In today’s challenging educational world, students are faced with a wide range of choices. The number of students choosing a traditional ‘academic’ route through the University pathway is ever increasing, however there is still quite a lot of of students who are looking for a different pathway.

An alternative career path

An alternative pathway is becoming more attractive to many students who feel that University is not for them. This path starts with students working almost immediately, so that they are able to develop key career skills. In this current economic climate many students are also being put off by the thought of incurring large tuition fees and debt, and the lure of being able to earn money and training immediately is becoming ever more appealing.

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The new International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme

IBCP  was introduced to meet this need for an alternative pathway. The qualification meets the entry requirements for many Universities or further education colleges and students get a wide range of choices from business, computer technology, media, photography, sound engineering, video production, travel and tourism, hospitality, art, graphics, design, fashion & textiles, retail and more.

IBCP in Dubai

The IBCP was introduced in Dubai in 2011 at the Greenfield Community School, a Taaleem school, as one of the first pilot schools in the world. The course integrates the International Baccalaureate philosophy and content with an external course and qualification aligned to the students needs and interests.

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The career-related focus of the course deals directly with the skills which students will need as they enter the job market. These include computer skills and the ability to use a wide range of software packages, also communication, interview, research, data processing, presentation and organization skills. Language skills are also an important part of the course where students are required to develop additional languages as well as high level English, which is important in today’s business world. Students are exposed to high level research skills and the opportunity to synthesize raw data collected from a variety of credible sources, before presenting in a range of styles such as a report, an essay, display or presentation. These skills, and many others are not normally part of a traditional academic course as the focus is usually on working towards and examination. But as a requirement of the new IBCP, these are seen as a critical part which students will need should they choose to follow a university or employment pathway.

Mike Worth is the IBCP & BTEC Coordinator at Greenfield Community School, a Taaleem school in Dubai. He has been teaching in International schools and involved in vocational and career-related education for over 20 years. He is also involved with the International Baccalaureate as an examiner and school inspector as well as leading teaching training in career-related education. Mike is passionate about students being given the opportunity to achieve their personal goals and a worthwhile career.