Fast-tracking software engineering careers for school leavers

Tuesday, 14 May, 2024

Fast-tracking software engineering careers for school leavers

Applications for the WiseTech Global 2025 Earn & Learn program have now opened for Australia’s future technologists.

The program goes further than a typical scholarship or cadetship, combining theoretical learning at university with a full-time wage whilst working at WiseTech, learning and applying skills in a real-world environment.

Under the four-year program, each student receives a competitive salary, reimbursement of university course fees, multiple grants of share rights as they progress through the program and access to a range of valuable employee benefits. Students are supported by a dedicated WiseTech team and participate in WiseTech’s rotation program, working across different teams and projects to experience and develop skills under the guidance of senior software engineers.

The program was established in 2023 with an intake of 30 students. This year, 52 students joined the program. WiseTech is targeting at least 100 year-12 graduates in its next intake.

“The WiseTech Earn & Learn program gives talented students the opportunity to learn rapidly, apply knowledge and build proficiency and fluency, while simultaneously learning theory from lectures and study at university and in the WiseTech Academy,” said Richard White, CEO and founder of WiseTech Global.

“No amount of pure theory or study, by itself, will make a top-notch software engineer. Typically, the successful applicants work 80–90% of the time on commercially important projects alongside senior software engineers and architects, and perhaps 10–20% of the time on study. We select students who are motivated, highly intelligent, curious, love learning and solving problems and want to make a difference to the world. Earn & Learn and WiseTech Global will accelerate their technology career progression and will be economically and professionally miles ahead of other pathways.

“Last year’s intake, who are now in their second year, are among the mentors for this year’s intake, ensuring new students are surrounded by peers they can relate to and learn from, as well as senior software engineers who can provide the deeper insights required in a rapid learning environment.”

Sophia Nguyen, who joined the Earn & Learn program in 2023, explained how learning in the workplace has accelerated her university study.

“It’s a misconception that software engineers must work in isolation on their part of a project. Working at WiseTech we learn that throughout development it’s really important to communicate and work together — with other students, our mentors and teammates. You need to be really collaborative — that’s a business skill you won’t get at uni. Applying coding theory in the real world helps you pick it up more quickly — especially with so many mentors available to help us get back on track when we get stuck. I have even been able to help some of my friends at uni. It’s very exciting when your code goes into production and will make a difference for someone.”

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