I recently attended the 2016 MNPS My Future, My Way Career Exploration Fair where 12 schools and nearly 7,000 high school freshmen participated. It was a great opportunity to engage with these students as they begin to consider their future career path. As I spoke with them, I was enlightened to see the number of students that were intrigued by the possibility of a career in tech. Many of them were already familiar with coding & programming, but unaware of the breadth of how many many different tech avenues there are.
Many of them had questions about education. What classes should they take? Do they need a college degree? I shared with them that while a college degree is important & beneficial in many circumstances, there are more options that may be better suited for them. Coding bootcamps, such as the Nashville Software School and The Iron Yard (who happened to be set up right across from me), are amazing resources for those searching for something other than a four-year degree. I also pointed them to check out We Build Tech to explore videos of locals in a variety of tech jobs to gauge what they might be interested in. I also encouraged them to try out a coding camp or two to experience how awesome tech really is.
As Nashville becomes a leading city for tech, it’s imperative we share what an exciting time it is to engage in that momentum. With more than a thousand tech jobs up for grabs, I was able to convey how their opportunities are truly endless. I left feeling I had opened a door for some who had no idea what they could do with a technology career. A huge thank you to MNPS for hosting, as well as the NTC members who also participated: Deloitte, The General, Trinisys, Comcast, Nashville Electric Service, Nissan, MTSU, Microsoft, Lipscomb, Belmont, Vanderbilt, & Volunteer State Community College. Go tech!