Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Career Presentations At James Fowler High School

James Fowler High School's logo
I did three presentations for a Career Fair at James Fowler High School here in Calgary recently.  Specifically, they were on my career in Information Technology.  In it I answered questions like:

  • How and why did I decide to get into IT?
  • How did I prepare for this career journey?
  • What does a typical day in IT involve?
  • What are the best things about an IT career?
  • What are the most challenging things about an IT career?
  • What kind of opportunities are there in IT?
  • What do average wages look like in IT for entry level and top end positions?
Click the image above to actually view the presentation
I gave at the school.
I thought the presentations went fairly well.  I had about 25 students in each one.  Because each of them was about 35 minutes long, I didn't have time to tell a lot of fun stories.  There was some time for questions and discussion though, which was good.  I came away with a couple of thoughts:
  • I missed a big point on the 'Most Challenging Parts of My Work..' slide.  Fear in the form of feeling inferior, being intimidated by new concepts with big names, and people who sound very smart is something I deal with a lot.  I try to ignore it, but often it rears its head and tries to get me down.  
  • I couldn't underscore enough how many different opportunities there are in IT.  It isn't just about how the field continues to constantly grow and require new workers.  It's about:
    • Almost every industry needs IT to function and stay competitive.  
      • Entertainment - think Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic, and Nintendo.
      • Tourism and Hospitality - Travelocity, Hotels, Airlines.
      • Utilities - running the Power Grid, water systems, traffic lights
      • Resources - Oil & Gas, Mining, Renewables
      • Public Sector - Security, Economy, Health
      • Financial - Banks, stock markets
      • ...and so many more
    • The variety of positions in IT that most people don't even consider.
      • Project Managers
      • Business Analysts
      • Quality Assurance testers
      • Security Analysts (for those hackers)
      • Infrastructure (networking and server management)
      • Architects
    • The ability to be flexible in where you work.
      • Work from home (or the beach)  Check this link out
      • Get an IT job in a different country or continent.  IT Jobs are very transferable.

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