Helping teens find their dream career

The Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education at the University of Newcastle is excited to introduce My Big Tomorrow – a website that profiles over 90 different career choices to encourage kids to dream big about their future and the steps they can take to get there.

The initiative, which is funded by the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), is a career resource for teenagers to raise awareness of the endless possibilities of what lies beyond school and to show the link between what they are learning in school with real life careers.

Students begin by searching hobbies and interests (working outdoors, or, mathematics for example), or they can view random careers (arborist, or sport scientist, for example). They are met with a career profile beginning with a short video starring an industry professional, while a short bio, the good and the bad of that career and the salary expectations follow.

Each career profile also includes pathways to show students the way to get to their dream career. Users are shown subjects they could choose for their Higher School Certificate to position them for the career of their choice, as well as the tertiary pathway they could follow – whether it be a university undergraduate degree or a TAFE qualification.

Students can also benefit from education modules listed on each page, themed to each career and designed to get them thinking about the connection between their big tomorrow and their current studies, particularly in the fields of literacy and numeracy.

These education modules will be valuable tools for high school educators and career advisers in incorporating My Big Tomorrow into classwork or utilise during career adviser sessions and workshops.

Belinda Munn, Associate Director of the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education, said the involvement of the students from local partner high schools was pivotal to the creation of the initiative, guiding the design and content of the website in order to appeal to teenagers Australia-wide.

The University of Newcastle has a strong commitment to including and valuing the voice of our community members, especially young people, so it was an important part of the project to involve students from the beginning to develop a resource that featured the information and tools they wanted access to,” said Munn.

The launch event was hosted by Lateline’s Emma Alberici at UON’s The University Gallery on Monday 11 May 2015. Sharing her own story, Alberici said that students are only as advantaged or disadvantaged as their imagination. “My Big Tomorrow helps kids’ minds wander beyond their scope of possibilities,” Ms Alberici said.

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