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Students tap into the tech world

High school students given insights into tech jobs of the future.

In today’s innovation-focused world, having tech-related skills is more important than ever.

Recognising the need for a new generation of IT professionals, USQ hosted the Australian Computer Society (ACS) Foundation’s 2019 BiG Day In Springfield event today.

More than 150 senior high school students benefitted from the insights of tech industry professionals from companies such as TechnologyOne, WiseTech Global, Microsoft, IBM and Defence Force Recruiting.

USQ Professor (Information Systems) Raj Gururajan said an explosion in new technologies has spurred an increased demand for IT workers.

“Digital skills are one of the most critical skills young Australians will need for the jobs of the future,” Professor Gururajan said.

“Every sector and industry has some element of technology driving it, which means there are many new and exciting opportunities for young people to help shape the world we live and work in.”

Professor Gururajan said USQ’s IT graduates were well sought-after, both domestically and globally, with commanding starting salaries, as evidenced by the 2018 QILT (Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching) Graduate Outcomes Survey.

“At USQ, our goal is to ensure graduates enter the workforce with the skills and abilities needed for lifelong careers, which includes being able to adapt to the rapidly-changing job market,” he said.

“We’ve been closely monitoring the key trends and emerging areas of technology, and as a result the University will be offering two new master’s programs in Cyber Security and IT Innovation at USQ Springfield from Semester 2, July 2019.”

BiG Day In aimed to spark ideas and inspire tech-minded teens to pursue technology in the classroom and as a career path.

ACS Foundation Executive Director John Ridge said education was key to growing the IT sector.

“We were delighted to partner with USQ for the first time to help inspire young people to consider a career in IT,” he said.

“Gaining the latest information and insights into the types of IT careers available means high school students can make better-informed decisions when making the transition from their studies into the industry.

“There are thousands of organisations interested in hiring people with IT skills and IT qualifications, including companies these students have probably never heard of.

“The demand is growing every day and Australia is struggling to keep up. That is why we have companies relocating their business offshore so they can get access to more IT-skilled workers.”

Schools that participated in the event included St Peters Lutheran College (Springfield), Redbank Plains State High School, Bundamba State Secondary College, Rosewood SHS, Forest Lake SHS, Ambrose Treacy College, Hills College, Mary Mackillop Catholic College, Redlands College and Woodenbong Central School.

Student with robot
St Peters Lutheran College (Springfield) student Allystar Goiyer learns about robotics with NAOmi.