August 2013 Queensland students buck the trend in uptake of ICT studies

Queensland is leading the nation in encouraging school students to undertake tertiary studies in ICT and pursue careers in the industry. Since 2006 Queensland has been working to address skills shortage issues in the ICT industry. One initiative, the i choose technology program, started by the Queensland Government, aims to challenge negative perceptions and excite young people about the enormous breadth of ICT. The program is now coordinated by Group X – a collaboration between universities, TAFE, ICT associations, the Queensland Government and a number of local ICT companies.

Queensland Chair for Group X, Mr Gavin Keeley, said their 2012 activities reached over 40,000 school students throughout Queensland. “Our role is to help students open their eyes to the possibilities on offer from a career in ICT. The ICT industry is a very large and growing employer in Queensland and we’re doing everything we can to help students take advantage of those opportunities,” he said. These activities have had a marked impact on turning around the adverse trend in the number of Queensland school leavers pursuing ICT tertiary studies at Queensland universities over the past five years. Between 2007 and 2012, there was a 45 percent increase in the number of students accepting a place in ICT related tertiary courses in Queensland (from 1080 to 1570).

This was contrary to the national trend throughout this period. At a National ICT Careers Week event, held at QUT’s The Cube on Tuesday 30 July 2013, IT and Innovation Minister, Ian Walker highlighted the achievements of the Group X consortium and the industry volunteers who have given their time freely to support the sustainability of Queensland’s ICT industry. This collaborative model to promoting ICT careers has been so successful it is now being progressively rolled out across the nation. If you would like to volunteer to ‘give back’ to the industry in whatever capacity you are able, please contact us. Click here for a list of upcoming Group X events and activities.

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