LYIT awards female in computers bursaries

It's hoped bursaries will entice second level female students into courses and careers in the IT sector

LYIT awards female in computers bursaries

At the launch of the Computing Bursaries at LYIT is Paul Hannigan (President), Billy Bennett (Registrar), Dr Gertie Taggart (Head of School of Science) along with the various industry representatives.

By Staff Reporter editorial@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Six first year female students have just been awarded Industry Bursaries.

Recently the ‘Female in Computing’ Initiative was launched in LYIT. Fifteen first year female students in the Department of Computing applied, of which six were awarded industrial bursaries.

These bursaries were sponsored by the following companies; Pramerica (Letterkenny), Allstate (Derry), Gartan Technologies (Letterkenny), Sita (Letterkenny) and Internetalia (Donegal Town).

The Higher Education sector in Ireland is experiencing difficulty in recruiting females into computing and IT related programmes of study. Introduction of initiatives such as this bursary scheme will hopefully act as an incentive to entice second level female students into courses and careers in the IT sector.

Dr Gertie Taggart, Head of School of Science said, “the STEM area (i.e. Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) has difficulty in attracting females. Traditionally, these areas have always attracted and retained more boys and men than girls and women. Unfortunately, this situation is not getting any better and is, in fact, worsening”.

“Statistics from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) of Ireland indicates that 15 years ago 47% of new entrants into Science, Maths and Computing courses at third level were women. By 2013 that proportion had fallen to 40%, with just 436 female entrants into computer science at third level out of a total of 2,613, or 16 per cent. Thus employers who wish to achieve a gender balance in the workplace are struggling to achieve this objective.

“Hopefully with the introduction of Computing as a Leaving Certificate subject this ‘tide’ might turn”.

Stiff competition

There was very stiff competition for the awards but the eventual winners were; Anna Carlin (BSc Computing from Killygordon); Gemma O’Donnell (BSc Hons Applied Computing from Glenties); Maria Thomas (BSc Computing from Letterkenny); Justine Duffy (BSc Computing from Ballybofey); Ciara McNulty (BSc Computer Security and Digital Forensics from Strabane) and Kirsteen Cannon (BSc Computer Security and Digital Forensics from Falcarragh). They were very deserving winners.

Open Day

LYIT would encourage any female considering a career in Computing to come along to our stand at our Open Day on Friday 25 November. LYIT sincerely appreciates the investment that the companies have supplied both in terms of money and their time.

Their commitment to this initiative further illustrates the industries desire to have females within the Computing workplace.