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CIPS Youth Engagement Strategy

As we continue to advance the cause of IT professionalism in Canada and grow our organization, CIPS faces several organizational challenges. One of the most significant of those challenges is how to effectively engage Canada's youth and get them excited about a career in IT.

As a response to this challenge the OEC asked me (Jay Payette) to create a strategy to help CIPS increase its exposure to and engagement of Canadian youth. That request began the process of creating what has become the Youth Engagement Strategy (YES) which is a plan to help ignite interest in CIPS and IT professionalism amongst high school students, IT students, young professionals and other target groups. At the core of the strategy is what I call the 4E approach: Engage, Enable, Educate, Enroll.

The goal of the 4E approach is to create a virtuous circle where don't simply engage youth, but also provide them a platform to become part of the IT industry and to further develop their own skills and interests. We also want to enable young people to act as evangelists of the IT industry and our organization, educating and informing those around them. This will hopefully lead to more youth enrolling in our programs and thus the cycle continues.

Using the 4E approach I performed a study and compiled a list of recommendations classified as Critical, Recommended and Nice-to-Have. Currently the OEC and the CCITP have decided to move forward implementing all the Critical and some Recommended items. To do this I am leading up a mobilization program containing several projects. They include:


  • Youth marketing review
  • Website modernization
  • Social Media strategy
  • Campus speaking kits for members
  • National campus operations system
  • Proposal of a non-professional designation


Several of these projects are currently underway but we are always looking for help. If you are interested in learning more please feel free to contact me at

Increasing our youth membership will also have benefits for CIPS and our existing members. Young people can bring a fresh perspective to our organization and our industry. They can also help give us exposure to emerging trends in consumption, technology and communications. We all have a lot to benefit by acting as good stewards of our industry. The CIPS Youth Engagement Strategy is just one step in doing it.


About the Author:

Jay Payette, I.S.P., ITCP/IP3P is a consultant with the Custom and Emerging Technologies group at Accenture. He is the former Student Chair of CIPS Ottawa and currently sits on the OEC.

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