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A Penrith sparky has traded in the tools and turned up the voltage on his career, using his IT skills to help leading university academics find breakthroughs in diabetes research.
George Baker, 30, became a qualified electrician by studying at TAFE NSW and worked in the industry before his passion for computers led him back to the classroom. After completing his Certificate IV and Diploma in Information Technology at TAFE NSW Mount Druitt, George is now working for researchers at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to put his IT skills to the test and potentially save lives.
He is helping to design an intricate IT tool that will help detect the probability of someone getting type 2 diabetes based on their social environment and has now co-authored his first academic research paper.
“I never thought I’d get the marks to go to university and now I’m working amongst leading academics, which is something I was only able to achieve through TAFE NSW,” George said.
“I learnt the hands-on skills to become an electrician, but I returned to TAFE NSW to broaden my skill set because I’ve always had a passion for computers and the teachers taught me how to turn that passion into a career that I’ll love.”
Deloitte research forecasts continued growth of the ICT industry to more than 758,700 workers by 2023. The spread of ICT workers is evident, with an estimated 51 per cent employed outside of ICT specific industries.
University of Technology Sydney PhD researcher, Adel Omar, said George was an integral part of the research.
“We asked George to continue working with us because he brought a wealth of knowledge to the project. We decided he should be a co-author on my PhD paper,” he said.
“He has put 110 percent into his work and has applied all the skills he learnt at TAFE NSW into the research.”
The research will be presented at the Australian Conference on Information Systems in Western Australia in December.
TAFE NSW Information Technology Team Leader, Gihan Ebaid, said George was a great example of how TAFE NSW can change peoples’ careers.
“Whether people want to apply for a promotion, change careers, or excel in the IT industry, TAFE NSW courses equip them with the skill-sets they need to get ahead,” she said.
To enrol or enquire about a range of information technology courses offered at TAFE NSW, visit the TAFE NSW website or call 131 601.
Media contact: Jessica Cortis, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, 0456 170 211