Exploring career interests

Understanding career pathways and opening up further study options

RSA Academies ‘So you want to be a…’ series is a pilot programme that looks to inspire and support students to explore a range of different career interests and build essential knowledge around these career paths and relevant further study.

Challenging perceptions

Findings from a new report by the Sutton Trust and the Social Mobility Commission, Elitist Britain (2019) shows that some sector and roles continue to be dominated by those educated within the private sector. When analysing the educational backgrounds of leading figures across politics, law, business, the media, and the creative industries the study found these influential people were five times more likely to be privately educated than the average population.

We also know young people’s career choices are also informed by deeply entrenched gender stereotypes and the attitudes of their peer networks from a very young age. In 2017, the Drawing the Future report revealed that by the age of 7 children’s aspirations appear to be shaped by gender-related stereotypes about who does certain jobs. Through the Warwick University and RSA Academies joint PhD studentship, Krystal Douglas has been researching the impact of friendship networks in school and perception of the future affects present actions and decisions relating to the future.

Nurturing aspirations

The ‘So you want to be a…’ series pilot will look at some of these elite professions in more depth and give Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 pupils the chance to learn more these particular career paths and further study requirements they may not be aware of. The workshops will also challenge negative stereotypes around who holds certain roles and nurture aspirations. By developing pupils knowledge of these professions at a young age we will enable learners to make informed decisions about their future career and further study opportunities at key milestones in their school journey.

The workshops will be delivered in partnership with professional bodies, BlackCountry LEP, and the University of Wolverhampton. The first workshop ‘So you want to be a …Medic’ will take place in the Autumn term, followed by another workshop focused on law in the Spring term. We hope to develop further workshops for creative industry careers and a workshop for primary phase pupils.

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World Beyond School Commitment

If you would like to know more about the ‘So you want to be a…?’ careers workshop series please contact Hannah Breeze, Senior Programme Coordinator.

We are always keen to develop more opportunities for our schools to engage with the World Beyond School Commitment. If you would be interested in volunteering to give a careers talk or participate in a school careers fair please do get in touch. We are especially keen to hear from RSA Fellows who are interested in engaging with our schools.

Schools involved:

Arrow Vale RSA Academy

Holyhead School

Church Hill Middle School

Ipsley CE RSA Academy

RSA Academy

Project details:

Date Started October 2019
Date Finished Ongoing
Project Funder