More than 350 rangatahi from high schools across Tāmaki Makaurau discovered the exciting world of tech at last month’s #Tech22 Tour at Wynyard Innovation Precinct.
The Year 11-13 students met face-to-face with tech employers including Microsoft, Datacom, Holmes Consulting and TradeMe, to discover the variety of roles available and different pathways into tech.
“Be brave in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire,” encouraged Microsoft’s Customer Success Manager, Nicole Yue Lin. Nicole shared her story with visiting students, explaining that when she realised accounting was no longer her passion, she swapped to a career in tech.
Nicole’s career journey was just one of many young team members' stories learners heard when visiting Microsoft’s Auckland HQ over the two days. Discussion included non-linear career paths with several of the team having worked in a diverse range of fields, including education, marketing and teaching before transitioning into tech.
During the Tech22 Tour across multiple locations, learners enjoyed augmented, virtual and mixed reality experiences, discovered robotics, weather radar technology and digital architecture. Learners also witnessed object detection technology in action and were inspired to learn more about data and software.
Tech22 was organised by NZ Tech, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, the Ministry of Education and Media Design School. The aim was simple - to inspire learners to consider technology careers. Over two days, schools were able to visit local tech firms and see first-hand what a career in tech could be like.
“The tech industry is fast growing with highly paid roles and huge opportunities for young people,” says Pam Ford, Director Investment and Industry, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited.
“Our young people can only aspire to be what they can see, so events like #Tech22 can make a huge difference to their future career choices by showing what a career in tech could look like. It is important that the tech industry supports home-grown career pathways for young people, particularly Māori and Pacific peoples and women, and foster their ongoing participation in tech,” she says.
“The tech industry has enormous potential for Tāmaki Makaurau, and not only in pure revenue, GDP or job growth, but also in supporting greater productivity, being a force for good, and tackling global challenges that will increase wellbeing for our communities now and into the future.”
Tech22 showed students that there is more to tech careers than just coding and there is a role to suit everyone.
“There is so much variety in tech careers, from game development and visual effects to global tech platforms, local software developers, high tech engineering and even electric vehicles,” says NZTech’s CEO, Graeme Muller.
“There is also a huge variety of jobs and it’s not just about coding either, with jobs like animators, community managers and security specialists.”