How will technological advancements affect careers of the future?

Many of today’s occupations will no longer exist by the time this year’s Prep students have finished their education.

Having a STEM-skilled workforce is the foundation on which the Australian economy will prosper. Technological advancements continue to accelerate, and skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, analytic capabilities and curiosity are necessary to succeed.

"In the last 20 years alone, employment in STEM occupations has risen by 85 percent, which is more than twice as fast as non-STEM occupations (40.2%)."

If research suggests that future professional skills will include social intelligence, media literacy, sense making, computational design, adaptive and cognitive thinking skills, cross cultural competency and virtual collaboration, how do we actively prepare our girls for their future?

"The Toorak coding continuum ensures that students are developing a real-world thirst for knowledge in a digital world."

It is well documented that women in STEM are heavily outnumbered by their male counterparts. According to the Australian Women in STEM Decadal Plan in 2019, only 16% of the STEM-skilled workforce was female.

Conversely, our Class of 2019 saw more than 40% of graduates being offered university placements in STEM related fields, highlighting that Toorak is trailblazing when it comes to supporting pathways for females in STEM.

To foster STEM pathways for girls, Toorak College proudly aligns with technology companies. The Downer Group is Australia’s third largest employer and accepts Toorak College graduates as part of their prestigious Cadet program.

Preparing our next generation of innovators and leaders

While our students are currently gaining employment in STEM fields, it is vital that we, as educators, prepare our next generation of STEM innovators and leaders. At Toorak, this begins during their Pre-Prep and Kindergarten years where children are engaged in a range of play-based design and technology activities that allow them to explore patterns, systems, directional language, creativity and problem solving.

"As 90% of brain growth happens before the age of five, these are the crucial years to expose little learners to the world of STEM and digital technologies."

The coding continuum charges forward in the Junior School years, engaging in the Toorak College Design Thinking Framework as part of their Unit of Inquiry. Practical learning experiences include building robotic and circuitry hardware and developing their own algorithms.

In the Senior years, coding is a focal part of our students’ academic growth. Agile Learning is a compulsory subject during Years 7 and 8 where they are introduced to the coding skills. Our Year 10 students are seeking university credentials and pathways into computer science degrees by taking on a pilot project at Deakin University. It is these kinds of opportunities that aim to ignite self-empowerment so they can drive their own future into a new era of technological advancement.

Please visit our Curriculum pages for more information on our STEM program offerings in our Early Learning Centre, Junior School and Senior School.

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