Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Think IT showcases IT career options for high school students

In partnership with the Prairie South School Division, Saskatchewan Polytechnic'stwo-day workshop focuses on hands-on learning and career pathways exploration

May 6, 2016 - Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Moose Jaw campus will open its doors to 37 high school students from the Prairie South School Division on May 6 and 7, 2016, for Think IT - an interactive workshop that links students with mentors in mobile app development, game development and other IT related fields.

"Think IT is a great place for students to learn about the various career opportunities in the industry," says Gavin Osborne, Business Innovation Systems instructor at Sask Polytech. "The students participating today will learn about the IT industry from guest speakers and industry mentors." 

Programming for the event was developed by Saskatchewan Polytechnic instructors and is designed to highlight that a career in IT can be rooted in a variety of backgrounds, including art and design.

"It gives high school students hands-on experience with various types of IT work, from mobile app development to gaming," says Osborne. "Think IT also helps younger students learn about post-secondary options for studying IT."

Think IT is part of Prairie South Schools' four-year commitment to enhancing practical and applied arts opportunities that align with labour market demands.

"Students will be given the chance to connect and problem solve with industry experts and develop career mentors," says Tana Rowe, practical and applied arts enhancement coordinator for Prairie South Schools. "It's a great way to motivate students to be engaged in their education and explore their career pathway."

For participants, the event is a great introduction to educational and career possibilities that aren't necessarily covered in classroom curriculums. They also get a chance to learn how to develop career specific skills before graduating high school, and possibly obtain high school credits, through industry programs.  

"I've had parents of past program participants tell me how Think IT helped their children see a connection between their education and career goals which helped them find new dedication to their studies as a result," says Rowe. "Stories like that are exactly why Think IT is so important."

This year, students will hear keynote talks from Will Craddock, vice president of Information Technology at eHealth and Alex Coleman, chief information officer for the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board (WCB).

The Prairie South School Division event comes together with support from a variety of community partners and local industry leaders including SaskTel, SaskEnergy, Solvera, Viterra, The Cooperators, WCB and Vecima Networks.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 27,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.

Prairie South School Division has 41 schools located within 19 rural and urban communities. The Division encompasses 32, 747 square kilometres (12, 643 square miles) of southern Saskatchewan. It spans a geographic area from Coronach in the South, Mankota in the West, Rouleau in the East and Craik in the North.