The New Zealand Tech Alliance is a group of independent technology associations from across New Zealand that work together to ensure a strong voice for technology.Visit Tech Alliance
By Kip Brook
The results are fascinating. Primary and intermediate school children all around New Zealand were asked to draw pictures of what they want to be when they grow up. The 7200 Kiwi kids responded, identifying their career aspirations.
By far the most popular career was being a (professional) sportsperson. Next were being a vet, a police officer or a teacher / lecturer.
Other professions in the New Zealand children’s top 10 jobs overall included: social media / YouTuber / influencer; artist or illustrator; doctor; army, navy air force, firefighter; farmer and builder.
In a world bubbling with all things digital, it was amazing to see information technology ranked 45th on the list and game developers 40th, behind a fast-food worker (26th), a retail sales assistant (38th) and an SPCA worker (42nd).
The key message is that the tech sector has a big job to improve its profile if we want to provide high value future careers for Kiwis. This will take a collective effort from the sector and the agencies. NZTech is doing a fantastic job working with the education sector and government to grow interest in tech careers.
Last week they ran, with the support of the education ministry, the ShadowTech Teachers event , a game-changing programme for teachers, who are key influencers of students.
It was an opportunity to showcase the tech world and for teachers to return to the classroom and lay a path for students to get into tech after they leave school.
NZTech’s outstanding recent digital skills survey found declining levels of student interest in computer science subjects. Over the past five years the number of students doing NCEA technology standards has been decreasing two percent a year.
The annual Techweek event, organised by NZTech, will be held from May 24 to 30. Techweek is a nationwide series of events involving hundreds of New Zealand schools.
Graeme Muller, the chief executive of NZTech, says tech is New Zealand’s fastest growing sector creating thousands of new, well paid jobs every year with a national median salary now close to $100,000.