On Wednesday 4th November I had the pleasure of presenting and talking to over a hundred Mathematics, Computing, Physics and Economics A-Level students at Winstanley College in Orrell, Wigan, about AI and machine learning, as a part of the Pathways to Profession programme.
Every year Winstanley College students pursue careers in the tech field, thanks to the college's longstanding dedication to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - so-called STEM subjects.
An integral part of the college's commitment to equipping students with the tools and know how to be successful is the opportunity to hear from industry professionals, who offer first-hand advice and direct insight into careers and pathways available.
The presentation also followed Winstanley's recent and prestigious nomination for the Educate Award of Outstanding Commitment to STEM.
Discussions ranged from defining AI and machine learning to practical ‘real-life’ uses to illustrate the prevalence of analytics and how it touches all of our lives in the modern world. We also discussed the ever-increasing range of career opportunities and pathways in this space. I shared the fantastic work that FICO performs and how we have been at the forefront of using data, analytics and technology to enable businesses to make better decisions and to optimize customer interactions.
I was massively impressed by the level of engagement and by the quality of questions asked, which showed great understanding and keen interest in the subject. These are very much the highly skilled jobs of the future and we need the next generation of analysts, data scientists, software engineers, architects, project managers and more to bring their energy, enthusiasm, and ideas to help establish and maintain the UK as one of the global leaders in AI and machine learning. If I managed to positively influence even one student through the session and encourage them to consider a future career in data science, I would consider it a very valuable use of my time.
I thoroughly enjoyed the session and owe a huge thank you to Helen Gordon, Assistant Head of Business and Economics at Winstanley College, for giving me the opportunity to speak. I also really appreciate the hard work that must have gone on behind the scenes by Helen and the Winstanley team to drive such a large attendance for the event. I look forward to working with some of the attendees in future as they enter the sector and become future leaders in AI and machine learning.