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IT experts heading to Queenstown

24 Sep 15

Careers in computer science will take centre stage at the Computing and Information Technology Research and Education New Zealand event next month, with the aim of further increasing interest in IT and computer education amongst young New Zealanders.

Computer science careers currently represent nearly 10% of the current 100 best jobs listed in the United States News.

Several of the country’s leading computer science educators and researchers will attend the landmark CITRENZ event, held on October 6-9 in Queenstown.

According to the event organisers, digital technology and qualifications are desperately needed across many careers.

Organiser Associate Professor Alison Clear, of Eastern Institute of Technology in Auckland, says New Zealand is facing a huge future for digital technology and computer science in helping businesses grow.

“All businesses now rely on technology to stay in business,” Clear says. “The use of current and future technologies will give these businesses a market edge in increasing current market share and exploring new markets.” 

“Things like more sophisticated data mining, big data, improved telecommunications, mobile apps will all help,” says Clear.

She says computer graduates will have the world at their fingertips. 

“A Forbes study has identified software quality assurance engineers as being in the happiest job of all careers with two other computer science professions appearing in the top 20,” Clear explains.

“Most of the jobs our graduates will work in haven’t been invented yet. Current jobs will morph into new careers as technology advances and changes,” she says.

“It is stimulating and extremely satisfying to be able to build systems that helps the people of the world to better economies, health and well-being.” 

Clear says the qualifications in IT and computer science in New Zealand are as good as anywhere in the world, and New Zealand’s academic staff are highly regarded internationally.

“We are already not only teaching the technical skills but also the soft skills that industry require of graduates,” she says. “They receive an education that enables them to ‘hit the ground running’ and be immediately productive in the industry.

“There are so many increasing areas and disciplines that require graduates with computer technology skills,” Clear adds. “This opens up a whole world for graduates as they are able to take their education and skills to all sorts of different areas in which they have interests.” 

Clear says many key issues will be discussed at the conference next month, including new computing qualifications that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority has recently listed. 

“They are new programmes of study and these developments have been controversial, to meet new qualifications,” she adds.

The Queenstown conference will bring together academic staff from polytechnics and institutes of technology in New Zealand to share ideas, investigate new technologies, look to the future of IT, and ensure they are delivering the very best quality education for students, Clear explains.

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