(May 8, 2013) Armstrong's Department of Computer Science and Information Technology brought the Savannah-area tech world to campus for TechFest 2013. In partnership with the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and WebBSIT, TechFest gave Armstrong students the opportunity to show off their expertise to the tech community, and it gave local businesses the opportunity to interact one-on-one with Armstrong computer science and IT talent.
“TechFest is a unique forum that strengthens our area's computer science and information technology community by providing a learning exchange between local tech businesses and Armstrong's computer science, information technology, and engineering students,” explained Chris McCarthy, organizer of this year's event. “In the poster session portion of TechFest, businesses saw firsthand the skills our students are acquiring.”
The featured speaker for TechFest was TAG's President and CEO, Tino Mantella, and he delivered key findings from the 2013 State of the Industry: Technology in Georgia Report. To an audience of nearly 180, Mantella reported that there is a shortage of skilled technology experts in the state, and he urged students and community members to keep their job searches inside Georgia state lines.
“We really have a lot of momentum,” said Mantella. “We've gained 16,000 technology jobs in the last two years. This represents 20 percent of all the job growth in Georgia.”
Mantella's message was certainly music to the ears of Armstrong students, and it was also a good message for the businesses that gathered at the festival, as they want local talent to stay in the area, too. Computer science and information technology graduates are highly sought after by many local companies, and at TechFest, Armstrong students pounded the pavement without leaving campus. A dozen companies held breakout business sessions to make their pitch as well. Participating businesses included Morris Technology, BFG Communications, Talent Soup, Digitus Biometrics, and Memorial University Medical Center, among others.
“We intend to make TechFest an annual event,” said Robert Gregerson, Armstrong's dean of the College of Science and Technology. “The event brings together Armstrong students and faculty with area technology companies to create an exciting learning and networking opportunity for all.”
As the technology industry in Georgia continues to grow, Armstrong's College of Science and Technology not only prepares students to land careers in the field, but it also gives them a head start with TechFest.