Introducing Future Finder: connecting today’s A-level subjects with tomorrow’s jobs (Your Life-produced article)

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Your Life, the campaign to boost the numbers of young people studying maths and physics post-16, has launched an innovative free web app to provide teenagers with intelligent careers advice.

Future Finder aims to help students link their A-level subject choices to the jobs and skills that will be in greatest demand in the future. To make sure it gives the best possible advice, the app draws on a variety of live labour market data feeds from credible sources such as Ucas, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and the Russell Group of leading universities.

This powerful combination of real-time data and machine learning is a real strength – as is the app’s flexibility (it functions on all devices via a web browser) and ease of use. Your Life is keen for Future Finder to be used in schools, and has developed teaching materials to use alongside the tool to open students’ eyes to the changing world of work.

Although Your Life’s mission is to increase the uptake of maths and physics A-levels, Future Finder deliberately includes non-Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) related careers and subject choices to provide the widest possible appeal. In total, it features 430 different jobs, with information on salary ranges and entry routes. Also included are “jobs of the future”, which don’t yet exist but will be prime opportunities in the workplace of tomorrow.

The app works in four different ways:

  • inputting a combination of A-level subjects unlocks a list of jobs;
  • entering a job throws up a list of recommended A-levels;
  • students looking for careers advice can fill in a brief questionnaire, which Future Finder will use to create a personality profile and provide relevant answers;
  • pushing the “inspire me” button reveals some of the fastest-growing jobs of the future, from “big data wrangler” to “augmented reality architect”.

 

The content-rich experience uses Your Life’s video and editorial expertise to bring to life the jobs of today and tomorrow. Future Finder also links to useful external resources such as job boards, information sites, employers’ entry-level programme pages and university courses.

Future Finder achieves two of the eight Gatsby good career guidance benchmarks: learning from career and labour market information, and linking curriculum learning to careers.

It has other benefits, too. The app helps users learn more about potential careers, and strengthens the link between A-level choices and jobs, which in turn helps students become better informed about which subjects to choose. Future Finder also raises aspirations: students are motivated to think about a broader range of career options, and to feel more confident in searching and applying for jobs.

 Your Life Chair Edwina Dunn says: “The Your Life campaign is very proud to be launching our free Future Finder web app. Our goal is to provide up-to-the-minute information connecting A-level subject choice and the career paths those choices unlock.”

She adds: “We know from our Tough Choices research that too many students view Stem subjects as a dead end when the reality is the opposite – so many jobs now and in future will depend on these skills. We hope Future Finder will enable many more students to uncover new and exciting career aspirations, while equipping them with the fundamental knowledge of the subjects and skills they need to get there.”

Your Life sponsor and global management consultancy AT Kearney provided the back-end support; app developer Fish in a Bottle designed the front end. Your Life also worked with Andy Gardner of Central Careers Hub, a careers professional of 30 years, to develop Future Finder.

Find the app at http://futurefinder.yourlife.org.uk