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Working with alumni and STEM professionals to enhance the employability skills of undergraduate mathematicians

A presentation from the STEM Annual Conference 2014.

With the recent increase in tuition fees across the HE sector many universities are feeling the pressure to ensure that students graduate with not only the core academic skills from their programme of study but also employability skills which will help them to apply themselves successfully in the modern workplace. This issue has been prominent in Mathematics where students have traditionally not been required to engage in an extensive range of transferable skills as part of their academic curriculum. At Keele University new modules have been introduced over the past three years in all undergraduate year groups to enhance these skills in undergraduate mathematicians. In this talk I will discuss the design and delivery of the final year Mathematics module which addresses professional skills. In particular I will explain how alumni and STEM professionals have contributed to ensure that the module reflects the reality of applying mathematical skills in a STEM work environment. I will give an analysis of the feedback which has been received from both the students and also from the alumni and industrial partners. The talk will discuss the module at Keele in the context of the Distinctive Keele Curriculum and the commitment which Keele has made to shaping graduates who can contribute positively to society.

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