Class can be a drag, but we found out that what you’re learning will be real handy in the real world.
You’ve had a helluva day. Your brother used your tinted-moisturiser to paint himself, you actually really did forget your homework book and your phone fell out of your hand and smashed – yep, scrolling is now a blood sport. The last thing you need is to be told the final two periods of the day will be spent learning an equilateral from an isosceles. Unless you become some triangle specialist or pyramid builder, when are you ever going to need to know this, right? We sought out career go-to guy, Dr John Taccori (careersdoctor.net) to tell us how the stuff you’re learning now will help in the workplace later, promise!
Erm, this: a² + b² = c²
For some of you, math is your favourite class (and you know that sum is Pythagoras theorem) –you don’t have to worry about grammar or spelling and you feel pretty proud when you nail a test. But it also gets the most flack thanks to things like algebra (why go confusing a good system with letters?). Well, from fashion fans working out if they can afford the unmarked sale price to figuring out a budget so rent gets paid, math it’s also a skill that will land you a nice pay-packet. “The 10 top careers that have the highest earning capacity in Australia have all got a significant math component in them,” says Dr Taccori. “Many students tend to dismiss math as one of their subject options, but it opens up a lot of doors that a young person has not even considered opening yet.”
When you actually need an isosceles triangle: If you ever plan on making origami, quilts, paper aeroplanes, clothes, folding napkins or baking apple turnovers.
Cool jobs it can get you: Architect; Video game developer; Defence Security Analyst; Scientist; Biophysicist; Google analyst (two words: Sleep pods).
Seriously, wherefore art thou Romeo?!
When you’re trying to get through five chapters of a story someone wrote fifty years ago, it can get high up on your list of ‘Why am I doing this?’ life things. Even if you love reading, having to answer twenty questions on what Tess of the D’Urbervilles is really about, can suck the life out of enjoying a story. But all the analysing actually amounts to something later on in life. “You learn how to understand the underlying meanings of words and their structure for communication,” says Dr Taccori. “It means [you get] excellent written, reading and speaking abilities, grammar, sentence structure and spelling. Believe it or not, you pick up this higher level of competency from reading books, novels, plays and poetry in school.”
The old literature books might smell weird, but you’ll be able to announce to anyone that the book really was better than the movie!
Cool jobs it can get you: Journalist/writer (we love it!); Editor; Stock broker; Teacher; Public relations officer; Economist; Lawyer
What that Big Bang Theory song is about
Science is actually very cool. Stay with us – without it, how would we know that Polar Bears can jump over 6ft in the air or that 65 million years ago dolphins and humans were closely related? If for nothing else, it makes you a top-picked trivia team member. But aside from that, it’ll have you killing it in the career stakes. “The study of science can open lots of doors into careers that are not often considered,” says Dr Taccori. “It helps you discover the hidden secrets of nature, the human body, diseases, ecology, the soil, the climate, water and the air we breathe.”
When you will actually need to know how to dissect with a sharp object? If you ever plan on stuffing a turkey or chicken. Or if you ever live in a share house and you have to figure out exactly what that thing is causing that smell.
Cool jobs it can give you: Physiotherapist; Environmental scientist; Geneticist; Wine maker; Landscape architect; Naturopath; Dietician; Geographer
The only class to make school feel like Glee
For some, this is the best class in the whole world. You get to express yourself, act silly, you’re not stuck in a classroom chair and its creative – especially for those with their sights set on the screen or stage. But it can also be terrifying for those who don’t feel creativity is their strong point. But drama isn’t just for the future J-Laws and it can help in more ways than just knowing how to remember lines. “Most positions of responsibility will require you to give a presentation of some sort to your co-workers and/or employers. Drama will give you the skills you need to execute that professionally and confidently.”
When you will actually need to know how to remember lines: When you get a nasty email from a nasty colleague, but don’t want to bow to their level and forward it. So you remember every word to vent to your friends later.
Cool jobs it can give you: Artistic director; Business account manager; Film producer; Make-up artist; Sales executive; Publicist; Radio presenter; Entertainer.
Things we wish they taught us in high school
“How to tackle awkward conversations in life: leaving your current job, asking for more money at work, breaking up with someone.” – Phoebe Hooke, Features writer
“I wish that they were more open about the fact that there were alternative study routes like private colleges, TAFE courses, internships and prep courses.” – Nikki Lowe, Market editor
“How to open new jars! It took me forever to figure out that if you tap the side of the lid on a hard surface, it pops right open. Could have saved me a lot strain.” – Natalie Babic, Beauty writer
“How to change your swimmers on the beach without accidentally flashing!” – Emma Jackson, Art director
Celebs who kept their smarts
“[Black Swan] is actually a case of something I learned in school translating into something practical” – Natalie Portman, who has a Harvard degree in Psychology.
“I relate to Amy’s scientific analysis of the world” – Mayim Bialik on how her science studies (she has a PhD in neuroscience) help get her get into her Big Bang Theory character.
“In school, I was taught about music, about theatre, and that interest sparked something in me.” – Taylor Swift.