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Choosing or studying tech electives? Check out this new work experience program

Work Experience Connection Program

The Work Experience Connection Program wants to boost women in tech and we’re all for it!

Did you know that 83% of undergraduate university enrolments in information technology (IT) are men? Things are also pretty similar on the vocational education and training (VET) front – data from 2021 shows women make up only 24% of IT program enrolments. Enter Women in ICT (WIC), a Canberra-based non-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging more women to pursue ICT (information communications technology) and supporting them as they establish their careers. They really want to fix lagging female representation in the tech workforce and achieve gender equity, so have launched the Work Experience Connection Program to help out… And we’re cheering!

The program, which encourages female and non-binary students in Years 9 to 12 to pursue a career in tech, works with schools in the ACT, matching students to tech workplaces based on their interests and career aspirations. The program is also designed to support existing school-run work experience programs. Awesome, right?

WIC President Tara Searle says, “We can’t have women in tech if we don’t have girls studying tech. WIC has made a conscious decision to go back to the beginning and look at the cause, rather than the symptom of gender inequity within our sector. It all starts with schools, where young girls make decisions about what career paths they will take and how
they will get there.”

So how does the program work?

Through the Work Experience Connection Program, students will spend five days, either at once or over a period of time, gaining work experience in an ICT-related department or organisation. The program will take place at the end of each semester. A typical day at work experience could include observing professionals to see how their dream job is done, assisting with projects, researching, and learning to use new tools and techniques relevant to the organisation.

This will allow female and non-binary students see what a job in tech looks and feels like, and that these jobs can be exciting and fun. It will help to break down stereotypes and bust myths about working in tech and especially around who can work in tech. The program also aims to boost students’ self-confidence and see them strive higher in terms of career aspirations.

If you or someone you know is keen to get involved in this work experience program, you can head here to register your interest.

Choosing tech electives

Choosing tech electives at school can help set you up for an amazing career in tech down the track.

From animators and software developers, to AI experts and network technicians, check out our role models section to see the huge range of jobs you could land one day.

To get you there, consider adding some of these to your subjects list:

  • Agricultural technology
  • Computing applications
  • Design and technologies
  • Digital technologies
  • Design and technology
  • Industrial technology
  • Information and digital technology (VET)
  • Information processes and technology
  • Information and software technology
  • Software design and development

For more on setting yourself up for the perfect STEM study and career path, head to our Choosing Electives hub.

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