How do you market a career in IT? Does your organization ever try to recruit at conferences or career fairs?

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Vice President for Information Technology in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Everybody needs IT now. No matter what you're doing, IT is involved. How do we show people that we're the enablers—the people who listen to the problem, and have the tools to bring about the solution? To me, that is incredibly inspiring. When I ask for something, one of the things I try to do is to always let the person know how I have used it. Because sometimes, they don't see where their work ended up, no matter how small it is.
CIO in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
IT career marketing is interesting. I've done career fairs where you're in a middle school or high school cafeteria, talking to students about what you do, and it's really hard to compete with the fireman who's climbing ropes next door. It was kind of funny. As a CIO, I'm in this job fair with middle schoolers, and I find myself talking about how we deal with iPhones, trying to find some point of connection with these middle schoolers, just to keep their attention from the firemen next door. It was a humbling experience.
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Senior Executive Advisor in Software, 10,001+ employees

We need to find ways to make working at enterprises sexy.

Vice President for Information Technology in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

I wonder if our recruiting fairs could show them the quality of life—show them pictures of the beach, a boat, or a lake, and say, "The cool thing about us is, you can work for us from any of those places and" And then we could point to everything they touch and say, "Everything you're touching here, our staff created the ability to do that. We did that." I wonder if we're missing the boat on selling the fact that, for many of our jobs—not all of them—it doesn't matter where you are, it matters how you think. And that's something the fireman's not doing, climbing the rope next to you.

CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

That sounds like the fictional army recruiting visual we sometimes see in movies, unfortunately: "Show them pictures of somewhere else, and then this is where you end up." I'm not so sure how well that works, although I like the theory behind it.

CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I was at Stanford University before I moved to Upwork, and we used to go and talk at the School of Business and the School of Engineering there, but I did not have much getting students to look inside the institution for work, because everyone wanted to get off campus, go to Sand Hill, and join a startup. At the time, we blamed that on where we were located. We said, "Well, Stanford, by itself, is a huge brand name. But working at a startup at Sand Hill is more interesting to people." Since I moved on to join Upwork, I don't know much of what's been happening, but I still continue to have that career fair. Trying to talk to people that way becomes very important because creating my pipeline—or my talent bench, as I call it—is critical for me.

Recently I was speaking to the classes of 2025 and 2026 about career options. There were about 26 people on that Zoom call, and the number one thing that they all asked was, "How can I make an impact on the world?" They want to have a meaningful job. Technology is an enabler in that sense. It's not about Cobalt or C#. They all said, "IT? Sure, I can do that. But can I go change the world?"
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Vice President for Information Technology in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

They want meaning, so how are we going to show them we're the means to the end?

CEO in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
I have been to many IT recruiting fairs in seminars and schools.

There is one theme I find is that IT is often misunderstood as Infrastructure. I often hear ‘I do not want to provide servers, laptops and phones to people. I want to do more’

Every company now a days is a technology company. We need to market that IT is the enabler to that companies core business - not just a infrastructure provider.
Senior Director, Defense Programs in Software, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
We do recruit at conferences and career fairs (and hold our own). I suppose I don’t see a challenge in “marketing a career in IT” as I think that’s well sold, a lot of folks looking every day to get into IT. So the proposition is: here are the roles we love to hire folks into & the missions that we work on.

If you are going to fairs, have jobs you can hire the attendees into. Otherwise you are advertising.

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