Katie Dale says she has always been interested in computers. “At home I’ve always had one, and I guess I just picked knowledge up along the way.” She says. Having started a Civil Engineering degree at Sydney University, Katie left after one year, somewhat disinterested and instead turned to Hornsby TAFE where she enrolled in an IT Software Applications course.
“With software, you need to know what you are doing with programs and how they work. The TAFE course has been far more practically based,” she says, “an obvious strength in that you see what’s happening rather than just theory. Your taught the theory but you apply it straight away with exercises on the computer.”
Katie says she always had a career in mind. “There are a lot of interesting IT jobs out there, creating high demand for people with skills in this area.” She says. Though not currently working, Katie is concentrating on completing her course and hopes to get part-time work soon after. “I’m hoping to initially pick up a part-time office job/receptionist that will allow me to use the applications in the workforce and get some good experience.” She says.
Katie was surprised at how well she had done in Adelaide. “It came as a big surprise winning gold,” she says, “but I know I could have done a lot better. I wasn’t completely happy with my form. I’ll need to refine my skills base, doing a lot more web design in order to meet competition criteria. My TAFE teachers have all been very supportive of me and have offered their help.” She says. On completing her course, Katie says she will be free to prepare for Korea. Her motivation though seems to be already in good shape. “Once I start a project, I will complete it”, she says, “and won’t stop until I find a solution.”
“WorldSkills will be an experience in itself,” says Katie, “using my skills and knowledge in direct competition with other countries. It will also be really interesting to talk with other overseas competitors within the industry and it could be a good confidence building exercise as well.” She says.
Beyond WorldSkills, Katie says she will concentrate on finding full-time employment within technical support. “I’m leaning towards the technical support/networking side of computing, as opposed to software. I imagine that I will take some accredited courses to further develop and acquire new work skills, once established within a workplace.”