By Jana Jackson
The Shanghai Singapore International School (SSIS) has become the first school in China to offer the IB Career-Related Program (IBCP). The International Baccalaureate qualifications have long been seen as a key for entrance to a good university and promising career. However, changing markets have led the IB to develop new, improved strategies. Building on excellent IBDP results (an average of 35 last year, compared to the world average of 29.8, with the highest marked score of 42) SSIS underwent testing and development to become the first school in China to start teaching IB Career-Related Program last year.
The IBCP is a rigorous two-year academic program that consists of three parts: IB Core, The Diploma Program courses and career-related courses. This offers the qualifications that universities demand and respect, but also a practical component that allowsAnchor students to gain crucial work experience while still at school. It is designed for students who wish to support their further studies while engaging in career-related learning. Currently, SSIS offers IBCP in Hospitality, with a view to expand into other fields such as sport, art and design.
The view that studying Hospitality it is not as prestigious as more traditional academic subjects is currently being strongly challenged. Forbes Magazine (February 2015) estimates that every 2.5 seconds in the world a job in the hospitality sector is created. The global industry provides around 8.9 per cent of worldwide employment and the World Travel and Tourism Council Board estimates by 2023 nearly one in ten jobs will be in hospitality.
Top recruiters from the retail and financial industries are seeking out more and more future managers and executives with Hospitality Degrees and training. JP Morgan, Bloomberg, Louis Vuitton, Shangri-La and Disney Land have all recently recruited from top Hospitality Institutes including Switzerland’s Les Roches International School of Hotel Management. (The Telegraph, 4 Aug 2014).
At SSIS, instructors from professional hospitality management institution teach two classes a week. As well as IBDP courses, students may complete modules on Marketing, Customer Service, Human Resource Management and Front Office Operations in Hospitality, as well as developing practical and social skills, tackling ethical issues and improving their language skills (currently SSIS students are taking extra French and Japanese).
According to the official IB website, the IBCP was “specifically developed for students who wish to engage in career-related learning while gaining transferable and lifelong skills in applied knowledge, critical thinking, communication, and cross-cultural engagement.” It allows students to gain prestigious credentials while studying something they are particularly passionate about.
The IB 2013 Global Summit reported that while, “worldwide, the rate of youth unemployment (ages 15 to 24) is 13 percent, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO),” that for the students that had taken the IBCP, “schools report that the vast majority of graduates (99%) have continued on to further or higher education, careers or specialized training.
It is certainly a very popular option for students currently taking it at SSIS.
Grade 11 student Sean Lim says: “If you want to learn about business and management I would encourage you to take this course, as you can learn more from this program then from a text book.”
“I love the practical side of visiting hotels and restaurants and finding out what happens beneath the surface,” says another student Alex Zeng, “After completing my IBCP at SSIS I would like to go to College and study Business and Marketing.”
“Our students are ambassadors for this program, and with that come great responsibility and great joy. It’s new, it’s different and it’s the best way to prepare for the future”, says SSIS IBCP Coordinator Rhonda George.
//For more information, please contact Ms. George at email@example.com.