The Institute of IT Professionals (IITP) is to host ICT Minister Amy Adams at Christchurch Girls High School this week to promote ICT career options to students.
The Minister will attend a year 10 assembly at the school on Thursday as part of the ICT Connect programme that promotes IT as a career to school students.
ICT Connect is IITP’s school outreach programme to promote and encourage more students to look to a future career in IT and take subject choices that align well with tertiary qualifications in the growing tech field.
The programme, now in its third year, puts local IT professionals into schools to introduce the students to the many different roles that can be found in IT along with motivating students to consider IT as a career by sharing stories of their personal journey into the technology field.
“While the programme promotes ICT as a career option to all students, a particular focus is girls aged 14-16 to ensure that their perception of IT doesn’t become clouded by myths such as IT being a career for boys only, or that you have to be a super coding genius to make it in IT”, said Joy Cottle, operations manager at the IITP. “There are many non-technical roles available in our industry and we want to see more women in both technical and non technical roles in the future.”
The programme is funded and supported by more than 40 companies in New Zealand including Datacom, Orion Health, Potentia, ASB Bank and many others, as well as tertiary institutions such as the University of Otago, University of Auckland, Southern Institute of Technology and AUT.
ICT Connect was delivered to over 30,000 secondary students throughout New Zealand last year including Christchurch schools such as Burnside High School, St Bedes, Middleton Grange and Shirley Boys High School. According to IITP, it is on target to reach up to 50,000 in 2014.
“The ICT-Connect programme has been working hard to expose students to the real benefits of a career in IT, the variety of roles that can be found in the industry and the huge opportunities in IT compared to all other professions”, IITP CEO Paul Matthews said. “We’re still facing a huge shortage of people with the right skills in our field and the opportunities are huge. This programme is helping bridge that gap.”