A local IT professional has called for schools to be kept informed over the range of careers available within the industry.
Carrickfergus woman Jill Robb, who is co-owner/director of Origin Digital, made the suggestion after attending a career day at Ulidia Integrated College.
In a blog post for the company, Jill wrote: “Having got into digital after initially having a very different career path, I know the importance of ensuring that kids have access to information of career paths that are open to them.
“Unfortunately many of the job roles and career paths open to school leavers most kids have absolutely no idea exist - nor do the school careers officers. And why would they? Digital changes at an ever increasing rate and the job roles that exist in the sector continue to do the same.
“The sheer amount of specialisms in the sector means that the schools and careers teachers struggle to keep up to speed with what exists out there.
“Is it the job of the education system to try to keep abreast of the vast changes in digital? Instead I think that it’s important that industry professionals with knowledge of the sector invest some time advising kids and careers teachers that job roles in IT spread much further than an ‘IT Manager’.”
Drawing attention to the gender imbalance within the industry, Jill added: “The lack of girls who were [at the talk] was no surprise. Albeit there were a lot more than there would have been, say 10 years ago, but it was still 85 percent boys.”
However, she was encouraged to receive a thank-you card from pupils who attended the event, including two female students. “Both of them now have the confidence to pursue a career in IT and digital after previously thinking that is was a much more difficult choice for them.”