Toronto – September 15, 2011 – Today, the Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow’s ICT Skills (CCICT) launched CareerMash, a spectrum of outreach initiatives designed to challenge and change perceptions about the technology-related careers that Canada’s economy needs today and tomorrow. Over a million people work in tech-related jobs, roughly seven percent of the workforce, and it’s growing. Businesses depend on technology to compete in today’s digital economy and they face growing challenges finding the people with the right skills to innovate and implement technology-based solutions. People know about traditional tech jobs like programming. But few know that the growth is in jobs with a “mashed-up” skill set that combines tech with business, media, medical research, or anything you imagine.
CareerMash exists to take on a critical challenge. Not enough young people, and particularly not enough girls, are choosing the tech-related careers that meet the needs of today’s employers. CCICT and its members, some of Canada’s largest banks, retailers, manufacturers, IT, consulting and telecom firms, have come together in partnership with the Federal, Ontario and Quebec governments, as well as a number of leading industry organizations to change the perceptions and career choices of young people.
The centerpiece of CareerMash is a new Web site – www.CareerMash.ca. that informs young people, and the adults in their lives, about these inspiring tech-related career opportunities. Its multimedia profiles of young tech leaders, innovators, builders and problem-solvers, combined with inspiring learning pathways, daily news feeds, and much more, will help students separate fact from fiction.
To engage students with CareerMash.ca, CCICT is launching an online CareerMash Scavenger Hunt. Students can win one of three grand prizes of $3,000 or one of 18 weekly cool tech prizes (tablets, cameras, gaming consoles) by correctly answering questions about the site. The contest runs from September 15 to October 25, 2011.
Not forgetting the personal touch, as part of CareerMash, volunteers will give presentations to high school students across the GTA and Kitchener-Waterloo as living examples of today’s mashed tech careers. CCICT member companies and post-secondary institutions will also open their doors to students to demonstrate today’s tech career mashups.
CareerMash reaches a crescendo on October 28 at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall. Over 2000 high schools students will visit interactive booths hosted by a diverse array of companies, post-secondary programs and industry associations showcasing tech-related career paths.
“Today’s tech career mashups are far more interesting, fun, cool creative, and social than many people think”, says David Ticoll, CCICT’s Executive Director. “When we dispel the myth of boring desk-bound tech jobs, more young people – including young women – will opt for today’s exciting tech-related opportunities. This will enable Canada to be a leader in the 21st century knowledge economy.”
Founded by Bell in 2007, CCICT is an industry-led coalition of employers, universities and industry organizations dedicated to bringing 21st century tech-related careers to the forefront. In addition to CareerMash, CCICT has created a new undergraduate university program, Business Technology Management (BTM), to prepare young people for the leadership jobs of today and tomorrow. A dozen top-tier universities across Canada have adopted BTM.
This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sector Council Program and made possible by the participation of ICTC, Canada’s Information and Communication Technologies Council. CCICT receives funding from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, over 30 corporate members. CCICT is working in collaboration with its Québec partner. TECHNOCompétences, creators of the soon to be launched www.macarrieretechno.com. For more information about CCICT visit www.ccict.ca.
Executive Director, CCICT
ICT Week Project Manager