Discovering Digital World roadshow for all ages comes to Dundee

From ethical hacking to virtual reality, Dundee is at the cutting edge of digital technology and this Thursday (3 March) people of all ages can learn how they could be part of this growing sector.

Leading industry professionals and Scottish technology businesses have teamed up with Skills Development Scotland and Young Scot to offer an insight into the wide variety of careers in this constantly evolving industry. The roadshow is coming to Dundee as part of the Discovering Digital World series, which will visit eight towns and cities across Scotland between February and May.

The Discovering Digital World Insight Evening is aimed at parents interested in finding out what a tech career could offer their child’s future, adults thinking of a career change, and students looking for more information about the next step on the ladder. During the day there will also be a ‘hands on’ interactive event run by Young Scot for school pupils and teachers, which will be far from the average careers fair.

Speakers include Danny Wilson, of local Dundee app developer Waracle, who will be talking about his experiences working in technology and opportunities in the industry.

An interactive panel will bring together industry, education specialists and training providers to map out the potential routes into digital technology careers. An open question and answer session will give attendees the chance to the get to the heart of the subject.

Food and refreshments will be available as guests roam through the ‘inspiration area’ where they will be able to meet Skyscanner, Abertay University’s Ethical Hacking Society and games development specialists Future Fossil Studios, among others.

Almost every sector from energy to finance, healthcare, sport, fashion and the creative industries has technology embedded at the heart of what they do. The industry already employs 84,000 skilled people in Scotland and has the potential to double in size over the next five years.

Claire Gillespie, Key Sector Manager for ICT and Digital Technologies at Skills Development Scotland, said: “The tech industry is one of the most exciting and rapidly evolving sectors in Scotland, and can play a key role in the development of a diverse, innovative and highly-skilled economy, with many long-term and stable job opportunities. We hope these events will inspire everyone who attends, from school pupils to those considering a change in employment, to follow a career in digital technology.”

Young Scot’s daytime event will showcase the many interesting, unexpected and inspiring aspects of the digital technology industry and give young people confidence that they can succeed in the profession.

Pupils in year groups S1-S3 from schools in and around Dundee are signed up and the emphasis of the day is on and fun and trying new things. As well as inspirational talks, there will be engaging demonstrations, the opportunity to try out products, and dabble in coding, design and developing.

One of the top attractions will be Skyscanner, whose team are hoping to get the young delegates hooked on coding with enjoyable, hands on Raspberry Pi workshops to show even a coding novice can learn quickly. Kim Watson talent acquisition manager of Skyscanner will also be talking about her real experiences in the industry.

Exhibitors at the event will include 3D online map developers eeGeo, and Abertay University Ethical Hacking Society. Abertay is the first university in the world to offer an undergraduate degree with the word ‘hacking’ in the title, and is now recognised as one of the UK’s leading vocational security programmes.

Pupils won’t be the only ones learning about the digital technology sector at Young Scot’s event. Teachers will be treated to a special session from Apps for Good, a programme that helps schools deliver a course about app development, from idea generation go business planning. Last year, pupils from Wick High School beat competition from across the UK to have their app idea turned into a reality and it is hoped that the session will inspire more teachers to get involved.

A Skills Investment Plan for Scotland’s ICT and Digital Technologies Sector was launched in 2014, backed by £6.6 million from the Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership. The plan identified the potential for 11,000 job opportunities in Scotland each year until 2020, often paying well above average.

Schools unable to attend the event can sign up for a special online session on 24 March. Students will receive a coding masterclass delivered by Coderdojo, take part in a short Q&A session and pick up key information on next steps for getting into the industry.

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