27 grade 11 and 12 students from Stanley Humphries Secondary School in Castlegar recently got a glimpse of Vancouver’s tech industry and possible career options.

It was the first tour of its kind for the school says teacher Risten Turner and covered a wide variety of post-secondary institutions and office visits to meet with working professionals.

Students brought their questions and curiosity to the downtown Microsoft office for a Q and A session.

“The kids asked really great questions and engaged really well. I think they got a lot out of it,” said Turner.

Another visit was a behind the scenes look at Image Engine.

“They’re one of the teams that’s been working on Game of Thrones,” Turner explained. “We got to learn about their jobs and do a Q and A with a visual effects programmer and artist.”

The trip also included the Emily Carr University design students’ grad fashion show, a stop at the Vancouver Film School and a meeting at UBC to learn about the robotics program.

One of the big takeaways was what skills are necessary to make it in the industry.

“The attitudes required, the sort of the soft skills. Every person we met, every company we talked to talked about and pushed soft skills a lot. I think that was a bit of an eye open for the kids who think technical skills are the most important thing,” Turner said.

He adds it was great to show the students what’s going on right here in BC and that with some schooling and hard work, those career opportunities are possible.

Mark Laver, the Castlegar and District Economic Development Officer, suggested the idea for the tour. Some funding was provided from the State of the Kootenays Economic Update event held earlier this spring.