Feeds

High Schools putting kids off IT careers, deepening skills shortage

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

Application security programs and practises

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.” ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft's MCSE and MCSD will become HARDER to win
Redmond decides it won't replace Masters certifications, so lesser certs get more rigour
'Oh my god – Mark Zuckerberg wants to meet me'
'The Swiss have got no great interest in working with Apple'
Dammit, Foxconn: Where's our 1 MILLION-strong robot ARMY?
'Foxbots' just aren't good enough to take up the slack
Devs: Fancy a job teaching Siri to speak the Queen's English?
Spik propa lyk dis blud innit, ya get me?
Bankers bid to use offshore temp techies
WikiLeaks publishes Financial Services Annex to 50-nation Trade in Services Agreement
Hey! Where! are! the! white! women! at!? It's! Yahoo!
In non-tech jobs, that is – still mostly white men running Marissa Mayer's web biz
Non-techies: The cute things they say
'OK, smartass, the firewall is blocking the proxy server.'
Join me, Reg readers, and help me UPGRADE our CHILDREN
Think of the children? I just did, says Dom Connor
Dream job ad appears: Data wrangler for Square Kilometre Array
Curtin University seeks extreme sysadmin for Murchison 'scope
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.