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  • 15 May 2013 13:53

“BiG Day In WA” Student Conference - Oversubscribed and Inspiring Careers in ICT!!

The ACS Foundation’s Big Day In event, held on Friday in the Perth Town Hall to a capacity audience, drew together the real world experiences of technology professionals to inspire young people to explore careers in ICT. This response proves the demand for not only career preparation events aimed at high school students, their teachers and university ICT undergraduates, but the innovative model developed by the Foundation.

More than 400 people attended the event!! This will take the number of students, teachers and careers advisors who will be attending four similar events being held nationally by the Foundation in 2013 to more than 1,300.

The differentiator for this low cost, high quality event with presentations by key industry players, was that the format was designed by students, for students. From ideas generated by student focus groups, the topic list grew to explore the diversity of opportunities within the Australian ICT sector and cover the realities from a workplace perspective.

The ACS Foundation is looking to expand the BiG Day In concept, in partnership with educational institutions and the organisations that represent the spectrum of ICT career paths: technology providers as well as the medium and large corporations with IT infrastructure that is driving their successful operations.

The demand for these events can be judged by the pilot event held in 2012 which had a target of 130 attendees and was oversubscribed at 220. The Perth event held on Friday 10 May attracted 17 schools including 350 students, 30 teachers, and tertiary level students. The City of Joondalup, as an example, is developing as a technology hub and its schools’ ICT development officers are now active participants in the WA BiG Day In events.

Jim Ellis OAM, Chair of the WA Chapter of the ACS Foundation said: “Is there a need for ‘from the coal face’ stories of where technology is taking us and the exciting career opportunities for Australia’s up and coming ICT professionals? Resoundingly, yes there is!

“We are encouraging organisations across Western Australia to join the ACS Foundation’s efforts to get the message out there. We have developed a highly successful formula for events that are immediately relevant and inspiring to potential members of the ICT industry.”

Executives and new recruits, as representatives from the broader ICT sector, are needed to present on topics ranging from the future of technology; the professional services environment; examples of innovative careers and projects in specific industries; and how to best prepare for entry into the workforce.

John Debrincat, Chair of the ACS Foundation, said: “If we can create and capture high school student enthusiasm as they are making their study selections, then we have a chance to grow the much needed number of ICT graduates coming through our tertiary institutions.

“With industry contribution, we can attract talent into our sector and academia who are better able to produce the work ready graduates needed by the ICT marketplace. The BiG Day In events are an excellent way for students, teachers and career advisors to become involved in the work of the ACS Foundation,” he said.

Photos of the BiG Day In WA event can be found on the ACS Foundation facebook page.

ENDS

About The ACS Foundation (www.acsfoundation.com.au)

The ACS Foundation was established in August 2001 to encourage both private and public sponsorship of IT higher education and research. By increasing funding opportunities for industry to contribute to education programs, the Foundation seeks to create a highly skilled workforce, able to effectively access research and industry-specific training. Since its establishment, the ACS Foundation has raised more than $45 million and awarded more than 4,500 scholarships. The prime scholarship facilitator focused exclusively on the ICT industry, the ACS Foundation receives funding from ICT companies, industry associations, Government bodies, and individuals. An ATO-designated Deductible Gift Recipient, the ACS Foundation provides tax effective programs for industry and private donors.

For more information about this topic, please contact John Ridge by calling (02) 8296 4445 or email at john.ridge@acsfoundation.com.au.

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