Signature academies students get a high tech taste

Reported by: Jaime Hayden
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Updated: 5/16/2014 11:10 pm
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- With technology expanding so fast, companies like Microsoft say there are not enough engineers to implement all the great ideas people are coming up with. So the corporation is showing young students how a background in technology can help them in any career.

On Friday, dozens of Washoe County high school students learned what it takes to get a job in the high tech industry.

"I want to either to be a computer program or graphic designer or game designer," said Spanish Springs High School freshman Zach Claiborne.

"I probably want to major in computer science or I want to be in digital video production," said Reno High School sophomore Emily Grable.

Microsoft's annual high school visits program hosted four different signature academies classes, with one goal in mind. "We're just really hoping that they walk away today being energized, excited about a career in technology, a career in general can do for them and really skies the limit for them," said Microsoft Community Relations Manager Kerri Garcia.

Claiborne said he now has a clear idea of what he wants to do in the future. "Normally I was just going to go into computer programing to major in that, but I guess that for my career choice now I want to be in computer science."

It was the first time a Microsoft corporate executive spoke to students out here. Derek Ingalls started his career as a fireman, and is now the general manager for Xbox Live operations. His message to students is simple.

"Well I think having been there myself and not knowing what I wanted to do for a living, no matter what, math and science, math and science, math and science, it will always help you," said Ingalls.

Grable agrees. "Now I have a stronger idea. I want to go into computer science because that will help me with careers in the future."

Ingalls hopes even more students are now interested in a technology career, because Microsoft is opening up new jobs faster than they are being filled. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates between now and 2020 there will be more than 1.4 million computing-related job openings available.

At current graduation rates, only about 30 percent of those jobs with U.S. computing graduates will be filled.
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