Kids like using technology – but many say they don’t want to make a career of it.
According to a recent study from CompTIA, “Managing the Multigenerational Workforce,” 26 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds surveyed say they are not interested in a career in IT, while 21 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds feel the same way.
Just 19 percent of those in the 18- to 24-year-old age range said they would consider a job working with computers and networks, in stark contrast to the whopping 70 percent of Generation Z surveyed that they “love” technology.
“On the surface, it seems like the affinity for technology is a great thing for the future workforce, since technology will be so intertwined with business,” according to the report. “However, most students are not eyeing a career in IT as a result of their technology leanings.”
The report’s authors attributed the lack of enthusiasm for IT to a lack of information about the possible careers that exist – nearly 40 percent of students said their school does not raise any awareness about IT jobs. Kids who were interested in the high-demand field counted technology classes in middle or high school as top reasons they would consider those jobs.
Students also figure that IT jobs require math and science skills, which is not true, experts say.
Those negative stereotypes have persisted across the country, and remain a problem when trying to include more minorities and females in the field, say advocates who are trying to dispel these notions.
For example, an IT manager or employee of a school district is more than just a computer troubleshooter these days – many CTOs and CIOs in both K-12 and higher education say their jobs are becoming more integrated with the actual teaching and learning that happens inside of classrooms.
Some schools are trying to start kids early when it comes to coding, computer science and other STEM skills that can stimulate interest later on in IT jobs.
The federal government is also trying to encourage students to go into these high-paying fields, and announced last week a partnership between eight universities and organizations that offer coding and web development training.