There already are jokes on the Internet about people seeing IT as another utility: we become equally angry at the electricity switching off and some application crashing. This is why IT is so important from a business point of view: without IT, it's no longer possible to communicate with clients, organize staff or make sales.

"IT is going to develop further — both the capacities, meaning everything that has to do with hardware, and new intellectual products, applications and such. Informational Technologies is an applied science. Some of our students ask me: can one apply IT in a chocolate factory? Surely — IT can be applied anywhere! Computational capacities increase; new methods for storing data are being developed. Many universities work on developing artificial intelligence — it's still hard to predict what it will be like, so that's another direction one can work in", comments Oleg Malsagov, Advisor to Rector's Office.

The growing demand for computational capacities will contribute to the popularity of cloud technologies — which means storing large amounts of data on external data storages. This means that specialists in Big Data will also be sought-after — as analyzing the consumer's preferences allows to sell products more effectively.The demand for specialists in informational security will also continue to grow.

New "consumer products" in IT will have to do with the Internet of Things, new mobile devices and different "smart" solutions for home and work. All of these tendencies offer great opportunities for future startupers in the IT field, as each new trend implies developing new applications, software and hardware.

Investors and major market players also predict that online education will become more and more popular — nowadays, not knowing of the present state of technology has become something to be ashamed of.

The participants of the "IT-Start" program study the peculiarities of IT market and learn to forecast its future. They learn the basics of business and get the necessary skills — including how togather a successful startup team. Also, they try communicating with investors — to master the art of presentation so that many will want to buy their projects. Representatives from successful IT companies, business incubators, funds and universities act as experts for the program.

"The children are very motivated. They will become leaders — those who will create the future. On one hand, it makes working with them harder, as they require a lot more attention, but on the other — their interest makes them work more, and that's great. These children present their ideas, and we teach them to think, explain them the methods we've worked out at universities. "IT-Start" is a practice-oriented program: the students use the knowledge they've just acquired for their next projects", comments Oleg Malsagov.

For instance, the schoolers tried developing an automatic turret for the military, a robotic mule, Augmented Reality applications and the like. In general, most of the program's participants are winners of different contests and competitions.

This is not the first time ITMO partakes in organizing an "IT-Start" program — there is a collaboration agreement between the university and the "Agency for Innovations Development" autonomous non-profit organization. Most participants of the program join Russia's best technical universities after they graduate.

"IT-Start" is a part of an all-Russian program that has been conducting hackatons and contests, conferences, festivals and other similar events dedicated to IT, robotics and engineering since 2012. For instance, in September, the UNREALFEST took place in Saint Petersburg — a AR and VR festival, and in October, in Moscow, there was a championship in "technical sports", where children presented their robotic inventions.

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