​Students embracing tech as Kiwi demand for IT interns continues to grow

“Employers were very impressed with the professionalism as well as the technical skills of students during recruitment."

The Summer of Tech internship programme is meeting increasing demand from businesses as New Zealand’s ICT sector strengthens, with 140 Summer of Tech IT internships underway for 2015/16.

MBIE’s ICT Sector report from May 2015 cited a 12 percent growth in employment in the sector, with 80 percent of interns being retained as employees, beyond summer.

This month the programme will place 140 New Zealand tertiary students and recent graduates into paid summer internships in 55 organisations, the highest number since the programme began.

Summer of Tech CEO Ruth McDavitt says the Auckland and Wellington ICT businesses participating in this year’s programme get extra team members and accelerate practical education which is “impossible to learn” in an academic environment.

“We are so excited to be launching 140 IT careers this month, and applaud the organisations who are welcoming students onto their teams to add value to businesses during their summer jobs,” McDavitt says.

Summer of Tech is a non-profit organisation that is led by industry volunteers who want to support technology education and work experience, to build the future talent pipeline for the New Zealand tech sector.

Since March this year, volunteers have contributed over 1,000 hours to support skills development and help students build a portfolio of work that demonstrates their ability to add value to local businesses.

Recruitment events in Auckland and Wellington in September were followed by over 700 “speed interviews”, where employers and students got to know each other in quick-fire, 10 minute job interviews.

“Employers were very impressed with the professionalism as well as the technical skills of students during recruitment,” McDavitt adds.

“We are grateful to all the volunteers from IT industry who have given time during the year to help prepare students for employment.”

McDavitt says there was no shortage of talent available, with over 800 students throughout New Zealand completing their online profiles and expressing interest in the paid summer jobs.

At present, 80 percent of the roles were web, mobile or software development, with the remaining 20 percent including digital design, business analysis, engineering, software testing, and marketing.

Diversity in roles was matched by diversity in interns, employers are pro-actively seeking a range of skills and perspectives to build their future tech team.

“Summer of Tech has a strong record of supporting women into technical careers, over one third of interns this year are female, while the industry average is 20 percent,” McDavitt adds.

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