ACS Tackles IT Job Crisis With Portal
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Perceiving half the problem with IT skilling is an information gap, the Australian Computer Society (ACS) has launched an IT careers portal with details and access to IT-related courses and careers.
The IT Careers site has been designed for students, parents, teachers, career counsellors and people both in and outside the IT industry who are considering a career change in the sector.
"The portal offers descriptions of more than 100 IT-related jobs, ranging from business analyst or computing engineer to Web architect, along with the qualifications and personal qualities required for each position," said ACS South Australian Branch chair and portal project manager Brenda Aynsley.
The site also provides "detailed information about university programs, vocational education and training (VET) courses and vendor training programs, complemented by hotlinks to all the major offerings, as well as links to Government programs like JobSearch and the Australian Careers Directory," said Aynsley.
"In a sector as fast-changing and complex as IT, it's hard enough for people working inside the industry to keep in touch with what's happening," said ACS president John Ridge. "Students and people outside the industry have a far more difficult job trying to find out what they need to know to prepare them for one of the many possible IT careers."
This focus on attracting younger people to IT is a medium to longer term perspective on the IT skilling problem, looking at training programs, communication strategies and careers. It is also a reflection of recent findings by the Victorian Government in its Reality Bytes report on the lack of interest in IT careers see story. This research indicated that part of the problem in skilling Australia9s future workforce in IT are the stigmas and perceptions attached to its in school, a situation that a greater emphasis on education may address.
The portal is designed as an extension of the ACS' tradition of providing printed career-related material for tertiary students in some states.
In developing the online version, Aynsley used expertise from industry, educators and professional communicators, in a move to ensure the site would be effective in meeting the needs of those considering an IT career.
"We've provided information about professional standards within the IT industry, the latest job and salary statistics, advice on how to land that first job, and links to online recruitment agencies," said Aynsley. "We also provide links to the online IT sections of the major daily newspapers to assist students in keeping up to date with industry developments and changing market conditions."
Ridge said that the portal will be a work in progress, adding new information as it becomes available "as well as providing links to other complementary industry, government and education sites that add value in this area."