Taking Chairman of SLASSCOM Mano Sekaram’s words of “Kandy is a good place to be” to heart, we found ourselves travelling to Kandy once more. The reason; Kandy IT Week. More specifically the Future Careers career fair. This is all part of the Kandy IT Week, a three day event that aims to enrich the IT awareness in Sri Lanka, much like what we ourselves do.
As such, Day one of the event is the Future Careers event which is a career fair, whilst Day 02 is a IT/BPM Export Forum and entrepreneurship workshop. Day 03, the final day would be the Kandy IT Conference, an event set to bring more professionals to speak to undergraduates about the ground-breaking work the local industry is embarking on.
By now, we’ve come to realize that Kandy is becoming more or less our second skin. You’ve probably seen that we’ve been to multiple events in and around Kandy. This was no different.
Though technically held over the weekend, the event kicked off with the Future Careers career fair held at the grounds of Ranabima College, Kandy. School-goers aged 14 and above were encouraged to participate in this event which was SLASSCOM’s attempt to educate these students on what paths to take after one’s school life is over. Bringing in almost 2000 students, the event was aimed at encouraging those students to pursue IT degrees and highlighted the possible career options within the scope of IT at varying levels.
Day One: Future Careers
Kicking off Future Careers was the traditional lighting of the oil lamp by various dignitaries and students representing the participating schools.
Following that was a presentation by Charitha Jayasinghe – Head of Project Management at Softcodeit who walked the audience through a brief understanding of what IT actually is and how it impacts our life. Charitha also listed down numerous reasons as to why one should be proficient in IT and related fields.
One such reason he mentioned was that despite Sri Lanka’s relatively small physical size, we are ranked among the top 10 countries in terms of IT proficiency. Quite a proud moment for us indeed.
Charitha then gave us examples of what careers one can follow if one is proficient in IT. These include careers as Software Engineers, Network Engineers and System Administrators.
The presentation then got a bit technical with figures such as the increase in the ICT workforce and the steady growth of the IT sector in Sri Lanka.
His next area of the presentation is BPM or Business Process Management, a term that is thrown about these days. For those not in the know, the theory behind this is to focus on improving corporate performance by managing and optimizing a company’s business processes.
As for career opportunities in this field, you will find employment opportunities such as Remote tech support, legal services, finance and accounting etc.
So what is the recipe for going ahead with your career in IT? Well, quite simply, you will need a good knowledge of mathematics, IT and English. These are the things you need to possess to pursue an educational qualification in IT or a vocational qualification of the same. He then talks about the various paths that a student can take such as standard O/L and A/L exams, after which you can pursue higher studies or jump straight into an employment opportunity related to IT and receive training on-the-spot.
With the end of the presentation, we decided to take a look around the grounds where the counselling and career guidance programme was taking place. We saw a number of familiar companies and faces such as 99X Technologies, MIT and IFS taking part and sharing their experience and also offering advice about what career path to choose.
In addition to that we also observed a stall run by students both from IIT and also from other educational institutions. IIT, in addition to being the Educational Sponsor, also played host to the finalists of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2016. As such, they were here at the event showcasing their award winning products.
We took a look at them and noted one in particular that was rather interesting. Called “Journal” the end product would be a device that captured those perfect moments for you without you having to keep using your smartphone thus allowing you to actually enjoy the moment. Using a combination of GPS, heart rate sensor and a motion sensor, the device can be used even without smartphone connectivity and it can create a daily timeline based on the events that took part. Quite a nifty gadget indeed.
After a rather delectable lunch, it was back to the Future Careers fair. We also managed to snag a few pictures and voice cuts with some of the leading industry experts such as Indika De Zoysa, Country Business Manager – Sri Lanka at Intel EM Ltd, Mano Sekaram, Chairman of SLASSCOM and CEO of 99X Technologies. Apart from being some of the leading individuals in the industry, they were also very keen to share their experience about the career fair and SLASSCOM’s part in the organization of the event.
Around 3 PM, the events for the day came to a close. We too took this time to explore Kandy and also to stock up on food, drinks and other necessities needed for our weekend here in Kandy. A special shout out to Dialog Home Broadband for powering up our Live Tweets and Instagram.
So What’s Next?
Tomorrow, 11th of June 2016 would be a two-fold event. On one hand, you will have an IT/BPM Export Forum and an Entrepreneurship workshop, both of which will be happening at the Queen’s Hotel in Kandy. On the other hand, there would be The Kandy BPM Workshop which would feature a line-up of some of Sri Lanka’s leading thought leaders and entrepreneurs in the BPM industry. This would take place at the E.O.E. Pereira Theatre – Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya.
Till tomorrow, this was the ReadMe team, signing off.