Written by: Cameron McEvenue
In 2007 I started a General Arts program at an Ontario University, confident that a post-secondary education would fetch me a job after graduation. During the course of my studies I was lucky enough to stumble into the world of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), one of many fields in the Information and Communication Technology sector (ICT). After finishing a Bachelor of Arts and certificate in GIS, I went out to seek a job in the booming, yet competitive, ICT industry. I soon realized this was going to be difficult as a graduate with no work experience; a revelation I think many millennials can relate to.
After some heavy thought, I decided I was going to enter a post-graduate GIS program to add to my skillset (and delay the dreaded job search). Approaching the midway point of the program I started to feel like I was back in the same position I was in two years earlier. As I endlessly combed the internet, browsing through job after job, I saw a common theme, “1+ year relevant work experience required.” It was disheartening.
A few weeks before the end of the second semester we had a presentation from one of our Professors on a job opportunity with a company called Esri Canada. For those who don’t know, Esri is somewhat of a juggernaut in the GIS industry. I perked up right away when I heard the presentation topic. Throughout my education, Esri software was the focal point of our studies, so to me this seemed like the ideal place to start a career. I was very excited when I learned that the positions available were targeted at recent graduates.
I applied for the position and a few months later I was hired! I couldn’t believe it, I wasn’t even finished school and I already had a job with a company I could really get behind. Shortly after I started the job I was told about the ICTC’s Career Connect program, and how it had allowed for these positions to be made available by subsidizing some of the salary.
The program is aimed to get Canadian youth working right out of school, to help us get that coveted work experience and build new skill sets to accelerate our careers in the ICT industry.With the help of this program I have been able to launch my career at an industry leading company, and am gaining valuable experience for my future.