In an exciting industry where opportunities for the future are always evolving, our youth STEM initiatives give students across the country a chance to start discovering the possibilities for themselves. DevOps Engineer Sam Faria is one of our CGI STEM ambassadors, and today he’s telling us why he loves it, and why he thinks it’s such an important initiative.
As science and technology progresses, it is exciting to see new and previously unheard-of jobs being created. What was once only a piece of research has evolved into a whole career, and with the exponential growth of technologies such as AI, it’s only going to continue.
At CGI, we’re passionate about developing the next generation of STEM professionals. Since joining the company, I have become one of our STEM ambassadors, taking part in a number of initiatives centred around engaging with young people and exposing them to programming, robotics and cyber security.
We’re hoping to spark more interest in STEM among young people and inspire as many of them as we can to explore the industry.
Opening the door to exciting pathways
Exposure is key to getting people interested, and companies like CGI are finding more and more ways to engage with their local communities and offer unique and exciting opportunities.
As a STEM ambassador, I really enjoy helping students make informed decisions about their future - our initiatives help prepare them with all the right skills and knowledge to build a successful career in this area.
The most rewarding aspect is opening young peoples’ eyes to the possibilities that STEM can offer. Whether it’s a new interest, rediscovering an old one, or inspiring them to consider it as a career, it is always rewarding to give them a chance to pursue something they’re passionate about.
Access to resources and technology can sometimes be difficult, so I think it’s very important to provide these opportunities to as many people as possible. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to interact with and learn from the benefits that STEM outreach can offer.
I have been involved in a number of events where we have given young people access to programmable robotics kits. Watching them pick up these skills quickly and seeing their faces light up as they learn something new is great. It is brilliant to see how engaged they are and this encourages me to continue this kind of work to foster this interest among the younger generations.
We have also had success in partnering with local groups. For example, we have had a group of Girl Guides come through our CGI Cyber Escape room, where they were challenged with working through the cyber-related puzzles and escaping in time. Not only was this informative for them but also good fun for all involved. It’s great to be able to give back to the community in this way.
We need to be proactive about attracting talent
A proactive approach like this to introducing STEM allows young people to explore these subjects in a hands-on way. It shows them career paths they may not have previously considered.
Most of all, it demystifies it all, creates more positive perceptions of the industry, and helps to make STEM more inclusive. STEM has traditionally suffered a gender gap in terms of representation, but pleasingly, we’re seeing more and more women take it up. I feel that programmes like ours are helping the industry to continue this progress.
By taking a proactive approach, we can ensure that young people understand the various opportunities and challenges that exist within the STEM industry. We’re allowing them to build a diverse and strong set of skills that will set them up for an exciting future, and hopefully, this will positively impact their lives both inside and outside of the workplace.
Take your next career step with CGI. For open roles, head to our careers page.