School pupils from around Aberdeen City and Shire were given an insight into the prospects of a career in computing at a special event hosted by Robert Gordon University (RGU) recently.
Pupils from The Gordon Schools, Cults Academy, Aberdeen Grammar School, Harlaw Academy, Kincorth Academy and Arbroath High School attended the event at the university’s Riverside East building which brought them together with industry professionals, students and academics.
The event allowed the pupils to find out more about the best ways to get into the industry and the different career paths and options that a degree in computing could open up for them, with representatives from Shell, Atlas, Codify, IDS and Motion Software on hand to answer any queries the pupils had.
Head of RGU’s School of Computing Science and Digital Media, Professor Ian Allison, said: “This event is very important to us as it allows us to highlight to school pupils the many diverse and exciting career opportunities that a degree in computing could open up for them.
“There is a huge demand for graduates in this sector and we want to do all we can to encourage pupils who are considering studying an IT-related subject to go for it by providing them with an insight into the industry.”
Kieran Rennie (15), a fifth year pupil from Kincorth Academy, wanted to know how hard it was to get a software engineering job or if companies were keen to recruit more staff.
Production manager at Atlas, Steven Orr, said: “If you are good at what you do, you’ll get into the industry without any trouble. The best advice I would give to someone studying is to build up examples of your work, as that is what employers want to see.
“If it is between you and another person, and they have examples of their work and you don’t, then obviously the employer is going to go with the other person.”
Meanwhile sixth year pupil at Cults Academy, William McCaffery (17), was keen to find out how reliable a job in IT was.
Sales engineer at Codify, Emma Clarke, said: “It is definitely a stable industry. Technology is always going to be with us and it is always developing and improving – we are never standing still or going backwards. There is always going to be a demand for IT professionals.”
Fiona Greig, Project Manager at Codify, added: “There are lots of opportunities for career progression as well, there are lots of different roles that you can go into within the sector such as the project management.
“The good thing about IT is that it is not tethered to another industry, for example, you don’t need to know about the oil and gas sector in order to work in IT for an oil company - these are skills that are in demand across all sectors.”
Harlaw Academy pupil, Mary Kinfe (15), asked about the opportunities available for working in the energy industry with a degree in computing.
Andrew Ayton, Software Manager at Motion Software, said: “The short answer is that there are plenty of opportunities for IT professionals within the energy sector. There is more and more being done in the energy sector in terms of data analysis at the moment and that is set to grow as we go forward.
“It is not just a case of drilling a well or putting up a wind turbine, it is about knowing where to do those things and that is where data analytics are so important.
“The other thing to remember is that the energy industry is not just the big operators, it is the service companies too, all of which will need software.”
Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology