Computer Literacy Program – Class 11 – IT Jobs
|Ryan will do more thorough posts about the curriculum, the activities, and the effectiveness of the program when all the classes are complete on ideonexus.com. These are just my own personal recaps and memories.|
The 11th class of the Computer Literacy Program had twenty-five slides in the presentation. Ten of them were about Michael Jordan. Inspired by an email forward (not debunked by Snopes.com), the slides talked about how much money the former basketball player makes. Stuff like:
Michael Jordan makes $178,100 a day, working or not.
If he sleeps 7 hours a day, he makes $52,000 while he sleeps.
If he went to see a movie, he would make $18,550 while he was there.
This year, he’ll make more than twice as much as all the U.S. past presidents for all their terms combined
Once all the kids were sufficiently awed by Michael Jordan’s wealth, Ryan pulled up the next slide:
If Michael Jordan saved 100% of his income for the next 250 years, he’d still have less than Bill Gates does today.
That’s definitely an attention grabber! From there, Ryan went on to discuss some examples of computer jobs and what they entail. Help Desk Technician, Systems Administrator, Network Administrator, Web Designer, Software Engineer/Programmer, Web Developer/Programmer, Database Administrator and Quality Assurance were all discussed.
Any of those positions are attainable. In fact, some of the occupations had already been mimicked in class! When one child helps another child burn a CD, print a picture, or sign up for Facebook, he/she is performing the duties of a Help Desk Technician. They were mini-Web Developers in the Internet class. In the Programming class, Ryan showed the kids an unbeatable Tic Tac Toe game… which they promptly beat. By exposing a bug in the logic, they were contributing to Quality Assurance!
I had thought the Bill Gates slide would be the most thought provoking part of class, but it could have been something more subtle. As Ryan went through the different occupations, he included the salary range at the bottom of each slide.
In Elizabeth City, the mean income for a family is $28,037. With 25.1% of families in Elizabeth City living below the poverty line, even the salary range of a Help Desk Technician is not a trivial number.
When Ryan showed the slide for “Software Engineer” he pointed out, “This is what Vicky does.”
“That’s how much you make?” one high school boy asked.
I looked up at the slide and admitted, “I’m…uh… I’m in that range.”
I felt awkward at the time. I make a great deal more than the average family in Elizabeth City. I get to travel to neat places and when I’m not, I pick my own hours and work from home. It’s quite a different life than the one my neighbors lead.
Looking back though, I should have pounced on the moment. I should have enthusiastically answered, “YEAH! AND SOME DAYS I DON’T EVEN CHANGE OUT OF MY PAJAMAS UNTIL THREE O’CLOCK!!!”
Bill Gates has billions and billions of dollars, but how cool is it that I get to work in comfy fleece? : )
After going through the occupations, Ryan listed other industries and positions that use computers– which nowadays is pretty much everything. He talked about opportunities for self employment and then resources for finding jobs.
The students in class range from age 9 to age 18. Although it is early for some of them, Ryan and I reminded the kids that if they ever need help with resumes, college applications or applying for financial aid, we’ll be more than happy to assist.
Our offer is regardless of their chosen field. They don’t have to grow up to study computer science or author revolutionary algorithms. The main goal of this class was for them to leave aware of possibilities that are out there.
If they do happen to be interested, who knows! Perhaps one day they too will be working in pajamas. : )