Mentor the tech professionals of the future
digIT is a government-funded outreach program designed to inspire, encourage and increase students’ confidence and interest in using digital technologies. The program was established in 2017 and focuses on developing students’ problem-solving and coding skills to move them from technology consumers to creators.
By targeting capable students from under-represented groups in Years 9 and 10, digIT bridges the digital divide by exposing students to practical tutorials in coding, robotics and gaming, as well as the many associated study and career options available — not just the ‘geeky’ core industries of ICT.
“I learnt so many ideas from others, things I had never seen, things I thought only professionals could do,” said a mentor from the 2019 program. “I got a lot of enjoyment in seeing how excited they were to share their progress and to be able to show them that a career in the IT industry is not as boring as you might think.”
The 2020 program will see 60 students from Queensland, the Northern Territory and Northern NSW take part in a summer residential camp (20–24 January) and a winter camp (6–9 July) at The University of Queensland in Brisbane. The mentoring program will be ongoing between January and July, allowing the students to continue to develop their ideas and explore new concepts with their mentors between camps.
The CEO of the Australian Mathematics Trust, Nathan Ford, said the initiative benefits both the students and the mentors.
“Many digIT students have never had an opportunity to take part in a mentorship program,” he said. “It gives students exposure to the varied and exciting futures that ICT fields can offer and gives ICT professionals the opportunity to contribute to the education the next generation.”
Benefits to mentors:
- Make a difference in the life of a young student.
- Contribute to the future career of a potential ICT professional.
- Give back and promote the ICT industry and related career options.
- Build your professional network, skills and confidence.
- Meet your mentee at The University of Queensland on Thursday, 23 July for a four-hour mentoring workshop.
- Maintain contact with your mentee at least monthly for around 30 to 60 minutes.
- For interstate mentors, all travel will be arranged and paid for by the Australian Mathematics Trust.
Information Technology Professionals Association (ITPA) is a not-for-profit organisation focused on continual professional development for its 18,700 members. To learn more about becoming an ITPA member, and the range of training opportunities, mentoring programs, events and online forums available, go to www.itpa.org.au.
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