Scholarship supports women in IT

A $45,000 scholarship is a great fillip to an IT career and that's what first-year multimedia student Rim Beaini was awarded last week in the inaugural Deakin-Coles Myer IT Scholarship for Women.

The Victorian government contributed $15,000 to the scholarship which gives Beaini a two-year industry project with Coles Myer, including a three-week vacation placement this year, and a six-month industry internship next year.

The state's Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Marsha Thomson, presented the award, which is designed to encourage women into the ICT field.

"The Bracks government has collaborated with Deakin University and Coles-Myer to offer this very talented young woman a fantastic opportunity as part of our $1.9 million ICT scholarships package," Thomson said.

"Our ICT Industry Skills Scholarships work to link study and industry based learning to ensure students graduate job-ready.

"These scholarships also support students to gain business skills and commercial know-how, addressing one of the main workforce development needs of today's ICT sector."

Ms Beaini, of Dandenong, said she had always dreamed of pursuing a career in ICT.

"I have always been very passionate about IT," Beaini said.

"It has always been the more creative aspect of the industry that I have aspired to, such as programming and Web design/development. This is because of the creative input required in these jobs, allowing a flexibility I do not feel other more technical jobs would offer me."

"Over the past decade, women have consistently made up less than 25 percent of the ICT workforce, so we are proud to offer our support to young women choosing careers in ICT.

"We have also established the Victorian Women in ICT Network, spear-headed by a high-powered group of representatives, so women can find encouragement to start and stay in successful ICT careers.

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