Womandla is an organisation that aims to empower women and girls by building sustainable communities. The name Womandla is derived from a combination of Women and Amandla, Xhosa and Zulu, for power/strength. We were asked by Womandla to speak about the future of working in STEM at the Career Expo that took place at Langa highschool.
This excerpt taken from the Womandla website regarding the aims of the expo: “We aim to expose the learners to various careers and show them tools to succeed in high school and tertiary education and beyond from tertiary information, courses, loans etc. We are dedicated to actively promoting Furthering Education and training in South Africa and providing learners with as much information as possible to make the right choices in life.”
We had a handful of our employees join the expo to give advice and personal testimonies of what it is like working in the tech field and what you would need in order to find a job in that field. I asked Rumbi for feedback on the event and this is what she had to say:
“I was astounded to find out that 2 out of 50 students did not understand what software development was and some thought that mobile apps were created by the same people who designed the actual mobile phone.”
“The exposure from the talks allowed the learners to come to terms with the fact that not only ‘rocket scientists’ can create applications - but ordinary people too!”
It was a hugely helpful that CodeSpace was also available to attend the Career Expo as they provide holiday and after school programs for learners to teach them web design, computer science concepts and generally intrigue them by teaching them how to code with robots.
“They were concerned about whether excelling in mathematics as a school subject was important when looking forward to a future in tech. The learners were also concerned that university would be a vital component in acquiring a job in software development one day. Their concerns arose from a financial standpoint - we explained to them that it is not always necessary that a university degree will launch your career in computer science - you can get by without it. “
NFSAS also came to talk about bursary opportunities and the criteria for qualification for STEM and other fields of work, for example, marketing. They could potentially help learners with financial aid in the future when it comes to university or study course costs.
Gary Wawn reported back to us about the event and said that our team explained to the learners about all the different roles that exist in working in Global Kinetic, including the work culture and environment. The learners gained a stronger confidence towards getting a career involved in computer science as well as a starter knowledge on programming as they had little to no knowledge on the concept of coding.
“We used a very visual game to give a rough understanding on how programming works, and you could immediately see the lights go on and their eyes light up when they saw code they wrote move the tank on the screen.” Gary also made it known that there is a lack of skills in the computer science sector in South Africa and it would be super beneficial for learners to go into that line of work one day.
Womandla Careers Expo was a success in the way that the learners gained plenty of new knowledge and insight regarding computer science as a career pathway. Rumbi added that she felt it was such a privilege to be able to share knowledge about something she is so passionate about.
We thank Langa High School for having us and Womandla for asking us to be a part of the expo!
For more information, visit: https://womandla.com/2019/07/15/career-expo-a-huge-success/
At Global Kinetic we’re always looking for new ways to encourage learners to get into the field of software engineering and to help them build careers for themselves. If you have ideas on how we could do this more effectively, let us know via our Contact Us page. We would love to hear from you!