Exploring the Issue
In today’s digital economy, technology and innovation are fueling the growth of companies and countries across the globe. The rise of the digital economy has resulted in the emergence of new jobs that have never existed before. Professions that build on a base of science, technology, engineering, math, digital, media and communications have become the backbone of high-skilled, high-paid work and are highly-in-demand. Careers in STEM disciplines provide a unique opportunity for diversity, equity, growth, and social prosperity.
According to recent census data, the Aboriginal population is the youngest and fastest growing demographic in Canada, with a growth rate of over 42.5% (2006-2016) and a median age of 32.1 years – almost a decade younger than non-Aboriginal Canadians. This fast-growing demographic has extraordinary potential for success, however, they are critically under-represented in STEM education and STEM-related professions at all levels. This has become a prominent public policy issue across the country.
In Canada, there will be over 100,000 IT jobs unfilled in 2019, due to the growing gap between jobs available and qualified candidates. This problem is further expanded by the fact that girls and students from under-represented groups are even less likely to get access to education in technology, hands-on exposure or interaction with industry professionals and role models. Canada has one of the most highly trained workforces in the world due to its education systems as well as its targeted immigration policy. However, the Indigenous population that is significantly disadvantaged due to lack of STEM skills and thus employability. Maintaining and developing Canada’s economy – not to mention societal wellbeing – is dependent on this gap being addressed.
About Tata Consultancy Services
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is one of the world’s top three IT services and consulting organizations. It leverages a comprehensive portfolio of business solutions, industry expertise and the latest digital technologies on behalf of many of the world’s largest enterprises – to simplify and transform their businesses.
As one of the largest IT consulting firms in the world, TCS recognizes the importance of a diverse, digitally fluent workforce. Unfortunately, in the United States and Canada, there are major inequities that limit access to high quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education for all students. To level the playing field and inspire more students to consider studying Computer Science (and other STEM subjects), TCS harnesses the core competencies of its IT workforce by supporting three major STEM Initiatives – the TCS flagship goIT program, STEM Career Accelerator, and the global Computer Science Education Week. TCS works to mentor students in STEM education through its in-person and online programs, harnessing the core competencies of its IT workforce.
In 2014, TCS became the first organization to partner with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) to integrate goIT into the curriculum, engaging more than 3,000 students. In 2017, the Ontario Minister of Education, Mitzie Hunter, commended TCS on this innovative and vital partnership that helps to bridge the skills gap in the Canadian market. TCS has now reached more than 5,700 Canadian students through its many partnerships with STEM organizations. In 2016, TCS expanded goIT to 18 Canadian cities and partnered with the Federal Government to deliver the very first goIT to Canada’s Indigenous community.