The Ada Lovelace Initiative by Verify Recruitment, together with Science Foundation Ireland’s Smart Futures Programme, has launched the #TechTeamTour video campaign in order to encourage Irish secondary school students to consider a career in technology.

The aim of the #TechTeamTour video series is to challenge misconceptions about careers in technology, helping both teenagers and parents to become aware about the vast amount of career paths in STEM and resources available to them.

Three leading Irish technology companies appear in the video campaign; Udemy, which is a marketplace for global online learning, Altify which works with B2B sales organisations and home-grown Irish app creation company, Tapadoo, which created the popular ‘My Dublin Bus’ app.

The #TechTeamTour videos feature interviews with seven technology professionals working in Ireland and also feature a special appearance from Claire Hough, Vice President of Engineering at Udemy, who was visiting Dublin from the Udemy HQ in San Francisco.

The #TechTeamTour video campaign provides an opportunity for both students and parents to go behind the scenes and  ‘meet’ a diverse group of technology professionals in order to learn about the variety of roles in the Irish technology sector.

In a survey of 2000 secondary school students, conducted by Science Foundation Ireland’s Smart Futures Programme, 62% of students said ‘fitting in’ was the main reason they chose their college course, with 56% noting this was more important than career prospects, and 28% feeling it was more important than entry requirements.

The reluctance to consider STEM careers is further amplified among female students; only 25% of roles in the technology industry are held by women.  Research shows the lack of access to female technologists is a contributing factor to the low numbers of female students choosing to pursue STEM related courses in higher education. In order to address this imbalance, the #TechTeamTour showcases female technology professionals.

Cathal Grogan, Managing Director of Verify Recruitment said: “The Ada Lovelace Initiative and Smart Futures STEM volunteers reach a wide audience of both male and female secondary school pupils with career talks. It is important for Irish students to be aware of the resources available to them to explore career options in STEM to suit a variety of interests and personalities.”

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said: “From a national perspective, it is important that organisations with an interest in the future STEM-graduate pipeline work together to provide students with relevant resources, and enable them to make informed decisions about their study and career choices.

The collaboration between Smart Futures and the Ada Lovelace initiative is a great example of how a joint effort to strengthen the positive message about STEM career opportunities in Ireland can greatly leverage existing programmes and give all secondary school students access to role models.STEM graduates are in high demand and can enjoy strong earning potential and excellent progression opportunities in Ireland and across the globe. Students should consider all routes, such as apprenticeships and Post-Leaving Certificate courses (PLC), as well as CAO courses, to kick start their career.”

If you would like to help spread the word about the #TechTeamTour video series, please share the videos with your own network using the hashtag #TechTeamTour

About The Ada Lovelace Initiative

Verify Recruitment launched The Ada Lovelace Initiative, (A.L.I.) in May of 2015 to address one of the main contributing factors to the low numbers of women entering STEM careers; a lack of visibility or access to female role models in this field.

The initiative was named in honour of Ada Lovelace who is widely regarded as the first computer programmer for her work on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine in the 1800’s.

The Ada Lovelace Initiative connects female professionals working in technology with Transition Year secondary school students to present to students an insight into working in technology by telling their story. The Initiative has reached approximately 3000 students in 14 counties since the school visits officially began in on the 5th of October 2015.

The Ada Lovelace Initiative visits are available in any county in Ireland (including Northern Ireland) with the participation of schools and volunteers in the area.

About Smart Futures

Smart Futures is a government-industry programme that provides secondary school students with information about careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in Ireland.

It aims to increase the number of students selecting STEM subjects at second and third level and to improve student awareness about the many different career opportunities in STEM and routes to get there.

Since its inception in 2013, the programme has directly engaged approx. 117,000 post-primary students; delivered in the region of 300 school talks per year and had a presence at 60+ career events annually. It is supported by 100+ organisations in Ireland.

For more information about the Ada Lovelace Initiative please visit www.verifyrecruitment.com/ali

For more information about Smart Futures please visit www.smartfutures.ie