Topic outline

  • Introduction to Careers in Technology

    When its time to start thinking about looking for your future career, your first task will be to look at the world we live in, to see what kind of work there is out there. You will be surprised to find how many jobs there are, there is a big problem though, it’s all to do with finding out the career that might suit you best.

    Your next task will need to think about your strengths and weaknesses, you will have to be honest with yourself and understand the skills you have, you will also need to understand yourself and you will need to think about the things you enjoy or are interested in. To sum this up: There is no point thinking about being a Airline Pilot if you are scared witless of flying!!!!

    Technology as a subject is part of your education to give you new experiences and more importantly give you some basic skills that can be carried over into a career. It may be hard for you to see where the work you have done so far could fit into a career. For some of you the work may never fit as your interests have little to do our subject, but for many of you a career working with some kind of technology may be your future. To help you, I will give you a brief out line of careers in technology associated with the subjects covered by GCSE examinations.

  • Topic 1


    Design br / & Technology

    The world of ELECTRONICS is huge, by learning the basics of circuit design and manufacture taught for GCSE, you might develop interests that lead towards a career working with equipment such as security systems, mobile phones, computers, radar and various items of medical equipment as well as most types of domestic equipment used today.

  • Topic 2

    Food Technology

    Food Technology In FOOD TECHNOLOGY your lessons are designed to give you information in areas such as nutrition, food safety, design and cooking, so if you enjoy FOOD TECHNOLOGY, any career associated with food and drink, diet; Health and Safety could be for you.

  • Topic 3


    Graphics Products

    GRAPHICS is all about designing and making representations of products and structures as drawings, graphic displays or models. With this in mind you can see that knowledge gained in GRAPHICS can lead to a career working in architecture, interior design, model making, graphics design or even in fashion design.

  • Topic 4

    Resistant Materials

    Resistant Materials

    The subject of RESISTANT MATERIALS covers design, manufacturing and construction with wood, metal and plastic. Your lesson are structured to give you experience working with different materials, so when you start looking at careers an interest and qualification in RESISTANT MATERIALS may lead to you to a careers in carpentry, designing, mechanical engineering, manufacturing with plastics, furniture making and civil engineering.

  • Topic 5



    If you specialise in TEXTILES, another selection of careers could be for you. Your lessons include product design, understanding fabrics and manufacturing. With qualifications and experience gained in TEXTILES you could look at careers in fashion design, manufacturing fabrics, tailoring, creating soft furnishing and home decorations.

  • Topic 6

    So Far

    All of the words and pictures have been used to show you the a basic outline of the information you need to think about before you start looking for a career, you can use all of it to act like a pile of bones to build into a Skeleton which hopefully develops into a Plan of Action.

    By Networking, finding Contacts, Surfing the Net, seeing Careers Specialists and reading the Jobs pages of the local press plus some book based research you may be able to develop some ideas which will be the foundation for the career that will be all you ever wanted!

    The Bigger Picture

    So is there a career for you in TECHNOLOGY? The answer to that is YES, that assumes you have the interest, skills and ability, the problem is, the door to any career needs to be opened and the only person who can do that is:

    I have attempted to show you the reasons why you have to study different technology subjects, I hope you can see there is a connection between the lessons you do and future careers, so now you need to open the door and look at the careers that live behind it.

    Some careers are obvious, for example if you like cooking and want a career in food an obvious career for you could be a Chef another could be: Join textiles with an interest in clothing could lead to a career in making Wedding Dresses or you could join graphics to an interest in motor sport and you could find a career in Car Design. There are lots of obvious careers, the problem is, what do you do if you don’t fancy any of the ones you or family and friends have suggested???

    Lateral Thinking

    Lateral thinking is looking at a problem from another viewpoint. In our case its by joining another school subjects which you like or enjoy, add in some hobbies or interests plus your Technology Specialist subject and you have the recipe for another set of career options. If you think about the things I have just suggested you can then see a Bigger Picture starting to develop. (I HOPE)

    An example of the Lateral Thinking concept could be to join the interests of flying, going to sea and a GCSE in Resistant Materials. The career path could be to join the Royal Navy as some kind of Aeronautical Engineering Technician. If you look at of the parts listed above in isolation you may not see a career path, however add them all together and you get a career in Military Flying with the Royal Navy!

    It’s easy to do all you have to do is try it !!!

    To use Lateral Thinking in relation to Technology you firstly have to know the definition of the word Technology. “Technology” is that it’s the practical application of Science and Mathematics to a particular problem. So you can see:


    Many of the subject areas you may have enjoyed (or endured) over the years can be joined with technology to make a career if you use Lateral Thinking. Some of the connections are a little loose, in fact they may require a lot of Lateral Thinking however careers are there if you look hard enough. The only subject that has little to do with modern technology is Latin, but I am sure if you gave it enough thought you could come up with and idea?

    If you enjoy a subject that has career links, you can easily join it to the Technology subjects to make another set of career options. Lets take a look at one subject that joins well with Technology and that’s Science. All of the subjects covered by Science easily connect with Technology subjects to make an interesting set of employment options.
    Some examples to think about could be:-

    • Connect Biology to Electronics. If you now think Laterally you get careers in medicine such as Radiography and Radio Therapy.
    • Again if you join Food and Chemistry you can find careers in Food Safety and Food Science.
    • If you join Physics with Resistant Materials and a Degree, you open the door to a world in Civil Engineering, General Engineering, Aeronautics and Ship Building.
    • Join Textiles with Chemistry you get careers developing new materials and fabrics.
    • Join Physics with GCSE Engineering you can see careers in Mechanical and Structural Engineering.

    You can do the Lateral thinking idea to all of your subjects, just give it a try and see what you get?

    Job Hunting

    To find a Career working with TECHNOLOGY, is just like JOB HUNTING for work in any other area, so you will need to NETWORK, find CONTACTS but most of all be prepared to LOOK and KEEP LOOKING till you find what you want!!!!!!

    Your parents, relatives and friends are the first places to start your research, as they may have the information you need. This is called NETWORKING, as a talk with your parents and other older family members may be of help as they may have personal experience of careers that may be good for you. If they tell you about other people to try, these people are CONTACTS and may be friends and work colleagues who may provide interesting lines of information about possible employers, career routs, qualifications and job experience.
    If your family and friends are short on information, the CAREERS SERVICE should be the next place of research. The CAREERS SERVICE have lots of information and CONTACTS to give you a mental picture of your career prospects and the ways you need to go JOB HUNTING. Other helpful places include the Internet, local Library and the College Resource Centre and of cause the local newspapers. At SVC we have computer software, which can be used easily to find career information, so this will be another good source of information for you. If you plan a career in the Armed Forces, a visit to the local CAREERS OFFICE of the Army, Navy and RAF will be of help, the local JOB CENTRE will also help you as they hold a lot of Careers Information about the Armed Forces and other careers.
    The Fire and Rescue Service, Hospitals and Ambulance Trusts are also employers where modern technology is used and maintained. They might not be your first thought when using TECHNOLOGY but they are there to try when looking for work. The most important thing to say is there are loads of people out there who will be happy to help you find the information you need (NETWORKING and CONTACTS). If they seem unhelpful, you may have spoke to them on the wrong day so don’t be put off, try again and don’t be discouraged.
    Within the college, all of the teaching and support staff are useful people to talk to, they have experience and knowledge that may help, the may be good CONTACTS. The Resource Centre staff will direct you towards the books you need and if all else fails the Teachers and support staff will try to direct you towards the right people. The teachers may well send you to see the staff in TK; all of the staff in the Technology Faculty will have some knowledge about careers in the world of Technology so they will be of help you all they can.

    To give you even more help, we are going to help you look for careers information about careers in all of the Technology subject areas here on the Technology Faculty Web Site. We will also show you the colleges and Universities who are involved in the different areas of technology and the routs you may chose to take into full time employment.

    It will help you get ahead of the rest by making notes about the information you need, so get a NOTE BOOK or print off the pages you need and keep the information safe. Writing letters to companies will be helpful, so if you need advice on letter writing don’t be scared to ask, because if you get it wrong it will reflect on you badly and you may miss out on an interview !!!

    So What Next???

    Before we go any further, we have lean a new language, it’s called TECHNO SPEAK. Techno Speak is a collection of words and phrases which people out side of the world of Technology seldom use, the words are very important, as without the understanding of the words and phrases, I could be writing words in Swahili. The actual word we use for Techno Speak is:


    Some of the Terminology used in Technology can be very specific to the Trade or Profession using it. If you know anything about computers manufacturers, you will know that they have invented lots of new words, all of which are specific to the computer industry.

    The first set of words describe some of the definitions used in publications and advertisements and are probably the most important, when looking for work and career information especially if you intend to work in careers where a Degree or equivalent is not important, as they are used to detail the kind of work you would be doing.

    • Production – Making products in a Work Place.
    • Manufacturing – Making products to be sold, using many materials or products.
    • Maintenance – Repairing equipment and machinery in a work place.
    • Fabrication – Building Metal or Wooden structures from sheet materials (can include buildings).
    • Construction – Usually associated with building houses and other types of brick and concrete structures used by people, animals and equipment.
    • Resource and Development (R&D) - Usually redesigning, carrying out modifications and testing to improve products prior to production
    • Installation – Putting equipment and machinery into a location for an employer or manufacturer
    • Commissioning – Making equipment or machinery work efficiently after Installation.

    Another set of important terms relate to the person doing the wor

    • Technician – A man or woman how has had specific training in a formal College or Training establishment who is involved in
    • Maintenance of vehicles, aircraft, specialist equipment or the operating of Diagnostic Equipment.
    • Mechanic – A man or woman usually working to repair or maintain Vehicles.
    • Fitter – A man or woman usually involved in the repair or maintenance of machinery and equipment.
    • Operative – A member of staff who is employed to assist other trained and qualified staff.
    • Trainee – Could be you!
    • Apprentice – Again this could be you!!!!

    If you intend to work in a career where higher education is involved and you subsequently gain a Degree or Diploma a different set of Terminology come into play, as the higher level of qualification require a smaller but new set of descriptions.

    • Graduate – A person who has left university with a degree or diploma.
    • Graduate Engineer – A person who has recently left university with a degree or diploma in a Technical Subject.
    • Engineer – A person who is degree qualified with relevant practical experience.
    • Chartered Engineer – An engineer who has gained further postgraduate qualifications and gaining accreditation from one of the engineering authorities.
    • Engineering Consultant – An engineer who is self employed who advises companies and organisations about engineering and technical matters.

    Good News

    If you are starting to get bored, the good news is that this is the last but one page of the general information and the even better news is that most of the last page is going to be a list of colleges and universities and if your planning to go to college or university you can skip this page altogether!

    For those of you who plan to have a job before going to college, I need to say a few words about going to work without higher education.


    The problem is that most employers look at GCSE’s as an indication of your GENERAL ABILITY. This means that the better you do in you final year at college, the better your chances of getting a job are. In other words to do many manual unskilled jobs you don’t need qualifications at all, however if you plan a career in most workplace you WILL need your GCSE’s.
    Before you have finished you GCSE’s you need to start looking for work, you need to compile a CV and begin to write to prospective employers to look into JOB AVAILABILITY. Obviously visits to see careers officers will be part of your time table, so gathering information from the various areas we have looked at earlier is also important.

    One important thought is if your exam results are not as good as you planned you can go on to college to continue your education by re-sitting exams. You can also continue getting new or improved qualifications all through the rest of your life, to prove that point, every year thousands of men and women go to college to get knowledge and qualifications they failed to get while at school, even degrees are available so all is not lost if your examination results are not that great!

    Many adults go to Night Classes at schools and colleges to gain new qualifications and many people employed technology have to attend training courses run by employers and manufacturers. So you education will not stop when you leave school, to be truthful the world we live in runs on qualifications, however don’t let that put you off if you feel your not so clever, many of the best engineers in history had no qualifications at all. The fact is the bloke who invented the wheel was around long before they ever thought of schooling!!!

    If you plan going into work straight from school start looking at:-

    • Apprenticeships
    • Modern Apprenticeships
    • Employers who employ school leavers and PAY for or provide further training
    • The Armed Forces
    • Job Searching, Networking, Making Contacts, Talking to People about Careers etc, etc, etc.

    Ok, you now have some of the information you need, so find yourself a job and GOOD LUCK!

    Going to College or University?

    If its your plan to go to college or university before going into full time employment, you will still need to plan out your career options before you settle down to expand you knowledge. You will need to know exactly what you want to do, what qualifications you need and in the case of university the degree you, otherwise you are going to look a complete Lemon!

  • Topic 7