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Job shadowing provides peek into future careers
job shadowingSan Antonio ISD students interested in computer technology had the chance to gain real-world experience and learn about career opportunities in their fields of interest through SAWorks’ IT & Cybersecurity Job Shadow Day on Nov. 7. 

Around 200 students from Brackenridge, CAST TECH and Sam Houston high schools and Cooper Academy visited one of seven different companies: Accenture Federal Services, Digital Defense, Southwest Research Institute, Alamo Trust, Cisco Systems, University Health Systems, and Def Logix Inc.

“Gaining this real work experience enables our students to know what is out there in their field,” said Fred Losoya, SAISD Career & Technical Education special populations coordinator. “Events like these allow them to stay current with these technologies.”

Students were provided with meaningful learning opportunities while using a combination of speakers, panels, and demonstrations to see firsthand what a career in IT/cybersecurity looks like, what kind of skills are needed, and the daily roles and responsibilities of workers in the field.

“This was their first look into what it is like to be a cybersecurity specialist, which is part of their degree plan,” said Robbie Harris, the work base learning specialist for the Cyber P-TECH program at Sam Houston High School. “Our students had a chance to complete a simulation where they were part of a security operations center team. We were challenged to protect ‘Stark Industries’, a make-believe company, from a cyber-attack. We worked together side-by-side with the employees from Accenture Federal Services.”

The job shadow day was made possible by SA Works, an industry-led, demand-driven workforce organization aligning education and employers to promote economic mobility. SAWorks’ goal is to offer educators and students a minimum of 20,000 experiential learning opportunities from the SA Works menu of options by the year 2020 and to develop true career pathways that lead to meaningful employment opportunities for all San Antonio and Bexar County residents.

“It was really helpful to talk to professionals because I don’t really have the knowledge that they have, obviously,” said Grant Petri, CAST Tech High School sophomore who visited Cisco Systems with his classmates. “It is hard to find the info they gave you anywhere else; they have such a great perspective.”

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