Starting a magazine-based business today is difficult – in fact it might even be seen as business suicide. Magazines are labour intensive – they need standout photography, eye-catching design, and compelling, long-form stories. They need distribution, promotion, and marketing. It requires guts and chutzpa in equal measures.
Sometimes, there’s a need so strong that it’s worth all of the effort, the attention to detail, the rereading of every word for the 12th time. And nothing is more compelling to me than the future of our children and their future children. Not only their day-to-day happiness, but their ability to cope with a world vastly different from the world familiar to us today.
So how do we prepare these kids for the challenges of constantly ‘on’ tech, unregulated AI, climate change, social inequity, famine, migration and natural disasters? It’s self obvious that science, technology, engineering and maths, or STEM, skills are at the heart of this. What’s less widely talked about is how we will utilise these skills across new areas of work, and how problem-solving, teamwork, and working through hypotheses will be key skills for most of our future work challenges.
Which is why we’re proud to have started the Careers with STEM magazine series five years ago, when Google took a punt on our small business because they thought we had something to say, and in a surprising format – a print magazine.
In 2018, we’re celebrating the release of our fifth annual issue of Careers with Code magazine and with the support of Google, the Commonwealth Bank, and countless other industry, research and study institutions, the distribution of over 1.5 million magazines free to secondary students across Australia, New Zealand and the US. We’re also proud to be recognised by Mumbrella’s Publish Awards as finalists for best small publisher and best relaunch of the Careers with STEM, series which includes a digital hub and magazines on engineering, maths, science, cybersecurity, economics and health.
This morning I spoke with 60 Year 10 students from Parramatta High School in Sydney’s west. As they go into the next few years of study, and enter the world of work, entirely new job areas will be ready for them. In fact 65% of kids in primary schools today will go into jobs that haven’t been invented yet**. My goal is for them to be not just prepared but passionate about the challenges that will face them as they start their first of as many as eight career changes and 17 different jobs*.
Recently, I heard Sam Sicilia, CIO of HostPlus, speak at the Sunrise startup conference about the ‘bullshit jobs’ that 30% of people work in – the jobs we could do without, that create no benefit to society.
I’d like to see a future where none of the next generation work in these bullshit jobs, but instead are fulfilled by work that create solutions for issues that the next generation must solve if we are to sustain our way of life and our beautiful planet.
If you’d like to join us in our mission, follow us, check out the CareerswithSTEM.com site, and share your stories about your career – join the hashtags that celebrate women in STEM, show your support, or change your own attitudes about science stereotypes. Or pick up a magazine and pass it on to your kids’ schools – it might just be the inspiration that starts something big.