Technology Careers… it's TIME!
Campaign Creates Awareness
Students in technology programs know a good thing when they see it. They know that technology careers are in demand, interesting and well paid. Why then are only a fraction of high school students planning on becoming technologists or technicians?
Technology careers, like technology itself, may be largely invisible. Take electricity as an example. For most people it is just something that comes out of the wall – it is 'just there' – and is taken for granted.
Trades and professional groups like accountants have conducted campaigns to promote careers in those sectors for years. The Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia has launched an awareness campaign on the theme 'Technology Careers…it's TIME!' (TCIT). The campaign will include media advertising and will tie in with the Association's employer and government relations as well as promoting careers in technology to students. It will link with initiatives like National Technology Week, which is held the first week of November each year.
"The demand is high," says Jason Jung, AScT, Manager, Technology Careers, at ASTTBC. "At the same time, enrollment in technology programs is declining. This disconnect will create a real shortage of skilled people and, on the flip side, a real opportunity for grads from these programs," continues Jason who is himself a BCIT grad (Mechanical '95). Technologists and technicians work in engineering, building design, construction, electrical and electronics, bioscience and environmental, IT and telecommunications, mining, manufacturing and more.
"Post-secondary technology programs must become equally viable to university or trades training," says John Leech, AScT, CAE, Executive Director and Registrar, at ASTTBC who is also a BCIT grad (Surveying '70 and Photogrammetry '71). "Career opportunities as a technologist, technician or technical specialist in applied science and engineering technology should be mainstream. I am certain the public, government and employers will come to better know who we are and what we contribute to BC as a consequence of our campaign."
ASTTBC is a self-governing professional association whose primary job is to certify technologists, technicians and technical specialists using high standards for education and experience. By itself ASTTBC cannot create the level of visibility needed for technology careers. As the voice of technology professionals in BC, the Association is, however, ideally situated to bear the torch with the support of technology educators, students and others.
The TCIT campaign is a call to action based on the outcomes of the highly successful Building Careers in Technology conference hosted by ASTTBC in June 2005... click on full report to download BCT Report with Appendices. Key success factors and strategies to meet the growing demand for qualified technology workers were subsequently outlined in Shaping Our Future, a position paper on careers in technology published by ASTTBC in October 2005.
As a follow up to publishing the Shaping Our Future position paper, ASTTBC has hosted a series of Roundtables on Technology Skills Shortage (RTSS) to facilitate dialogue with stakeholders. A major all-stakeholders Roundtable was convened at the Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue in VAncouver, BC, on October 31, 2007. For more information, please visit the RTSS II web site or click on the link to download the RTSS II report.
ASTTBC members and stakeholders in BC's technology-related sectors are invited to contact the Association to see how they can get involved.
National Technology Week 2008
ASTTBC, with the support of NTW partners and sponsors, published a two page feature in 27 Black Press community newspapers as part of our collective efforts to enhance awareness of the exciting careers in technology with the goal to encourage youth, their parents and career-changers to... Think Ahead. Think Career. Think Technology!
Special thanks to our NTW 2008 partners and sponsors who took action by supporting the NTW Black Press feature...
We can only build for tomorrow through action today!