National ICT Day returns to the Millennium Forum

A national event to encourage more 15-18 year-olds to study technology related degrees returned to Derry’s Millennium Forum recently.

It was delivered by the Tech Partnership in conjunction with the Department for Employment and Learning, Invest NI, Momentum and Sentinus.

Up to 400 post primary students attended the National ICT Day to learn about the exciting career opportunities offered by Northern Ireland’s technology sector.

The event was part of the highly successful ‘Bring IT On’ campaign, which aims to encourage more young people to consider a career in computing.

The students participated in an Interactive Session, which enabled them to gain an insight into the real world of computer science.

The workshop starred video lectures from Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, allowing the students to learn repeat-loops, conditionals, and algorithms while enabling them to develop code using iOS software.

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry has encouraged young people across Northern Ireland to consider a career in the 
digital sector.

Dr. Farry said: “To grow our economy, we need to ensure our local workforce has the right skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). These are skills for which we are seeing more and more jobs being created. For example, the digital sector in Northern Ireland is expanding by around 10% every year.

“Technology is a key driver of our economy and to ensure continued success it needs a world-class, highly skilled and effective workforce.”

The Employer Zone offered students the chance to meet IT professionals from companies including Allstate, Liberty IT, Intel and Kainos, while learning about graduate programmes, apprenticeships, and potential career pathways.

Students also had an opportunity to hear from Stephen Whitelaw, a Social Media Evangelist, who provided an overview of existing and future technologies.

He also revealed what companies are looking for when recruiting new hires and provided useful tips for those considering a career in IT.

‘Bring IT On’ aims to get 14-19 year olds excited about IT careers by showcasing the inspiring ways that technology impacts their daily lives. The goal is to encourage young people to consider technology-related degrees and careers, and to help reduce the gender imbalance across the sector.