My JIIG-CAL results from 1985

My JIIG-CAL results
My JIIG-CAL results print out from June 1985. Yes, that’s geniune ye olde 128 line, tractor-feed computer paper.

Thinking about what I’m going to do next I looked out my JIIG-CAL print out from 1985 to see what it had suggested that I do.

JIIG-CAL stands for “Job Ideas & Information Generator – Computer Assisted Learning” and is a software application that helps students to work out, based on a simple questionnaire, what they would be good at career-wise.

In 1985, while I was in fourth year at Selkirk High School, I remember sitting in a classroom filling in the JIIG-CAL questionnaire, which then had to be sent to the Borders Regional Council headquarters to be entered into a computer (probably the size of a lorry!) and a few weeks (!!) later we received back a dot-matrix print-out with our recommended career paths. (How things have changed.)

Here’s what mine said, it’s dated 26 June 1985 (that’s over twenty years ago!!):

  1. Statistician (8/10) – Skills: logical, numerical ability, good self-expression, co-operative
  2. Occupational Therapist (8/10) – Skills: good organiser, resourcefulness, sympathetic, good with your hands
  3. Youth & Community Worker (8/10) – Skills: outgoing personality, good organiser, energy, tolerant
  4. Social Worker – Fieldwork (8/10) – Skills: sympathetic, pleasant manner, able to inspire confidence, patience
  5. Assistant Prison Governor (8/10) – Skills: able to understand other people’s problems, leadership, good administrator, able to discipline
  6. Mathematician (8/10) – Skills: good concentration, logical, analytical, good self-expression
  7. Probation Officer (England/Wales) (8/10) – Skills: able to inspire confidence, perseverence, resilience, sympathetic
  8. Social Worker – Residential (8/10) – Skills: able to inspire confidence, perseverence, resilience, sympathetic
  9. Insurance Underwriter (8/10) – Skills: sound judgement, honesty, able to take responsibility, accuracy
  10. Physicist (7/10) – Skills: scientific approach, numerical ability, good reasoning power, accuracy

So there you go! I’d forgotten that it had suggested that I ought to become an Assistant Prison Governor. I wonder why only ‘Assistant’, what skills would I need to become a full Prison Gov’nor? I loved this skill required: “able to understand other people’s problems” … yeah, but we’ll lock them up anyway!

What I find fascinating, and which I think probably does still apply to me, is that I seem to have been suggested jobs which are either entirely people-oriented (occupational therapist, social worker, asst prison gov’nor) or are predominantly theoretical (statistician, mathematician, physicist). Hmm… head or heart?

Update

Friday 20 June 2008 I’m now featured on the BBC News Scotland website. Check out this new blog post: Jiig-Cal and BBC Scotland, which includes a video blog post by me using Seesmic.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 46 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Currently on sabbatical. I am a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir.

8 thoughts on “My JIIG-CAL results from 1985”

  1. I did the same thing at school and was also told I should be a prison governor. So was my sister. So were a few other of my friends.
    Were they just very short of prison governors back then?

  2. I remember JIIG-CAL… The schoolteacher snapped me out of my usual daydream by plonking this card-like sheet in front of me.

    I dutifully coloured in the little squares to say whether I preferred to work indoors or outdoors, and so on.

    I, too, waited for several weeks for the result.

    Again, I was rudely awoken from my semi-slumber when the teacher slapped the large printout on my desk.

    “Air Traffic Controller”. Air Traffic Controller? I DON’T THINK SO!!

  3. I wonder how many people happily went into careers because of their JIIG-CAL results.

    “So, Johnny, why did you become an Air Traffic Controller?”
    “Because the computer told me to!”

    What amuses me is how general the key skills listed are. My list could equally have read:

    1. Co-op Manager and Graffiti Artist (8/10) – Skills: logical, numerical ability, good self-expression, co-operative
    2. Whittling masseur (8/10) – Skills: good organiser, resourcefulness, sympathetic, good with your hands
    3. Stand-up Comedian (8/10) – Skills: outgoing personality, good organiser, energy, tolerant
    4. Army officer in occupied country (8/10) – Skills: sympathetic, pleasant manner, able to inspire confidence, patience
    5. Father (8/10) – Skills: able to understand other people’s problems, leadership, good administrator, able to discipline
    6. Chess player (8/10) – Skills: good concentration, logical, analytical, good self-expression
    7. Priest (8/10) – Skills: able to inspire confidence, perseverence, resilience, sympathetic
    8. Druid (8/10) – Skills: able to inspire confidence, perseverence, resilience, sympathetic
    9. High Court Judge (8/10) – Skills: sound judgement, honesty, able to take responsibility, accuracy
    10. Professional Computer Video Gamer (7/10) – Skills: scientific approach, numerical ability, good reasoning power, accuracy

    Computer says no!

  4. Hello Gareth,

    A search for ‘Jiig-Cal’ after a conversation with another ex Selkirk High School pupil brought me here, how very odd. I hope you’re well!

    I like how you are only suitable for the position of Probation Officer in England/Wales. Scottish probation a whole other kettle of fish no doubt.

    They told me I was going to be a cook, the were wrong.

    Take care

    James

  5. Hi Gareth
    Was interested to come across your post (from the BBC website) as yet to meet anyone else who remembers Jiig-Caal.

    I don’t have my original anymore but my top three career paths were:
    1) Fashion Designer
    2) Archaeologist
    3) Medical Illustrator
    Being a scruffy and slightly squeemish young boy I decided on the second option and ended up doing a doctorate in the subject. I’m not doing archaeology any more although I am working for a heritage organisation – allbeit as their web designer.

    Cole

  6. Cole Henley… well what a turn up for the books. I remember you at University, 1st class honours, Cardiff 1998. So its all Jig Cal’s fault eh? hehe

    My results suggested me for statistician, mathematician, accountant, lawyer and a variety of other indoor professional posts usually involving numbers. Ideal for someone who is disnumerate! A job outdoors in the construction industry never even got suggested. Now, after doing the same degree in the same year as Cole I work for Northamptonshire Archaeology as one of their Project Officers.

    Jim

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