictions based on use of data. As an individual you'll need excellent attention to detail and the ability to think creatively.
  • Data Visualisation Specialist: this is an industry neutral role enabling you to work in any sector or business. The primary job is to creatively and appropriately visualise and present complex data. You'll need strong programming skills and knowledge of databases. This is a highly creative role.
  • Business Analytics Specialist: a role requiring you to be business and tech savvy! This is more of a project management role where you work with technical teams to implement projects internally or for your clients.

So, inspired to find out more? Why not come along to our Careers Fair on 19-20 October, over 200 employers will be on campus. You can use this opportunity to learn about how they are approaching the big data conundrum and the opportunities available to you once you graduate.

 

 

Graduate skills in the world of the future

📥  Advice, Career Choice, Career Development, Careers Resources, inspire, Labour Market Intelligence, Sector Insight

Hardly a day goes by without a news report on robots either taking over our jobs or revolutionising our lives. I recently attended The World of Work Conference at Henley Business School where the message was loud and clear: THE ROBOTS ARE COMING and we all need to adapt and ready ourselves for this new world of work.

It is inevitable, technology gives birth new career paths and along the way some jobs disappear as machines can do them faster. According to the BBC, approximately 35% of current jobs in the UK are at risk. Nesta have put together a handy quiz which assesses the probability of a robot taking over your job. While Transport for London is embroiled in a row with Uber, driverless cars pose a threat to the whole industry (ok..I'm saying this for dramatic effect).

Truth is technological innovation has given birth to new industries. In May this year, the Tech Trends Report, now in its 10th year, provided a fascinating insight into emerging technologies that are on a growth trajectory. They identified 150 trends across a wide range of sectors from Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Bitcoin to Genomics. The one that caught my attention was the development of Invisibility Cloaks. Researchers at Queen Mary - University of London are experimenting with electromagnetic and audio waves, tiny lenses that bend light and reflective materials to hide objects in plain sight.

In a report by Microsoft 65% of school students in university today will take up jobs that don’t exist yet. So what does all this mean in practical terms? If you are embarking on your graduate career, I think it is important to stay focused on sectors and trends with potential for future growth. This awareness will make your career progression easier and potentially offer greater job security. In his book 'What to do when machines do everything' the message is clear - work on developing personal skills such as empathy and creativity (essentially the stuff robots aren't good at - yet). Below are the top 10 skills needed in 2020 (that's round the corner).

Over the next few weeks we are going to blog about careers in emerging industries such as Big Data, Synthetic Biology, Robotics and Regenerative Medicine. So stay tuned....!

 

Opportunities in Government for scientists and engineers

📥  Advice, Career Choice, Careers Resources, Event, For PhDs, For Taught Postgraduates, inspire, Sector Insight, Subject Related Careers

I went to a fascinating talk a couple of weeks ago, organised by the Bath Institute for Mathematical Innovation,  by the Government Office for Science about career opportunities for scientists and engineers in the Civil Service. Go-Science provides policy advice and support to the Government Chief Scientific Adviser in carrying out his role in advising the Prime Minister and Cabinet on a wide variety of areas including Risk and Resilience, Infrastructure, Trade and Finance, Energy and Climate Change, Cities, and Data and Analytics. The Government Chief Scientific Adviser is also the Head of the Science and Engineering profession for around 10,000 scientist and engineers who work in government in a variety of roles from specialist to policy as part of the Government Science and Engineering (GSE) profession.
This YouTube video provides a useful overview of the Government Science and Engineering Profession.

We heard from three recent science graduates working for Government; as you read their stories you’ll see that they moved around a bit after they graduated, a timely reminder for those uncertain about their next step is that where you start isn’t necessarily where you’ll end up, and our interests and career plans often change and develop over time:

Jenni completed a Masters degree in Meteorology at the University of Reading and worked as a weather forecaster in Singapore for a number of years for oil and gas clients., She then returned to the UK and worked providing forecasts for media and film production companies. During this time she realised that she wanted to work at the science-policy interface within government. Jenni took an intern policy research role (which was fully paid) in the Government Office for Science before achieving a permanent position on promotion to her current role at Cabinet Office.

Alex is part of the Horizon Scanning Team, Government Office for Science. Her role involves advising government on the evidence and scientific basis for new technologies. Alex did a Biology degree and then a Masters in Marine Science. While working in a wildlife conservation start-up she became interested in technology, and saw an advert for an internship with the Government Office for Science; her paid internship was initially for six months, and following a successful review her contract has been extended for a further six months. Alex enjoys using her scientific knowledge to in way that has real world impact.

Jerome is currently doing the Science and Engineering Fast Stream. He did an undergraduate degree which included a year in industry and then a PhD in theoretical structural Biology. He realised during his PhD that he wanted to do science that was more applied and had more impact. His first role was working for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, where he was part of the research funding team, managing funding calls, visiting universities and working on Equality and Diversity policy. He realised that he wanted a career that made use of his intellectual capacities, and considered working for think tanks and consultancies before settling on the Civil Service. His current role involves writing briefings and speeches for ministers, and he has liaised with a wide range of groups including academic, the NHS and patients, and frequently gets to meet with very senior people in external organisations.

Some general insights and tips from the three graduates on working as scientists in the Civil Service:
- Roles can involve researching areas of science and technology that the government wants more information on – not necessarily from your own specialism.
- The analytical skills gained as part of your science degree can be put to good use outside of the lab in a range of jobs from understanding research reports, to commissioning new work.
- They were not expected to have particular areas of technical expertise, but rather to be have a broad knowledge, scientific training and interest in science and engineering which enables them to get to grips with new areas quickly.
- There are roles that do require particular technical skills and enable the development of specialist science and engineering careers in many organisations of the public sector such as Safety, Security, Defence (both military and civilian), Public Health, the Met Office and many, many, more- the role of Government scientist and engineers, as with all civil servants, is to support the priorities set by the Government of the day.
- Roles are varied and include real responsibility from the outset supported by induction, training, and development opportunities.
- To stay in touch with opportunities follow the GSE Blog: https://governmentscienceandengineering.blog.gov.uk/

Getting in to science policy
If you have a particular interest on working on science to inform policy or indeed the policy of science there are opportunities in the Civil Service, and scientific learned societies (e.g. Royal Society, Institute of Physics). Some entry level roles may requires a Masters or PhD. (https://wellcome.ac.uk/jobs/graduate-development-programme) has a graduate scheme. This article by Queen Mary, University of London Careers Service has a useful summary of organisations work in science policy and relevant events and training courses. If you’re wanting to get into science policy, think about getting some short-term experience (internships are sometimes advertised on the Campaign for Science and Engineering website, and there are internships for Research-Council funded PhD students to work in a range of policy organisations), keep up to date with scientific issues that affect public policy, and build your networks through sites like LinkedIn and our own Bath Connection.

For other ideas for non lab-based career options for scientists, take a look at our guide to Alternative Careers in Science.