​Young tech talent targeted as IT experts head to Queenstown

“Most of the jobs our graduates will work in haven’t been invented yet."

An exciting future for computer science careers, which represent nearly 10 percent of the current 100 best jobs listed in the United States News, is the central focus at a major New Zealand IT and computer education conference in Queenstown next month.

Many of the country’s leading computer science educators and researchers will attend the CITRENZ event on October 6 to 9, in a bid to improve the desirability of young New Zealanders taking up modern digital world careers.

Organiser Associate Professor Alison Clear of Eastern Institute of Technology in Auckland says New Zealand is facing a huge future for digital technology and computer science in helping businesses grow.

“All businesses now rely on technology to stay in business,” Professor Clear says.

“The use of current and future technologies will give these businesses a market edge in increasing current market share and exploring new markets.

“Things like more sophisticated data mining, big data, improved telecommunications, mobile apps will all help. Computer graduates will have the world at their fingertips.”

A recent Forbes study has identified software quality assurance engineers as being in the happiest job of all careers with two other computer science professions appearing in the top 20.

“Most of the jobs our graduates will work in haven’t been invented yet,” Clear adds. “Current jobs will morph into new careers as technology advances and changes.

“It is stimulating and extremely satisfying to be able to build systems that helps the people of the world to better economies, health and well-being.”

Professor Clear says the qualifications in IT and computer science in New Zealand are as “good as anywhere in the world”, with the country’s academic staff “highly regarded internationally.”

“We are already not only teaching the technical skills but also the soft skills that industry require of graduates,” she adds.

“They receive an education that enables them to “hit the ground running” and be immediately productive in the industry.”

For Professor Clear, there are many increasing areas and disciplines that require graduates with computer technology skills.

“This opens up a whole world for graduates as they are able to take their education and skills to all sorts of different areas in which they have interests,” she explains.

The event aims to discuss key issues including new computing qualifications that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority have recently listed - they are also new programmes of study to meet new qualifications.

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