Careers exhibition promotes GIS to senior learners

March 22nd, 2016, Published in Articles: PositionIT


The West Rand Careers Exhibition is a centralised career fair for companies to promote various career options to many students, including students from remote and disadvantaged schools that would not normally have had access to this opportunity if it depended on companies visiting the schools.

Some 7700 grade 10 to 12 pupils from the West Rand and surrounding areas visited the annual careers exhibition held at the Greenhills Stadium in Randfontein, Gauteng. The exhibition, now in its 26th year, took place from 15 to 17 March 2016 and is co-organised by the Krugersdorp Rotary Club and the Krugersdorp Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, and is supported by the Department of Education.

West Rand Careers Exhibitions (3)

Prevlan Chetty, Sizakele Ndebele, Vinia Phogole and Anthony Makhubu.

It aims to better inform students of the range of vocations available, and offer them a chance to consult experts in the careers represented. Not only does it help inform grade 12 pupils’ career choices, but also serves to inspire grade 10 and 11 students at a crucial point in their schooling – with exams around the corner, and at a time when some students drop out, while others often opt for career limiting subjects.

The Geo-Information Society of South Africa (GISSA) has for several years used this platform to promote geomatics and GIS careers to learners, and was one of 31 exhibitors at this year’s fair. Many of the students visiting the society’s stands were already taking geography as a subject, while many others were also very receptive to learn about the power of GIS and maps in various other lines of work.

West Rand Careers Exhibitions (1)

Sizakele Ndebele explains GIS and GIS careers to pupils.

Common question from students included what type of work they’ll be doing, where they’ll be working, and what they can expect to earn.

GISSA Gauteng’s education representative, Prevlan Chetty, and recent University of Johannesburg GIS graduate Anthony Makhubu manned the GISSA stand. They were assisted by other geoinformatics companies, such as Esri’s Sizakele Ndebele, Trimble’s Stanford de Jong, and EE Publishers’ Vinia Phogole.

West Rand Careers Exhibitions (2)

GISSA was awarded the silver prize for the Best Exhibition Stand.

GISSA was also awarded the silver prize for the Best Exhibition Stand in a much-enjoyed competition among the exhibitors, with Netcare taking the gold prize.

A worry among organisers is that many companies neglect highly talented learners because they’re not within geographic reach, and that educational institutions neglect students they assume are unable to pay tuition fees. This careers exhibition provides one means to bridge these gaps and steer students into fulfilling careers.

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