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’s two-day workshop focuses on hands-on learning and career pathways exploration

May 3, 2018 - Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Moose Jaw campus will open its doors to 25 high school students from the Prairie South School Division on May 4 and 5 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 Mike Barclay, Business Information Systems instructor at Sask Polytech. "The students participating will learn about the IT industry and work directly with mentors straight from industry.”

Programming for the event was developed by Sask Polytech instructors and is designed to highlight that a career in IT can have roots 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 Barclay. "Think IT also helps young students learn about post-secondary options for studying IT."

Think IT is part of Prairie South Schools' 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 Brett Young, career development consultant 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 Young. "Stories like that are exactly why Think IT is so important."

This year, students will design their own web space, and explore programming using industry standard tools, with the support from local industry leaders including SaskTel, and Viterra and current Saskatchewan Polytechnic students.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 28,000 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 operates 40 schools with a total enrolment of almost 6,850 students. The division covers an area stretching from Craik in the north to the U.S. border in the south, and Mankota in the west to Rouleau in the east, and includes the city of Moose Jaw.