Kids dream big. When you ask them what they want to be when they grow up, you’ll get answers ranging from astronauts to secret agents, pop stars to pilots, dancers to firefighters. All these careers have one thing in common: kids know about them. As kids grow into high schoolers and begin to think about college, these dreams may change, but they can still only choose to pursue careers they actually know about. This is one of the reasons we are partnering with MHTA to offer Tech Experience Tours: giving students a chance to see what a career in technology looks like in a tangible way.
Our goal, alongside MHTA, is to open the door to career options most high school students haven’t yet conceptualized. What does a developer do? Can my interest in robotics actually turn into a career? Can I build an app like Snapchat? Do tech jobs exist outside of Google, Apple, and Microsoft? We want to help answer these questions and inspire the next generation to get involved in STEM professions. We hope these Tech Experience Tours will be a first step in launching more young people into the exciting field of technology.
We have an ever growing need for technology professionals and a lack of students entering into the profession after high school. Why? “Not enough of our student population is pursuing these careers, and the common sense behind that is this: if you are not exposed to people with the career in your home community and you are not exposed through school, then where would a person get the experience and establish the interest?” One way to expose students to the technology industry is to invite students to see it hands-on. This is where Tech Experience Tours come in. Interested businesses in Minnesota that are IT focused or have IT departments will be matched with schools to host students with an interest in technology. Students will then have the opportunity to interact with those who support various aspects of the software development life cycle, product development, and digital marketing.
For ESP IT, providing opportunities for the next generation of potential IT professionals is one way we can fulfill our mission to Place People First. MHTA’s mission is to “promote and support excellence in science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM).” That’s why we’re excited to partner with MHTA in offering Tech Experience Tours to high school students in Minnesota. These tours will not only provide students with insight into the potential careers available to them in IT, but will hopefully ignite an interest and passion in these young people to pursue those careers. Through our support of Tech Experience Tours, we also feel we’re giving back to the IT community through the development of this emerging talent pool, and giving back to the Minnesota community by helping underserved, low-income, and at-risk youth gain exposure to exciting and lucrative careers.
Are you interested in being involved? Good news, it’s easy! Interested companies have flexibility as far as how to host a tour. In an hour and a half to two hours, you can host a tour of your offices accompanied by informal individual/ team presentations, a Q&A session, some interactive activities, and/or refreshments. Options are almost limitless – and this doesn’t have to be a big production.
The first round of Tech Experience Tours will be the week of May 11th, 2015. The second round will occur December 9th-15th, 2015, in tandem with Computer Science Week, but if neither timeframe works for your company—no problem! You can host your tour whenever works for you, provided it’s during this or the 2015-16 school year.
Contact us today for more information or to volunteer to give a tour. With your help, kids will soon be saying, “When I grow up, I want to be a Software Developer.”