Thursday, May 12, 2011

Inspire high school students’ career aspirations and goals

Do you enjoy your career and find real value in the work you do? Do you feel that your ICT skills play a key part in your current and future success? If so, perhaps you would be interested in giving a career talk to high school students, providing inspiration about your job and the many other opportunities available in ICT-related careers.

As a member of the Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow’s ICT Skills (CCICT), we are helping recruit role models to visit schools in the Toronto area for CCICT’s CareerMashup initiative. Planned for the last two weeks of October, CareerMashup is a week-long festival of events and activities raising awareness about today’s interesting and varied ICT-related careers.

We are also looking for individuals willing to talk about their careers for video profiles on CareerMash, a new online career network developed by the CCICT.

Why your help is needed

Employing more than one million Canadians, ICT activities are the foundation of our knowledge economy. More Canadians work in ICT than in agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas, utilities and auto-manufacturing combined. The demand for employees with specialized ICT-related skills continues to grow. Despite this, there is an alarming decline in ICT-related post-secondary enrolments.

Research has shown that when considering careers and post-secondary options, many high school students are unaware of the exciting new jobs and opportunities out there. If they think of these jobs at all, they think of them as desk-bound and boring. As you are well aware, this is not the case.

An industry-led coalition, CCICT was formed to address this urgent issue and help reverse the trend.

Training provided

The role model training will take place on Tuesday, September 13th. CCICT will manage all of the logistics, provide training and assist with presentation content. If you are interested in being a role model and/or participating in a video profile, please contact me.

CCICT is looking for many different role models, but especially entrepreneurial types and those in a wide variety of specialized fields like digital media, health informatics, product innovation, medical research, green infrastructure, mobile technologies and applications etc. Here is a list of characteristics (keeping in mind these are just loose guidelines):

- lively, engaging personalities
- comfortable speaking to groups
- diverse range of ethnic backgrounds
- strong female representation
- wide range of industries with an emphasis on ICT, finance, business, environment, health and wellness, media, manufacturing, arts and culture, and transportation
- wide range of career types from those working in large organizations to entrepreneurs and the self-employed

In addition to organizing the school visits, CCICT will provide each role model with training and help preparing their presentation. We are looking for role models who will commit to visiting at least one school (for 1/2 to a whole day) in October, and who will come to a training session on September 13th in Toronto.

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