Colonial Life hosts 60 high school students for Tech Night

The event showcases the diverse career opportunities available in technology.

Man sitting on desk pointing at monitor

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Oct. 8, 2014) — Dozens of Midlands high school students visited Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company this week to learn about the diversity of careers available in technology, as well as the diversity of the people who do those jobs.

The Tuesday event – open to all ninth- through 12th-graders in Lexington and Richland counties – began with a Tech Fair, when Colonial Life and Unum employees in security, deskside support, app development, data administration and other departments talked with the students about their careers – and how technology was involved in them.

“We wanted to bring in high school students to introduce them to technology. We know that, in the future, there is going to be a shortage of technology professionals,” said Kamran Azad, a test architect in Global Business Technology.

“Looking down the road, we need to educate them to the possibility of tech careers.”

After the technology fair students participated in a series of games and exercises to give them a feel for the various IT activities. They built a tower out of spaghetti to understand build concepts; designed a mobile app using pen and paper to understand user experience; and built data centers out of Bristle Blocks to understand infrastructure. They also had a pizza dinner and had a “graduation” photo taken!

“We want it to be a fun environment,” Azad said. “We want them to see the different flavors of IT.”

But the effort to educate about diversity didn’t stop at the career opportunities. The event was also meant to encourage more women and minorities to consider futures in the tech field. Earlier this year, Google shared that women make up just 17 percent of its employees and only 5 percent are black or Hispanic. The disclosure brought about similar announcements from Silicon Valley heavyweights LinkedIn, YahooTwitter and Apple.

Tech Nights are offered on all main Unum campuses by the Global Business Technology area to showcase IT as an exciting and viable career.

About Colonial Life

Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company is a market leader in providing financial protection benefits through the workplace, including disability, life, accident, dental, cancer, critical illness and hospital confinement indemnity insurance. The company’s benefit services and education, innovative enrollment technology and personal service support more than 80,000 businesses and organizations, representing more than 3 million of America’s workers and their families. For more information visit www.coloniallife.com or connect with the company at www.facebook.com/coloniallifebenefits, www.twitter.com/coloniallife and www.linkedin.com/company/colonial-life.