|NEW ZEALAND'S EDUCATION
The Institute of IT Professionals, New Zealand's largest IT representative body, hosted ICT Minister Amy Adams at Christchurch Girls High School this week to promote ICT career options to students.
The Institute of IT Professionals (IITP) and Christchurch Girls High School hosted the Information Technology and Communications Minister Amy Adams at a year 10 assembly at the school this Thursday 3rd April, as part of the ICT-Connect programme that promotes IT as a career to school students.
ICT-Connect is the Institute's successful 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 IT.
The programme is funded and supported by more than 40 of the leading technology and non-tech companies in New Zealand including Datacom, Orion Health, Potentia, ASB Bank and many others, as well as tertiary institutions such as CPIT, 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, and is on target to reach up to 50,000 in 2014.
"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 today, 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 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."
Industry leaders estimate a shortage of at least 10,000 IT Professionals in New Zealand with the shortage predicted to continue to grow in future.