Reaching future technologists early


The IngCH Engineers Shape our Future Association was founded over 30 years ago to promote young talent in Switzerland’s MINT (Mathematics, IT, natural science, and technology) sectors. u-blox is one of 27 member companies that help fund the association’s activities annually.


With approximately 60 Technology and IT Weeks, Action Days, and Girls Technology Days held annually as part of the talent development program, IngCH is now one of the most prominent organizations in Switzerland involved in this area. They remain focused on fulfilling their founding mandate to address the lack of technical experts for Switzerland from Switzerland. Their projects are designed to inform, inspire, and help tackle the shortage of skilled workers.


“Our job is to show young people what they can do and demonstrate the possibilities,” explains Lea Hasler, Managing Director, IngCH. “Often they are put off by technical topics, and mathematics and we want to show them there are so many cool paths within tech.”


Age is critical

IngCH finds that most students have little knowledge about the range of technical roles between the classical subjects of Chemistry, Physics, and Biology.  However, they believe it is worth trying to evoke change and to do this, they must reach future engineers and technologists at an early age.


So over 40 weeks per year, 17-year-olds, who are just one year away from graduating, are invited to attend a technology or IT project week at their school.  Additional Girls Technology Days target female students, specifically giving them the opportunity to spend a day in a company so they can learn about technical apprenticeships. The companies then provide the program content for the day.


Once a year, IngCH also organizes an exchange with approximately 120 educators and representatives from business, science, and politics in association with Switzerland’s two Federal Technology Universities (ETH Zurich and EPFL) to dialogue about what they expect from future technologists.

Reaching future technologists

What are the trends?

IngCH says it is often challenging to measure the outcome of their ongoing activities.  At the Technical Weeks with 17 year olds more than half say their image of STEM has improved, or now they know what it is because before, they did not.  About 30% of participants report back that they are now considering pursuing a university degree program in a STEM field.

IngCH findings during follow up evaluations two to three years later show that approximately 10% chose to study within a technical field due to the IngCH Technical Week.

And with the Girls Technical Days program, 60% of participants responded at the end of the day that they would consider an apprenticeship in tech, with approximately 10% later applying.


“We can say that when the girls participate in a technical day approximately 60% say in an immediate survey after the day, they could now imagine doing an apprenticeship in technology with approximately 10% later applying,” Lea Hasler, IngCH.


A call to action for companies, teachers, parents, and other influencers

IngCH thinks there is still much work to do to increase awareness about technology's range of career options. Employers, teachers, parents, and other influencers have a critical role in changing existing stereotypes.

For example, IngCH offers a training program for career advisors to help increase their awareness of the breadth and depth of possibilities for future technologists.


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