Feeds

High Schools putting kids off IT careers, deepening skills shortage

ACS Foundation queries whether IT as a career should even be taught

Boost IT visibility and business value

High School teaching of IT as a career actually puts kids off pursuing careers in the field, according to John Ridge, Executive Director of the Australian Computer Society Foundation Trust Fund (ACSF).

Ridge says general computer literacy courses in early high school are important and welcome, as employers expect some level of skill with productivity applications when hiring. But once kids start to study IT as a career, he says, they tend to abandon the idea of actually working in the industry.

The reason for the rebound, he says, is that too few teachers have the skills and passion to teach IT well. In New South Wales, Ridge said he feels 100 to 200 IT teachers do well … but with more than 1000 high schools in the State that’s not a great strike rate. Without proper resourcing and relevant curricula – the NSW Higher Schools Certificate’s Software Development and Design course is unchanged since 2009 – Ridge therefore wonders if it is even worth teaching IT as a career in schools.

Ridge also cited conversations with peers who feel University computer science curricula have changed little in decades.

The ACSF tries to step in where curriculum development fails, with its Work Integrated Learning scholarship scheme offering a way for recent graduates to bridge the worlds of University and work in a year-long program. But Ridge feels the Foundation can do only so much – it has placed 3850 students over ten years - and that unless schools and Universities improve Australia will struggle to meet the opportunity for growth in IT services, which he said will expand tenfold worldwide.

“Australia’s share of the IT services market has fallen as global demand has increased four-fold,” he told El Reg.

But Ridge also added that Schools and Universities can’t bring about change alone.

“There are lots of different groups who need to do this,” he said. “They should get together and there has to be a co-ordinated approach.” ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Symantec security chap signs for CSIRO's ICT In Schools
Vulture South is closing in on our goal of 20 new recruits to help teachers and kids
A-level results: Before you smile at that jump-for-joy snap...
Uni-ditching teens are COMING FOR YOUR JOBS
How to promote CSIRO's ICT in Schools in your community
Vulture South is closing in on its target to find volunteers to help teach tech in schools
Everyone's an IoT expert but now there's a certificate to prove it
Cisco creates Certification of Things for industrial sensor-footlers
Facebook wants Linux networking as good as FreeBSD
Help The Social NetworkTM make the kernel better
LinkedIn settles missed overtime pay case: Will pay $6m to staffers
US Dept of Labor: It violated Fair Labor Standards Act
NICTA man explains why he volunteers for CSIRO's ICT in Schools
'I feel fantastic after the sessions - It's the best part of my job' says volunteer
The Register is HIRING technology hacks for the WORLD
Live on Earth? Want to be a Vulture? Enquire within
Pleased to meet you. I'm Joe Bloggs, MVP, vExpert, Cisco Champ
What a mouthful. Do customers care? Six title-holders quizzed
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.