As an employer, I’ve been acutely aware of the need to encourage the next generation of developers and designers to join the industry. With rapid advancements in user experience design methodologies and web technologies, we are reliant on the next generation to bring new ideas and talents with them.
Children will often tend to consider the jobs that either their parents do or the typical roles they see on TV (train driver, vet, engineer etc). For children who aren’t interested in these roles, how can we expose them to the other various roles that could be available to them when they leave education?
Guess My Job
By sponsoring the Guess My Job activity hosted by EBP South, I get the opportunity to go in to schools in Hampshire and explain what we do and how their education fits in to becoming a developer or designer. During these visits I have worked with solicitors, barristers, bankers, IT professionals, staff from Portsmouth Water, BAE Systems and countless other organisations. Each professional from these organisations brings a different approach, different requirements and appeal to different children.
“Children start to rule career options in or out at an early age and girls and boys hold stereotypical views about male and females careers by age 7. It is essential that businesses engage with young people at an early age and support programmes like Guess My Job. By giving young people the opportunity to engage with employers multiple times it increases their engagement with future employment, education and training. EBP South’s established programmes connect businesses to schools to provide them the opportunity to pro-actively invest in their future pipeline and community.”
Cath Longhurst, CEO Basingstoke Consortium & EBP South
Giving the youngsters (typically aged between 7 and 11 years old) the ability to meet and interview various professionals opens their eyes to the wide range of career paths available. It also provides them with a direct correlation between their education and their future potential career.
It also reminds me of the vastness of the near future.
One of the most common questions I get asked is “did you want to be a website designer when you were younger?” Of course, when I was their age there was no internet, and computers were big, slow monoliths that weren’t known for their aesthetics or graphics abilities.
Explaining this to the children makes them realise:
1 – Just how old I am
2 – That, when they get in to work, they could well be doing a job that currently doesn’t exist.
This realisation always causes a moment of silence whilst the idea settles in their minds. The thought that the children in education now will likely be doing jobs that don’t currently exist makes you really appreciate just how exciting (and daunting) this must be for the children.
Since I started working with EBP, I have been involved in 40+ sessions at various schools with children from all different backgrounds.
I hope that by doing this we can, as a company, get children interested in a career in website design and development and expand our pool of potential recruits. It’s also great fun and makes for a wonderful diversion from some of the more grown-up (boring) elements of my job.
If you are interested in working with EBP South (or others) and helping to engage with and inspire children please search for a provider local to you. If you’re in the Hampshire area, see EBP South for more information about how to get involved.