Next Up 2014 is an IT-inspired competition where eighth-graders compete in teams to solve IT problems taken from in real-life cases. The competition is organized and sponsored by a number of leading IT companies in Stockholm, Sweden, among then, Basefarm. The first competition will be held in Stockholm in the spring of 2014.
Young people today use technology in everything they do, but this exposure does not correlate with an interest in working in the IT industry. This could mean that, in the near future, the IT industry will lack the required skills and competence to continue growing as needed.
Prior to their choosing their desired educational paths, we need to show our young people that IT is an enjoyable and wonderful industry to work in. We need to show them what it is really all about and counter the myth that IT and technology are mainly concerned with hacking code or connecting cables. We need to link IT and technology to an attractive workplace where the future lies; where interesting services like games, apps, music services, or payment services are developed; where you work in teams made up of stimulating colleagues; and where every day is learning experience. We need to attract more of the young talent out there—and we want both young women and men to understand that the IT industry is where the future is!
Basefarm is a company specialized in the operation of mission critical IT services, like digital media, e-commerce, e-government services, and financial services. We are continuously growing and therefore always looking for the best talent out there. Read about our current opportunities for employment here: (embed link).
For us to keep growing, we know that our universities need to educate many more engineers. Our SVP Marketing, Sara Murby Forste, has been a driving force in the Next Up 2014 project, which was initiated by the trade organization for IT and Telecom in Sweden “IT & Telekomföretagen”. Sara is the chairman of the steering committee and Basefarm is also a silver sponsor of the event.
The Next Up competition
The Next Up 2014 competition takes place at ten schools in the Stockholm region, as a part of their curriculum. It presents eighth-graders with problems to solve from five real-life cases. The only limit is their imagination. Each school has two real-life cases to solve as part of the competition. These real-life cases and the process leading to the solution will give students insights into what it is like to work in field of IT. To support the classes as team leaders and to function as role models, we have recruited ten fantastic IT/engineering university students, all female. As part of the project, the classes are invited to visit IT-companies that are partners in the competition, and Basefarm is happy to host one of these sessions.
The final round
The schools work toward the final round, a day during which each team presents their two case-solutions to a jury. Thereafter, three teams will be designated finalists, and each will be assigned a final case to solve during the afternoon. Each team consists of five girls and boys chosen to represent their school. The team that wins the final will receive a prize of 25 000 kronor. During the evening, all students that have participated will be invited to a gala dinner.
Next Up goes nationwide
In 2015, Next Up will expand to be a nationwide competition throughout Sweden. And we urge our fellow trade organizations and IT-companies in our neighboring countries to follow our example – we need to recruit more young talent to our industry!
The Next Up project team has done a great job, but a lot of work lies ahead in getting the word out and about.
See Instagram #nextup or Next Up Facebook pages where all the schools and their teams, partners, and the project team from the Swedish IT and Telecom Industry Association will keep you updated on the latest from Next Up.
Feel free to visit www.nextup.se!