In 2001, the Australian Computer Society established the ACS Foundation. Its charter was to Advance Australia's Information Technology industry through investing in strategic education initiatives. The Foundation promotes all careers and disciplines with the technology industry including the Business Analyst profession. For the past 21 years, the Foundation has consulted governments, technology companies, education institutions and industry associations like IIBA to determine and develop STEM programs which assist student's development and benefit the long-term growth of Australia's technology sector. So far, the ACS Foundation has:
· Raised over $80 million towards Australia’s technology future. · Awarded over 8,500 scholarships to help students start their careers. · Partnered with over 250 sponsors and companies to build industry capability. · Created student pathways from school to TAFE / university and into jobs. · Integrated formal work and life experiences within academic and university degree programs.
Currently the ACS Foundation's four active STEM programs include: 1. Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Scholarships for university students: These scholarships connect and administer university scholarships on behalf of donors for the development of strategic skills, such as business analysis. Students must apply and be assessed for the criteria determined for each scholarship. 2. Foundation Jobs for graduates and new IT professionals: These graduate employment arrangements are entry-level pathways into selected IT careers. 3. Big Day In Events are career excursions for primary and high school students: These practical pre-career events help school students explore the types of IT jobs available now and in the future. Big Day In builds a solid pipeline of interest in the IT professions that Australia needs for its future. 4. Career Wheel resources for high school students: These visual representations assist high school students to select the best technology related job that suites their personality and career ambitions.
As an IIBA member you may find opportunities to benefit from one of the ACS Foundation programs. It may be that you are personally looking to transfer from one IT discipline to another, or you may want to host a student in your workplace who is looking for experience as a business analyst. Maybe you can 'pay it forward' by letting a keen student know about the Big Day In program or the Career Wheel. Regardless, Australia's IT industry has so many possibilities. It is our job to grasp that future with both hands.