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STEM becoming STEAM

A growing debate is regarding the placing of ‘A’ into STEM, standing for Art.

Many people are asking whether Art belongs…

As I have said in other posts, there is a definite need for aligning job roles and careers to creative interests. The example I often use is how Art skills is desired for UX Designers, and likewise for many other subjects that can feed into STEM subjects.

All industries are crying out for more STEM trained professionals, and the primary route for this is to be a STEM graduate. But it is just as important to have soft skills, the way to learn those are through creative and practical ways.

Whatever letters do or do not get added, the bottom line is that there are careers in all sectors that need both STEM training and creative skills. So don’t ever feel that you aren’t “clever” enough etc to be in an IT or engineering job, because there is a place for all skills.

Take a look at a few articles on the debate:

https://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2014/11/18/ctq-jolly-stem-vs-steam.html

http://www.statepress.com/article/2018/03/spartcult-the-team-for-steam

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252439491/Oracle-MBX-Oracle-uses-interns-and-grads-to-encourage-others-into-Stem

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10 Tools For Learning Tech Online

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1) Codecademy – Learn to code for free

2) Udemy – Not only IT courses free/paid

3) IT Online Learning – Paid certifications

4) Plural Sight – Subscription courses

5) Coursera – Free online courses

6) edX – Computer Science courses

7) MIT OpenCourseWare – Free tech learning materials

8) Treehouse – Web Development courses

9) Udacity – Subscription courses

10) Lynda – LinkedIn Learning courses

 

Many of these websites are what I use in my spare time to gain some technical coding knowledge, but they are also good for learning business “soft” skills too!

Take a look πŸ™‚

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Equal Pay Day

It’s crazy that in 2018, women are still considerably underpaid for the same jobs that men get paid for.

What confuses me, is that governments and companies are crying out for more women in business, STEM and to create a diverse business community. But why would women want to go into any work, when they know they are going to be patronisingly paid less.

My opinion in all of this is not that I should be paid more than a man, nor chosen for a job over a man, but just to simply be treated equally.

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Is STEM pushing aside the creatives?

A recent article debates whether the recent emphasis on STEM subjects at school is pushing aside the creative subjects like Art and Music.

My response to this is no it’s not, it may seem that in schools this is happening, but in industry they coincide… especially technology. For example, a mobile application company will only survive if its apps are user friendly and it has good marketing… which is produced by the “creatives”. Another example would be music producers, they use and need technology to create the latest number 1 song and promote it.

Although even myself, in person and on this blog, discuss the importance of going into a STEM job, this does not mean that anybody should narrow themselves down to only studying or being interested in STEM areas. Personally, I love to paint in my spare time and read fiction novels, this only helps me in my IT degree and job… I know what colours compliment each other for a website and how to write reports.

This is why STEM is great, because it not only plays a huge part in other industries/roles/jobs but they all feed into STEM too, it brings so many components together.

Take a look at the article and see what you think πŸ™‚

http://www.cityam.com/283206/debate-we-over-focusing-stem-expense-creative-skills

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Dissertation Submitted!

It feels weird to think that I am old enough and able enough to have just written and submitted my dissertation…

Personally, I love projects and coursework more than exams and I really enjoyed developing a project from researching, to designing, to developing a solution for a real-life IT business problem. That’s not to say it was a breeze, it’s hard when there’s time and knowledge constraints, and you’re the only resource.

That’s why ensuring you get the right help and support matters, and why my tutor group wanted to do something special for our tutor. So we printed off t-shirts and surprised him by all turning up late, and revealing them.

Whether you’re about to submit or will do in the future, good luck, don’t be afraid to ask for help and make sure you pick a project you’ll enjoy developing πŸ™‚

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Why Don’t We Learn About STEM Vocations?

Growing up there is a lot you are taught to aspire to and careers that you go through phases of wanting to do (including become a fairy princess and cowboy…obviously feasible!) but, often these jobs don’t include STEM roles.

Even at school, the qualifications that are taught are mostly humanities subjects (History, English, Geography…). You have science and mathematics, and now compulsory IT, where theory is taught but these aren’t very encouraging to young people to inspire them to pursue it, consequently, people choose not to and often exclaim things such as “I hate maths”… trust me though, I didn’t like maths either. But likewise, I didn’t really enjoy IT at school either because the school system is so behind what real life was already teaching me, as part of my ICT GCSE I was asked to produce a flyer in Microsoft Publisher… which I already knew how to do since I first went on a PC when I was 10, yet 6 years on it was a piece of coursework.

The problem is that the curriculum doesn’t reflect nor prepare children for real life anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love and still love school! One day I want to pursue teaching in some aspect. But I think it’s time for the government to catch up, children these days can lookup anything they want to learn on Google and can code better than the teachers. So instead of boring them and pushing them away from STEM subjects, why aren’t we showing them what they could do with those skills?

Of course children need to learn the basics and be well-rounded, but how about also asking them what they are interested in doing and giving them options. Maybe even create a mandatory subject for children to learn about different careers available to them and explaining how they can achieve it.

Some kids are lucky, my boyfriend knew he wanted to be a pilot from the age of 6, when he flew a lot to visit his grandparents in Berlin. But I wouldn’t have known at that age I wouldn’t have known at all that IT was the career path for me, unless my teacher at school had pushed me to look into it.

School should be a place for learning about current, real life, as well as theory, otherwise you end up with people wishing they’d chosen a different path.