On 12 November, BIMA Digital Day will once again be out in force in schools up and down the country. This will be two weeks after another missed Brexit deadline, meaning our government will still be preoccupied, Britain will continue to be depressed and everything we read in the mainstream will continue to be 'doom'.
But not for us on 12 November.
While Britain continues to be preoccupied with Brexit, we’re celebrating the future.
For those who don’t know, Digital Day sees over 200 agencies go into schools to educate and inspire young people about careers in the digital and technical industry. Last year 8000+ students took part.
So why is Digital Day important?
With seven years’ experience running Digital Day, we know that when (young) people are made aware of the digital and technology industry, they are interested to find out more.
We know that digital and technology careers are the fastest growing and have the biggest skills shortage, more than any other industry.
Until this year, we have used these insights to bash the government over the head to get them to stand up and do more to educate young talent about the career opportunities in our industry. Our voices are not being heard. Or at least not loud enough to make the difference needed.
That’s why, on 12 November, we want this year’s Digital Day to be more than a call to action to address the skills shortage. We want it to show everyone who takes part just how exciting the future is – and what their role in it could be. We want to make as much noise as we can to raise awareness of our incredible industry.
We need to let young people know that digital is for everybody. There are so many routes in, from internships to apprenticeships to university degrees. And digital utilises every type of skill we possess, because it is about coding yes, but also so much more; it’s about design, writing, social media, research, project management, strategy, law, philosophy and more.
We need to let them know that a career in digital can provide a rich lifestyle; it’s sociable, it’s flexible, it’s global. You don’t have to sit in an office every day, you can often work flexibly and you’re not usually required to wear a suit or uniform.
We need to let them know that it pays well. With graduates leaving higher education with more debt than ever before, they need to know that employees in digital can expect to earn better salaries than in many other sectors. (Source: Tech Nation.)
We need to let them know that by working in digital, they could literally save the world. Technology has the potential to cure a lot of our existing problems, not least in helping to create a sustainable environmental future, but also by helping to find cures for illness, and solutions to water, food and resource shortages. They need to know they can spend their careers doing good for the world.
This year is set to be the biggest Digital Day yet. That’s immensely exciting, because the more young people we can inspire today, the more we can do tomorrow. We’re going to use this year's Digital Day to find a 24/7/365 way of keeping our voice heard.
Natalie Gross is BIMA co-president and managing partner at TH_NK.