One of the most popular and in-demand skills is anything related to computers–programming, repair, networking, and cybersecurity to name a few. If you love the challenge of coding computers to do just about anything you can visualize, the hardest part of deciding on a post-High School career may be selecting the right specialty. One of our Ask a Tech Teacher crew has come up with a short list of questions you should ask before getting started:
- Is your selected specialty right for you?
- What are the employment opportunities?
- What income can you expect?
Choosing the Right Computer Science Specialization
Specialization is crucial in building a professional career, with most occupations encouraging their current or prospective workforce to gain additional training and knowledge within their domain of expertise. Computer science is no exception. A master’s in computer science program allows you to choose from a wide range of specialty areas based on your specific interests and career goals.
However, with an array of specializations available, knowing the right one to specialize in can be challenging. If you’re looking to enroll in an online MS in CS, it’s important to try and understand what area of specialization will be suitable for your career progression. Below are some of the factors you should consider when choosing a specialization in computer science to ensure you select the right one for you:
College enrollment among high school grads grew during the early 2010’s, leveling off about 2017 when it began to drop to a current low of about 62%, approx. 4% lower than 2019. The decline may be due to increased costs, that the cost-benefit of a college degree and earnings after graduation is questionable (according to some studies), the pandemic, or a plethora of other reasons. The current trend among some colleges of not requiring ACT or SAT scores hasn’t stopped the fall.
One of the Ask a Tech Teacher contributors has come up with a good article on how to make career information more easily available to high school graduates, with a focus on those who may not want to continue to a college or University. This article reviews the many benefits of providing career education for high school students and which areas are particularly valuable. It looks at how to best include this learning into an existing curriculum.
How High School teachers can incorporate careers education into the curriculum
Including career education in the curriculum is important for a number of reasons. It will help students to better understand what they want to do when they grow up, and it will also give them a better idea of the different options that are available to them. Teaching high school students about careers also helps them to develop skills that will be useful in their future jobs, such as problem-solving and teamwork. In addition, it can also help to inspire them to pursue their dreams and goals.
Helping students understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and how these match up with different careers
It’s never too early to start thinking about career options. But for many students, the thought of choosing a single path can be daunting. One way to ease the pressure is to help students understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and how these match up with different careers. You can include this in the curriculum by helping students assess their skills and interests, students can then begin to narrow down their options and find a career that is a good fit. In addition, understanding their strengths and weaknesses can help students identify areas that need improvement. With this knowledge in hand, they can then take steps to address any deficiencies and become better prepared for their chosen career. Ultimately, by helping students understand themselves, we can give them the tools they need to make informed decisions about their future.
Too often, we think ‘taking a class’ requires a commitment of weeks–or months–to master the topic. Sometimes, you don’t have that much time, they’re too expensive, you aren’t ready to commit to college level courses, or you aren’t sure about investing so much time in a topic you might not enjoy. Thankfully, in today’s learning environment, lots of learning is available via short courses–dedicated classes that are completed quickly. Here’s a great article by the Ask a Tech Teacher crew discussing :
- why take one
- their flexibility
- where to take them
- what to do if you’re ready to get started (especially for those of you who live in Australia)
Amazing Benefits of Taking a Short Course
A short course means learning both academic and physical skills. It gives opportunities to students to learn more about their specific course in a short period. The purpose of short courses is to help students grow their current set of skills. It teaches the basic skills needed for students to become a professional.
Boost Current Skill
Short courses are a great thing to add to each person’s CV, but there is more reason why taking short courses has great benefits. A short course helps students to reach the other set of skills that they need. It also gives little commitment to refresh the things students might need to work on.
AU short courses give professional recognition and a certificate that can add to each person’s CV. It also has many providers that allow students to find courses they need to enhance easily.
People may worry that short courses may take too much of their time,
or maybe it is not worth it. But here is some things that you need to know about the short course:
- All study materials are delivered online
- Students can study anywhere and anytime they want
- Students manage their time studying
A short course is very flexible because it is an online school where every student manages their time of study. It also gives certificates of completion which can add to each person’s portfolio.
This article is for recent graduates, either from high school or college, ready to look for a first job. Here are some great tips on preparing your resume and spotlighting skills that will make you interesting to employers:
You’ve been in school for the longest time, but you are now done with college, and it’s time to look for a new job. Unfortunately, with so many candidates in search of the same job as you, you’re so anxious, wondering if you will ever get a working opportunity. Again, when looking for a new job, you are very likely to encounter job descriptions that you fear might not have the needed requirements. But the good thing is that employers might consider some skills over others.
If we are being completely honest with ourselves, your skills and potential can land you the job you want, rather than your specific background or the degree you’re holding. Employers these days are valuing soft skills. They are also willing to invest in developing their employees’ technical or hard skills after hiring them.
This is why you need to know how to showcase your skills when applying for a new job. This will help you be considered over other candidates in the same boat as you are and get offered a chance to work.
Consider going through the following points on how to showcase your skills when you are applying for a first-time job:
As a passionate Economics major in college (which grew into an MBA), I find Econ at the root of much of the world around us. It starts with counting coins in first and second grade and grows up to a peek into NASDAQ and other adult subjects in middle school.
In the US, tax day is April 15th. Here are some good websites to discuss what is probably a popular topic in families:
- BrainPOP | Taxes
- A history of US taxes
- Taxes–from Crash Course Economics
- Where does your money go? — lesson plan from PBS
- TurboTax Tax Calculator
After April 15th, there are great ways to teach about economics, financial literacy, and prepare students for managing their lives fiscally once they’re launched into the world:
Preparing students for college or career is arguably the biggest goal for High School. I like the focus of this particular principal, spotlighted in an article in The 74 Million:
Principal’s View: To Prepare Students to Enter a Tech-Focused Business World, Create Schools With the Workplace in Mind
Consider the world students face when they graduate. For many, their choices lead to college, vocational training or manufacturing careers that rely heavily on advanced technologies — from robotics and 3-D printing to equipment powered by artificial intelligence. Two decades from now, their jobs will be even more tech-focused, as workplaces adopt innovations we’ve yet to even imagine.
Check out these Ask a Tech Teacher articles and resources on College and Career:
When kids read that America’s $30 trillion+ debt is accepted by many experts as ‘business as usual’, I wonder how that news will affect their future personal finance decisions. Do they understand the consequences of unbalanced budgets? The quandary of infinite wants vs. finite dollars? Or do they think money grows on some fiscal tree that always blooms? The good news is: Half of the nation’s schools require a financial literacy course. The bad new is: Only half require a financial literacy course.
I’ve noticed news stories about schools adding financial literacy to the High School course load (yay!). If your school doesn’t teach personal economics but would like to, there are many online sites that address the topic as mini-lessons. Some are narrative; others games. Here are some I like. See if one suits you:
Banzai is a personal finance curriculum that teaches high school and middle school students how to prioritize spending decisions through real-life scenarios and choose-your-own adventure (kind of) role playing. Students start the course with a pre-test to determine a baseline for their financial literacy. They then engage in 32 life-based interactive scenarios covering everything from balancing a budget to adjusting for unexpected bills like car trouble or health problems. Once they’ve completed these exercises, they pretend that they have just graduated from high school, have a job, and must save $2,000 to start college. They are constantly tempted to mis-spend their limited income and then must face the consequences of those actions, basing decisions on what they learned in the 32 scenarios. Along the way, students juggle rent, gas, groceries, taxes, car payments, and life’s ever-present emergencies. At the end, they take a post-test to measure improvement in their financial literacy.
The program is free, takes about eight hours (depending upon the student), and can include printed materials as well as digital.
I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal discussing the dramatic decline in men applying for and graduating from two and four-year colleges. Here’s the introductory piece of the discussion:
Men are abandoning higher education in such numbers that they now trail female college students by record levels.
At the close of the 2020-21 academic year, women made up 59.5% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40.5%, according to enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research group. U.S. colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students compared with five years ago, and men accounted for 71% of the decline.
This education gap, which holds at both two- and four-year colleges, has been slowly widening for 40 years. The divergence increases at graduation: After six years of college, 65% of women in the U.S. who started a four-year university in 2012 received diplomas by 2018 compared with 59% of men during the same period, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
While the reasons for the decline are varied and complicated, the solutions mind-numbing, if your high school students are looking for alternatives to traditional four-year college and University environment, run through this simple matrix to see which you’re better suited for:
Then, check out these articles discussing how to prepare for the choice best for you:
Whether you pick college or career, students need to prepare a resume. Here are resources to create one that’s professional and thorough:
- Google Docs–go to Docs.Google.com and select Resume template
- PorfolioGen–A free site that lets you collect all the pieces of your experience into one nicely-formatted digital place.
- Resume Builder
- Resume Generator
- Student CV Builder
- Wix–This is free with lots of templates so you can share exactly the right image. Here are examples.
- WordPress–Use a free WordPress blog, but instead convert the pages to topics discussed below. Here’s an example.
There’s still time this school year to help high school students learn the skills they’ll require to thrive in Higher Education. Here are basics you don’t want them to graduate without–from one of our Ask a Tech Teacher contributors:
4 Ways to Help High School Students Develop the IT Skills They’ll Need for Higher Education
Being able to use technology to its fullest is vital for students as they move from high school into higher education, yet it is not enough to assume that they will pick these skills up on their own.
Teachers can be proactive in their approach to fostering IT abilities in students, and here are just a few sensible strategies that will make this easier to achieve.
Leverage remote learning tools
Remote learning has become a reality for millions of people recently, and a study of higher education IT found that 70% of universities are planning to take a hybrid approach to teaching in the coming year. This means that students need to be familiar with the tools and techniques that are involved in this scenario, so that they do not fall behind their better-prepared peers.
That is not to say that teachers should simply pile in every remote learning tool and app available to them just for the sake of it; think about which tools and resources are actually appropriate for the subject in question, and use these in a way that makes a positive impact to the students’ experience. This will avoid making the process of remote learning overwhelming, while still giving them an understanding of what solutions will be part of their higher education ecosystem going forward.
This is such an important topic! Often kids–and parents–see tech as complicated, daunting, all-math-and-science. Kids think they’re not ‘smart’ enough and maybe, parents think that too! Here are great suggestions for encouraging young participation in a field that is probably the top choice for jobs:
4 Ways to Inspire Kids to Pursue a Degree In Information Technology
In this tech-centric day and age, the demand for science, technology, math, and engineering skills has spiked significantly, and it only seems to increase. This is evident in how an increasing number of schools offer information technology degrees. There isn’t a single day that we don’t interact with technology. However, while the vast majority of people understand how to use technology, far too few want to understand how technology works.
It’s intimidating to delve into the finer details on the functionality of tech. Most people know how to use a social media platform, but show no interest in understanding the coding behind it. How then, can we spark such an interest in our children?
Start With Toys
Playtime eventually evolves into work time, and toys have a powerful influence on a child’s interests, thinking, behavior, and creative expression. Educational toy manufacturers such as Sphero, Kiwi Co., and Sparkfun create toys that help children learn about coding, circuitry, engineering, and many other STEM fields.
Celebrate With Tech
Introduce your child into the culture of science by holding their next birthday at a science center or a discovery museum. Sure, many schools organize field trips to these places, but if you want your child to gain a genuine interest in these things, you need to try to introduce it on a more personal level. It’s much easier to pique a child’s interest when an element of fun is introduced.