Blue Mountains News

Katoomba High School Student Hacks HSC to Land Dream Job

By TAFE NSW
Posted: 6 Sep 2020
TAFE NSW student Aiden Soedjarwo
A Katoomba High School Student has been offered his dream job as a software developer half-way through completing his school-based TAFE NSW training.

As a non-verbal student with autism who knew how to download software on a computer before he started Kindergarten, Aiden Soedjarwo always dreamed of working in the IT industry to find technological solutions to meet the needs of a business.

As part of his HSC, Aiden is studying a Certificate III in Information Media Digital Technology at TAFE NSW Wentworth Falls to gain the practical skills and experience that he needed to pursue a career in the industry.

It’s a great time for Aiden to be starting out considering software and application programming jobs  the third fastest growing in the country last year and nearly 33,000 new jobs created in the last three years alone.

Aiden said: “TAFE NSW has been a huge launchpad for me to learn the practical skills I needed for a career in the IT industry and I now have a formal qualification to show for my knowledge, and this is all before completing year 12.

“The work I do at Geosynergy relates to data analytics such as developing tools to automate the analysis of large terrain datasets so that features such as buildings can be classified as a separate entity to the terrain surface.”

Xceptional, which is a career service for autistic people, helped Aiden land a part-time job with Brisbane-based company GeoSynergy. Aiden’s IT skills and knowledge meant he didn’t have to sit an interview but instead completed an online analytics task. He now works from home two days a week while he completes the HSC.

Xceptional Chief Growth Officer Aron Mercer said: “Xceptional exists to provide meaningful careers for autistic people like Aiden.”

“There are chronic talent shortages in technology so connecting with students as they graduate and offering an accessible recruitment process is a vital part of our process,” Mr Mercer said.

TAFE NSW offers students a range of support services including one-on-one support during practical lessons and reasonable adjustment for written assessments where students have the option to complete TAFE NSW exams verbally.  

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Technology and Business Services, Colin Tyrrell, said it had been one of the highlights of his year to see Aiden’s incredible transformation while studying a TAFE NSW Vocational Education and Training (TVET) course during his HSC.

“Not only has he developed advanced IT skills, he has also gained confidence, which has been fundamental to his success in his new job,” Mr Tyrell said.

“The online hardware and networking labs that we use as a teaching tool to give students the skills to install specific types of hardware and networking concepts, also helped Aiden learn the content in a simulated environment where he could actively participate from the comfort of his home.”

To find out more about studying Information Technology at TAFE NSW, visit the website, or call 131 601.

 
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