International Girls in ICT Day takes place each year on the fourth Thursday in April.
This year it will be celebrated on 28 April with activity taking place across the world to promote the importance of attracting more girls and women into computing.
Ayrshire College wants more young people to take advantage of increasing opportunities in digital occupations and we are fully behind this initiative. Here is a flavour of what to expect from us in the days leading up to International Girls in ICT Day.
Industry body e-Skills UK forecast that there could be up to 11,000 job opportunities in Scotland each year in technology roles. Last week, the Institute for Public Policy Research and Burning Glass launched Where the work is to compare entry-level employer demand for occupations such as IT technicians and the number of students completing related courses. It reinforced industry forecasts that there are good opportunities available in Scotland for college leavers with relevant qualifications, predicting over 5,500 jobs with an average salary of over £30,000.
Despite these opportunities too few young people, particularly young women, are choosing to build a career in IT. Women are under-represented in IT occupations and make up just 17% of IT specialists working in the UK. At Ayrshire College, we are trying to address this by sparking an interest in computer coding and technology at a young age.
We work with schools to stimulate interest in IT careers amongst young people, for example by organising CoderDojo clubs for 7 to 17 year-olds who want to learn to code. This year, to coincide with International Girls in ICT Day, we are hosting CoderDojo clubs at our Kilmarnock Campus for girls and boys, and at Barassie Primary School.
This week we are also launching three Foundation Apprenticeships for S4/S5 pupils in schools across Ayrshire, including IT:Software Development – click here for information. An information session will be held on the eve of International Girls in ICT Day at 5.30pm on Wednesday 27 April in our Kilmarnock Campus.
And look out for more exciting news later this week about our commitment to provide opportunities for young people to build careers in this exciting growth sector.
Each year, throughout the week that International Girls in ICT Day takes place, we publish posts on our blog from women in computing – some in senior positions in the industry, some at the start of their careers, and others studying at college. This year, our contributors include:
- Gillian Docherty, Chief Executive of The Data Lab
- Heather Traher, Senior User Experience Researcher at Google
- Claire Beattie, Service Desk Analyst at brightsolid
- Current computing students, Shireen Robb and Lauren Brock
- Ayrshire College ICT technicians, Dawn Rowe and Helen Blakely.
Keep checking into our blog for more!
RAISING ASPIRATIONS | INSPIRING ACHIEVEMENT | INCREASING OPPORTUNITIES