Why taking a break can be good for your study or career:

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Apprenticeships - another point of view

Taking on an apprentice

Taking on an apprenticeis fast becoming an increasingly-popular option…

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What is it about education costs …

… that makes no sense at all?

These guys will agree with us! How can you get a degree without fees?

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More mature students prefer distance learning

This is Margaret Oakley, going back to school at 86 via distance learning!

The National Institute…

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Desperation appears to be setting in throughout UK universities, it seems.

Traditionally the undergraduate year starts in October, but because of the drop in the number of…

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Richard Review suggests redefining apprenticeships

The Richard Review – an independent investigation into the future of apprenticeships– was launched…

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  1. Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
  2. Aperture: f/10
  3. Exposure: 1/200th
  4. Focal Length: 117mm

An excellent career opportunity - as an assassin?

Further to a previous post concerning government spy centre GCHQ Cheltenham, where young people…

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Career opportunities missed too often - as predicted

Trade association for employer organisations Careers England surveyed its members about the careers…

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  2. Aperture: f/10
  3. Exposure: 1/200th
  4. Focal Length: 117mm

Skyrim


As long as you’re willing to pop over to the US of A, then boy, have we got some jobs and courses for you!

The University of South Carolina is from next spring offering gamer students the opportunity to examine “the ways history is presented in computer games” by pairing “selected games and pieces of written historical scholarship”.

That sounds amazing right? When you aren’t busy playing Fifa or Assassin’s Creed (with, perhaps, a bit of a break every now and then for a spot of Call of Duty) you will be working towards a qualification by writing two five-page essays comparing assigned games and readings, and researching a longer paper relating representation of a historical event or person within a game to research conducted by professional historians.

So it’s not quite as perfect as it could be, but life and uni never is. Even so, the small amount of historical education and training will prepare you well for a real future in the video game industry. After all, doesn’t the saying go “Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it?”

Even further back, the English Department at Rice University of Houston, Texas have been giving students preparation for the future in the shape of their own special course. You can imagine how confused the typical gamer’s mother would be, confused as to why their couch-potato gaming-addict children are all whining:  “But Mom, I really want to go to university – honest!”

What they don’t know though, when puzzled by their offspring wanting to learn anything about medieval Scandinavia and Old Norse and Old Icelandic legends.

We know, of course, that the course in question is named – appropriately enough – “Scandinavian Fantasy Worlds: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim.”

Ohhhhh. Skyrim. That makes much more sense!

Again, its not just about whacking and hacking, Scandinavian-style – the course description makes pretty obvious that it’s not going to be all fun and games. “We’ll consider the political saga of Skyrim, with its emphasis on Empire and rebellion, as pursuits made possible by way of Scandinavia in order to think through what Scandinavian fantasy worlds are really about and why they resonate with contemporary Anglo-American culture. “

So, Moms, don’t despair. There’s some genuine old-school education in there too!

If you can’t make it to America to pursue the career of your dreams quite yet, then we’ll let you know when the Oxford starts offering a course in Sonic the Hedgehog!



Here’s a bit of good news – and it’s not just for your eyes only, it can be shared if need. All wannabe “double-o” agents, pay attention:  you no longer have to take the traditional route to get into the spy business.  Eton, a thing of the past. Oxbridge is gone.  Likewise the University of Geneva.  You can start your career on her majesty’s secret service with … an apprenticeship (yes you read right).

Want to know more? Of course you do, keep reading. In the coming months keep a careful eye on our Foreign Secretary, William Hague as he tours Bletchley Park. Bletchley Park was home to the men and women who worked on cracking Japanese and German codes during the Second World War, and who, according to some experts, may have been responsible for bringing it to a close almost 2 years early.

But since then, wars – both hot and cold and lukewarm – have been starting and stopping and GCHQ (AKA Government Communications Headquarters) in Cheltenham, the successor to Bletchley Park, has helped the UK either steer clear of those wars or assist in bringing them to an end.

During his tour, William Hague will be announcing the government’s launch of an apprenticeship scheme for spies that’s going to target young people … whatever their academic background and qualifications thus far might be.

GCHQ is offering career opportunities to a hundred new recruits who don’t have to have a university degree if they’ve got vocational qualifications in science, technology or engineering.  And they don’t need the combat skills to beat the living daylights out of their adversaries and arch nemeses.

Leeds University math professor Barry Cooper, an expert on Bletchley’s codebreaking supremo Alan Turing, says:  “The scientific legacy that has come out of Britain is really quite amazing and important to us economically, and the contribution that we’ve made is important to the world.

“A lot of it depends on young people – it depends on people being interested in the science and having the means to pursue their interests.

“The way in which the government is now thinking about this seems really encouraging.”

So if you’re interested in a career opportunity as an apprentice spy – even though you probably won’t be issued with a license to kill (straight away) – please form an orderly Q here.