Feeds

High Schools putting kids off IT careers, deepening skills shortage

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.” ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The gender imbalance in IT is real, ongoing and ridiculous
The Z80 and 6502 generation wore the sexist stereotype, now it's up to them to fix it
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
100 IT workers face the axe at CSIRO
Union says management's version of events is wrong and that one in five will go
Young Germans: PLEASE! ANYTHING BUT a digital STARTUP
But Spanish and Italian youths want to set them up themselves
Get a job in Germany – where most activities are precursors to drinking
A Brit explains the fun to be had rolling rocks down country lanes
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.