By Michelle Peterson and originally posted on CompTIA.org
High school junior Shannon Watkins didn’t have a career path in mind when she started at Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy in Chicago, but her skills-based learning experience at one of Chicago’s five Early College STEM Schools (ECSS)
— plus exposure to real IT workplaces like IBM and Razorfish — opened her eyes to some wild possibilities.
“It was interesting being able to see different jobs people were doing that weren’t just teachers and police and firefighters,” said Watkins, now with a clear idea of her future. “I want to go into programming, because I’ve done it and I’ve seen how easy it is to code a website.”
During “The State of IT: The Diversity Divide,” a panel hosted by CompTIA
, the Creating IT Futures Foundation
, she and classmate Saul Sahagun shared their experiences attending a school that focuses on skills needed in the modern workplace — an educational initiative created to build a pipeline for talent and solve the IT industry’s skills gap.