04 Dec 2014
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IT not just about maths and programming

By Shannon Williams

The Institute of IT Professionals has signed up as an exhibitor for a series of Careers Expos taking place across the country next year, in response to New Zealand’s current ICT skills shortage.

The Careers Expo presents the widest range of exhibitors of any careers expo in New Zealand. Comprising employers, tertiary providers, training institutions, industry representatives, government departments and corporates.

Paul Matthews, Institute of IT Professionals CEO, says the amount of graduates coming into the IT industry doesn’t align with the amount of roles that are available.

“Careers in IT are exciting, challenging and full of opportunities not often found elsewhere, and we want as many people as possible to get to know the options and have the opportunity to go after them,” he says. “The Careers Expo is a great way of getting this message out to heaps of kids and their parents”.

The institute’s involvement is an extension of their successful ICT-Connect school outreach programme, supported by 40 companies such as Datacom, Potentia and the NZ School of Education.

The institute says there are many common misconceptions about career paths in IT, with many people thinking the industry is just about maths and programming.

It says while roles such as software developer need a technical mind-set, others such as business analysis and project management are not technically focused. Proficiency in English, science, digital technology and maths are useful skills for candidates wishing to enter the industry.

“Employers also place a high value on soft skill-sets such as creativity, initiative, dedication, problem solving, the ability to work in a team and desire.”

The institute says it will use the Careers Expo to help address some of the misconceptions about IT and promote the industry as a compelling career option for young people. It plans to present technologies to “grab the attention of the students attending the expos and tell stories of real people in IT, about their journey into the industry and why they love it.”

Careers Expo director, Mark Gillard says “I’m delighted to have the Institute of IT Professionals on board for the 2015 Careers Expos. Their involvement will help educate the thousands of young people who attend the event about the breadth of exciting roles available in IT, which is a step towards addressing the skills shortage the IT industry is facing."

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