Plasma Cooking: “Traumberuf Technik” Fair Well Attended

Over 2,800 budding engineers attended the 3-day "Traumberuf Technik" fair to learn more about a dream job in technology and engineering.

Globalization, digitization, Industry 4.0 – our economy is changing. In order for Upper Austria to keep pace and continue to grow and prosper, the region needs young people who are committed to driving innovation in the future. The information fair "Traumberuf Technik" aims to spark young people’s interest in degree programs of the future – and with success. Organized by the Johannes Kepler University and the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, the "Traumberuf Technik" fair is organized alternately by both institutions. There was a strong interest this year as the fair was attended by 130 classes from 47 AHS schools. The students took advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the degree programs and professions in Upper Austria for graduates in engineering and technology.

JKU Rector Meinhard Lukas remarked, “Progress begins with curiosity. We have to spark young people’s interest in technology. Once they are interested, the fields of engineering and natural sciences become exciting and they become passionate. The ‘Traumberuf Technik’ fair gives 3,000 AHS school students a unique opportunity to see first-hand what technology stands for and what it can do.”

Dr. Regina Aichinger MSc. (authorized signatory at the University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria), believes that enthusiasm is a key success factor. “In recent years we have been able to increase the number of students coming from AHS schools. There are currently 470 students from AHS schools now enrolled at our university. Events such as ‘Traumberuf Technik’ give us a good platform to inform students about our engineering and technology programs. Workshops allow them to dive into the world of technology and learn about the diverse, exciting professions and great job prospects.”

During her opening remarks, MP Mag. Christine Haberlander reiterated, “In California’s Silicon Valley they expect to see as much change in the next five years as over the past twenty years. Expertise in engineering and technology will play a major role in driving the ever-changing future so it is more important than ever before to familiarize students with STEM subjects and related degree programs.”

High Demand for Specialists
Dr. Michael Strugl (Deputy Governor and State Minister for Economic Affairs), emphasized, “The shortage of skilled workers, especially in the field of technology, is will impact Upper Austria as a location of business: in STEM professions - such as mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and engineering - alone we need 7,400 skilled workers, 2,400 of those with university degrees. The situation will get worse in the coming years and experts believe that by 2025 we will need 12,000 STEM skilled workers. According to current forecasts, by 2030 the shortage of skilled workers will be up to 23,000 unless countermeasures are taken. This is why initiatives such as ‘Traumberuf Technik’ are vital and of utmost importance for Upper Austrian businesses. We have to use every opportunity to get young people interested in technical training and perhaps pursuing a technology-related degree. This will give young people strong job opportunities and we need highly skilled workers.”

Maximilian Pointner, CEO of the Sparkasse OÖ, stressed the importance of having well-educated technicians and engineers, “Upper Austria has strong companies that are not only thriving nationally, but have leading international roles. High export quotas, innovative products and well-educated specialists are representative for our region. We are looking for technicians and engineers that can maintain the high economics standards and prosperity. ‘Traumberuf Technik’is a great opportunity to get young people excited about jobs of the future. We are proud to be a part of and support the event.”

Real-World Applications instead of Presentations
In addition to providing useful information about educational opportunities, students took part in hands-on workshops that gave them opportunities to peer over the should of a hacker, learn about the technology behind Bitcoins, and delve into virtual 3D worlds.

Christian Kitzberger, state school inspector, reiterated just how important the fair is, ‘Traumberuf Technik’ gives our school students an opportunity to see exactly what people in these fields do at some of Upper Austria’s most successful companies.”