PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH – Web pages, iPods and 3-D animation are just a few of the information technology areas that over 100 girls in grades 7-10 recently explored as part of an interactive professional conference at Owens Community College. The event titled “We Are IT” was part of a statewide initiative involving 18 colleges and universities working together for the purpose of providing female students with a broad-based introduction to information technology applications and the array of rapidly-growing career opportunities.
For Kelsey Draper of Perrysburg, the opportunity to participate in a variety of information technology educational activities triggered thoughts of a future career within the newly discovered field.
“I’ve really learned a lot within the last few hours about information technology, everything from podcasting to computer forensics,” said Draper, a freshman at Perrysburg High School. “I’m certainly going to consider information technology as my major when I’m ready to attend college.”
Lora Jefferson of Toledo, an eighth grade student at Leverette Junior High School, added, “It is fun learning and experimenting with new things on the computer.”
Throughout the event, conference attendees had the opportunity to explore a wide variety of career paths and vocations in information technology, including 3-D animation using the ALICE Programming Language (“Alice’s Garden Lost”), Microsoft Office 2007 (“Lipstick and Microsoft Office 2007”), the developing classroom on an iPod (“My Class is on an iPod?”), Internet exploration (“IT Scavenger Hunt!”), personal web page design (“You on the Web”), Photoshop skills (“Your Name in Lights!”), computer forensics, computer diagnostics, and information technology products and development.
In addition to the lecture portion of each session, the students were given a project to complete in order to further learn the concepts being taught. Sessions were taught by various members of Owens’ information technology and electronics faculty and staff, among others.
“Owens Community College is proud to participate in a statewide initiative which is focused on exposing area students to various career options within information technology,” said Lyn Snyder, Owens Professor of Computer Programming and Chair of the College’s ‘We Are IT’ professional conference committee. “The demand for information technology workers continues to increase and several information technology-related occupations are recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services as the fastest-growing careers in the nation.”
Snyder added, “‘We Are IT’ affords students with a great opportunity to obtain first-hand knowledge about this ever-growing career field from Northwest Ohio’s premier information technology educators and working professionals.”
Students also had time during lunch to meet individuals from local businesses and ask them questions concerning their professions. Additionally, they received information on how to go about choosing a career within information technology after completing their education.
Among the area schools that attended “We Are IT” were Perrysburg High School, Leverette Junior High School (Toledo Public Schools) and Woodward High School.
Other academic institutions that participated in the statewide initiative included Bowling Green State University Firelands College, Edison State Community College, University of Akron, Columbus State Community College, Hocking College, Lakeland Community College, North Central State College, Sinclair Community College and Youngstown State University, among others.
Owens’ “We Are IT” professional conference was held in conjunction with the Ohio IT Business Advisory Network and the Office of Career-Technical and Adult Education of the Ohio Department of Education.
Owens offers a wide variety of academic programs within information technology through the College’s School of Business and Information Systems, and past graduates have gone on to high paying careers as computer programmers, systems analysts, Internet support specialists, network support specialists and information systems managers throughout Northwest Ohio. Information technology-specific programs offered at Owens include Computer Programming, E-Business, Information Systems, Networking and Information Systems Support, and Information Technology.
Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers associate degrees that transfer to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and over 130 technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university. For more information, visit www.owens.edu.