Industry and Education: An Overview
There is no doubt that Canada is experiencing great economic challenges and changes to our workforce. Similar to many other countries, technology and innovation has become weaved into our everyday lives. Just think about the way we choose to communicate with one another. Did you know that Canadians send 267.8 million text messages per day? Did you also know that in 2012, smartphones in Canada exceeded 13 million users?
With more gadgets than ever before, there has been a boom in the Canadian apps economy. ICTC estimates that 2,300 new apps hit the market every day; with around 70,000 new apps each month. With all this innovation on the Canadian marketplace, not only is our technology changing, so are the jobs and careers of our future graduates. Here are some quick facts on the Canadian Information and Communications Technology (ICT) job market:
- Over 700,000 ICT professionals are employed in Canada today
- With an unemployment rate of 2.6%, ICT professionals are in high demand
- By 2016, Canada will need more than 106,000 ICT workers
- Some of the hottest and most in-demand jobs in Canada in 2012 were: Business Systems Analyst, Software Programmers & Developers, Technical Support Analyst, Graphic Designers, Computer Network Technicians, Software Engineers and much more!
- Approximately 51,700 Canadians are employed in the development of apps
- Games, services, social media, location services and instant messaging (IM) apps are some of the most popular, examples of apps globally
Although it may be difficult to predict the future, it is clear that industry trends impact our students today; not only in terms of their jobs, but also the skills and education that they need to compete in the global marketplace. Canadian companies have been reporting that there are systemic shortage of soft skills and a mismatch between capabilities from graduates coming into the workforce. Basically, the needs of our workforce are changing so quickly, education systems can’t keep up to the demand. But how do we prepare students for a future where their future job might not even exist for another 10 years? This is where industry and education intersect, by working collaboratively to form the FIT Program.
Focus on Information Technology (FIT) is an innovative educational program that gives students the opportunity to learn real workplace skills during secondary school. Our goal is to impact youth today, by providing students with essential technical and business skills for their jobs of tomorrow. We believe that by teaching our students 21st Century skills, we are preparing them to adapt and succeed in an ever-changing environment. We also believe it making this change as simple as possible. That is why our program was designed to seamlessly integrate into the curriculum you are currently teaching. So you might be one or two courses away from providing your students with a FIT Certificate.
There is an old adage that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” In today’s reality, it takes a society of active industry players, government members and educators to raise generation of Canadians ready for the challenges of the 21st Century.