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High Tech Fun & Serious Games

Posted by Francis O' Toole on October 18, 2012

High Tech Fun & Serious Games Providing direct employment for around 20,000 people in Cork, the importance of the ICT sector for the region is clear, although for many people – even people who work in ICT – the positive effect ICT has on every single person’s daily lives are sometimes forgotten.

For example when being reminded of dental appointments by text, it wouldn’t usually come to mind all the effort that went into developing satellite technology to enable mobile communications. Being able to book travel and concert tickets, check the weather, and download movies has become the norm.

The average person might think that there is very little connection between these ‘gadgets’ and Cork, except that we like them and use them. But the fact is the work of ICT sector companies in Cork includes design, manufacture and distribution of many of the essential components that benefit lives throughout the world. With such a huge impact on all aspects of life, it is not surprising that the range of careers available in the ICT sector is almost unlimited. From design to sales, the ICT professional could be involved in aerospace, education, entertainment, finance, medical, mining, military, government, and many more sectors.

The benefits the ICT sector brings to Cork are more than just jobs and making life better. The sector has expanded in all directions since the early 1980’s, continuing through the Celtic tiger era, and even in the current severe economic climate, still continues to grow, albeit at a modest rate. With the growth, the number and type of jobs also grows. Probably everyone is familiar with Software/Games/Web Developer and Computer architect, but there are many more jobs in the ICT sector than you might think. Some of these are researchers, engineers, scientists, technicians, and support staff.

Often jobs in the ICT sector are amongst the highest paid, and the experience gained in one job is transferable to other jobs in Ireland and around the world. Currently there are many skills opportunities within the ICT sector. In fact there is approximately 5000 ICT job vacancies in Ireland. Truly amazing when there is such high un-employment in other economic sectors.

The Cork Electronic Industry Association (CEIA) Schools Robot Competition – now in its 9th Year – aims to promote technological skills in school students. Each year, the competition has a theme to highlight the many ways in which engineering and technology is embedded in our lives today. This year the theme is Firebots to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the patent for the fire extinguisher. Specifically, the competition is aimed at 2nd years. The competition is undertaken in conjunction with University College Cork (UCC), Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), Tyndall National Institute and the support of CEIA member companies.

A key aspect of the initiative is that engineers, researchers and technologists from these institutes provide mentor support for the teams and this is also an important opportunity to give the students an insight into potential careers in the industry. CEIA also provides education support for the ICT sector through theHigh Tech Elec Transition Year programme and the Exploring Electronics teacher-training module, both also in collaboration with Tyndall, UCC and CIT. This very popular High Tech Elec TY programme gives students an insight into the high tech careers open to them in industry and academia. Participating students will undertake a week of physics, electronics and technology based workshops, lectures, career talks, and industry placement, culminating in an innovation competition – the TechnoDen.

Further information for any of the above CEIA educational programmes is available on the CEIA.ie website.

For further information please contact:

Dr. Eamon Connolly
Electrical & Electronic Engineering PO CEIA

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