A careers tech conference to help prepare local students for the technology jobs of the future is coming to the Hunter this month thanks to the support of local businesses.
Around 500, Year 9 to 12 students from 14 Hunter, Central Coast and mid North Coast schools will attend The Big Day In at the University of Newcastle on Tuesday, 12 August 2014.
The day is an initiative of the ACS Foundation and connects students with entrepreneurs and leading IT professionals in companies who have proven, ‘real world’ experience .
The Greater Building Society sponsored the inaugural Hunter Big Day In last year and is doing so again this year.
Greater Chief Information Officer, Bruce White, says the conference is a great way to get young people thinking about studying IT at university, particularly young women.
“With banking becoming increasingly IT focussed The Greater needs more bright young people passionate about technology,” Bruce said.
Bruce is taking along The Greater’s recruitment specialist Nick McAulay and one of The Greater’s IT cadets Lachlan Goodhew-Cook to his conference presentation to give students a idea of the opportunities and practical tips on the things they need to do to get into the industry.
The tech careers conference uses interactive presentations, demonstrations and competitions, and tech gurus showing how they built their careers and how students can kick start their career too.
Case Study | ROSE PROGRAMS HER CAREER
Rose Schiffler is a young Hunter woman with an absolute love for programming.
The 24-year-old University of Newcastle graduate is an Analyst Programmer with the Greater Building Society where she maintains their mobile banking and internet banking platforms.
A career in IT was not something she initially considered. With a love of English and music she initially wanted to be a journalist and enrolled in a Bachelor of Communication. An elective course on website creation unlocked a love of computing and programming from the first lesson. She then went on to enrol in a Bachelor of IT.
Rose encourages young people to attend the Big Day In and consider studying information technology.
“I tell people to just do stuff on the web, play around with creating apps and other programs,” Rose said.
“Do as much as you can online yourself because that will boost your skills and impress potential employers,” she said.
Rose is a graduate of The Greater’s IT Cadet program.
She said the cadetship was a great way to gain real world experience and motivating as she saw the practical application of her studies.
CIO Bruce White introduced the program when he started at The Greater five years ago. It is open to current university students that have demonstrated achievements in initial studies. Rose worked 30 hours a week for The Greater whilst completing her Bachelor of IT part time. Nine University of Newcastle students have completed or are completing the program. Of the five that have completed their cadetship, Rose and fellow programmer Sean Wisely both went on to gain full time employment with The Greater.
Bruce said banking is becoming increasingly IT focussed. He said The Greater has made significant investment in mobile and digital banking and is currently upgrading its website. It is about to embark on a multi-million dollar upgrade of its core banking system to ensure it stays at the cutting edge of banking.
“Rose and other technology graduates and experts are key to that evolution in banking and also the people we need thinking about the next big thing to benefit customers,” Bruce said.
Image | Rose Schiffler