2007 Debate Ict As A Career
A debate was held prior to the dinner, the subject of which is "ICT is a great career choice - true or false?". The debate was moderated by Ms Agnes King, the ICT editor of the BRW. The target audience for this event was students from both high schools and universities/TAFEs to address the issues relating to ICT in not being able to attract enough students to meet demand as well as articulating the great career potential open to graduates and skilled ICT professionals.
||Thursday 1st November 2007
King George Square, Brisbane
||ICT is a great career choice - true or false?
IT Editor, BRW
Background - with a nod to the new Scientist and thanks to Helen Meredith!
You can't escape information and communications technology (ICT) - it's everywhere. It created the ubiquitous personal computer, controls the networks that run billion-dollar businesses and is fundamental to the biggest network of them all, the Internet. Without it, much of life as we know it would grind to a halt.
It is no longer for nerds. For the graduate who can make computers do new and useful things this is good news! There are plenty of opportunities to be found in a computing career.
In the not-so-distant past, computer science was a rather unglamorous subject to study, with a "nerdy" reputation. But thanks to the meteoric rise of the Internet and the proliferation of high-tech gadgetry, this is no longer the case. Some of the stuff students are doing these days is mind-boggling. Computer science graduates do work that literally changes the world. And they work directly with customers and business partners to bring their expertise to real world problems.
Here's the lowdown. Computers are fundamental to many different industries, so graduates can apply their skills to plenty of fields. The likes of Microsoft, IBM, Intel and Hewlett-Packard all rely on an unseen army of computer scientists and engineers to produce and maintain their technology.
Even within these companies you can work in a broad variety of areas and end up doing a number of jobs. Product development entails designing, building and testing the latest products, so skills in software programming and design or electrical engineering are vital. Another important area is technology consulting and customer support - helping companies to help their customers and building computer systems based on a company's products and services.
These more traditional areas are complimented by opportunities in other fields. The growth of the Internet and the mobile phone market in particular has created new areas of work for computer science graduates. Business-to-business Internet service is the fastest growing area for new graduates and is crying out for new blood. Working in this area would probably mean developing Internet security technology or online business services.
Some graduates may even be lucky enough to carve out a career for themselves doing research with a major technology firm. This means designing and testing the sort of stuff that most geeks can only dream about. Many computer companies have research facilities and these usually carry out research in a wide variety of areas. There are laboratories investigating everything from facial-recognition techniques to new uses of smart cards and Internet phones.
And the rewards? There's more to working for a computer giant than cool computer technology. If you pursue a career in computing you can expect to earn a tidy wage and plenty of benefits to boot. Some large companies also woo university leavers with further perks such as a company car, gym membership and performance-related bonuses. Firms may even provide workers with a free computer and Internet access.
What about the skills shortage? There are plenty of opportunities out there. Research from industry analysts indicate rising numbers of unfilled technology jobs. This is good news for graduates because companies work hard to find new recruits. Most companies attend careers events held at universities and some also offer internships for computer science undergraduates. An internship can lead to a full-time job after graduation. Having experience outside computer science may also be a positive advantage. Selecting graduates who have combined computer science with another discipline is common.
Regardless of the job in question, companies are after graduates with vision and eagerness, and as one company spokesperson said: 'Energy, drive, enthusiasm, a passion for technology and a commitment to customer satisfaction and quality delivery.'
'This is more important than whether someone came top of their year for us,' one technology company executive said. 'At the end of the day, we want to know whether someone is going to invent and innovate, not just turn the handle.'
- Colloquiums and Roundtables
- 2017 A3.0 Roundtable
- 2015 A3.0 Forum
- Digital disruption 2015 – it’s real and it’s now!
- Reshaping ICT Summit 2015
- 2013 Australia 3.0 Forum
- WCC2010 National debate on publically-funded ICT R&D in Australia - where is it headed?
- 2008 Innovation Roundatable
- 2004 Pearcey Colloquium