Hong Kong's students are famous for getting excellent marks in maths and sciences, but most choose jobs in finance or law, instead of making science and technology their future career.
The Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP) is hoping that their annual career expo will change this. It gives students an idea of the career opportunities in the fields of innovation and technology.
"This is the largest expo featuring innovation and technology. We have 10 co-organisers, who can give students information on possible career paths or which university to join," said Allen Ma Kam-sing, chief executive of HKSTP.
"Students can learn what the job opportunities are before they choose their career. They can learn about the megatrends, such as cloud computing, medical robotics, green technology, new materials, material science, and so on."
And it offers more than just information. "We have jobs here. You can join, do research and develop new products, or start a company," said Ma.
The expo is now a major event for both students and job-seekers. Since it was first held in 2013 it has grown from 35 companies offering 300 positions, to 80 companies offering 600 positions this year. Attendance has also grown from 2,000 to more than 4,500 visitors, including job seekers, university students looking for internships, and secondary school students getting general information. Together, they completely filled the park's Great Hall, visiting company booths and talking with associations and universities.
Straight from the sources
The most popular company was probably the Shenzhen-based DJI, the world's leading drone developer which grew from a single office in 2006 to a company with five offices employing 2,000 people today. They held a career presentation and six demos during the day, grabbing the attention of an admiring crowd.
Audience's also listened enthusiastically as success stories were shared. Hong Kong Aero Engine Services (HAESL) engineer Gary Chow explained how he developed from a trainee to an engineer supervising 60 to 70 people who build engines.
"The most difficult is to learn how to manage colleagues, as some are very young - just out of university, and some have as much as 40 years of experience," he said.
Joe Wong, chief executive of Medisen, told how he started out as a trainee and ended up founding his own company with support from his then employer, while Charles An, founder of CardApp, an app developer, showed how someone who was a DJ with RTHK could completely change fields and become a technology innovator with his own company.
Taking part in the future
Ma wants Hong Kong to be the regional centre of innovation and new technologies.
"We want to build the fundamentals, train students, arouse the interest of industrialists, and attract funds," he said. "We want to build economic value and social contribution, and create new industries in Hong Kong."
He hopes to inspire students to see the future trends and get excited about the big changes ahead of us. He wants to make them think about how they can grow in the field of technology, in future industries, creating materials we don't even know about today.
He said: "Society is paying more attention to innovation and technology - there is a hype right now. In the past 12 months, we have been getting people's interest and attracting companies in new fields. This is the type of ecosystem we want to see!"