FALL 2017 | CompTIAWorld 51 Q & A The Way of the Future professionals are constantly learning and staying aware of the changing tech landscape. CompTIA: While we’ve talked about mid- dle schoolers and adults, how do we get high schoolers interested in tech careers? What can employers do to bridge the gap between academics and the business world? EATON: To get high school students ready for the business world, they need access to internships. Employers and schools can collaborate to innovate the intern- ship model so that it works for both the student and the employer. At Creating IT Futures, we’ve developed the four Ps of internships to help employ- ers work with their communities to build internships that deliver value to the em- ployer while also providing robust work experience to the student. Each internship needs: •  A Project for the student to work on that’s both challenging and valued, •  A Place for the student to work on the project, •  Personnel who will care about and super- vise the intern, and •  Payment, preferably monetary, to the students for the work they do. The employer doesn’t necessarily have to provide all four Ps. For instance, in Chicago, the local Chamber of Commerce works with its business members to divide up responsibility for the four Ps, especial- ly for smaller businesses that might not have the space or personnel to oversee a student every day. Beyond internships, CompTIA members can offer job shadowing and invite stu- dents to visit their headquarters. Going to speak at a high school is not enough; you need to share why you love what you do in a hands-on way so that they can see and feel your excitement for the industry. Want more information? Contact Membership@CompTIA.org. Debunking the Seven Myths CITF’s Charles Eaton recently wrote a book—How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education—to help parents of teenagers launch their kids’ tech careers. He believes today’s teens can become tomorrow’s technologists and close the industry’s tech skills gap. Here, he speaks on how in his book he debunks the seven myths that prevent teens and their parents from consider- ing a career in tech. Technology is all about coding, math and science. Coding and software development are important and might be the right path for some students into tech. But the reality is we also need more technicians, network specialists, system admins, cybersecurity professionals and data analysts to handle the growth of businesses and households con- necting more devices to the internet and using more Web-based services. Also, soft skills such as communication, persistence and empathy are essential to finding a position in technology. High-level math is only used in a small number of tech jobs. Working in technology requires a four-year college degree. The truth is, there are multiple paths to landing a tech job. The traditional route of earning a computer science degree is just one narrow road, but certifications, boot camps and aligned job experience offer other routes to a tech career. If it’s not at Facebook or Google, it’s not a technology job. There are tech positions in almost every organization around the world because every industry depends on IT. Love fashion? Airplanes? Sports? Music? Medicine? There are tech jobs in all those fields. A tech career means being stuck at a desk. The tech industry is growing all over the world and stretching far beyond what can be displayed on a desktop monitor. Many tech jobs require being in the field or engaging with customers and internal clients where they work and live. Money is the main benefit of a tech job. In Creating IT Futures’ 2015 survey of urban teens, helping other people was of equal importance to money in what teens look for in a career. While the average tech job pays nearly double what the standard American wage is, working in a tech career has the promise of so much more than just earning a good salary. My kids won’t listen to me. Teens do listen to their parents— maybe not all the time about every- thing parents would like to tell them. But according to Creating IT Futures’ 2015 survey, parents are the number one resource for teens on college and careers—twice as important as teachers or peers. Tech jobs are going overseas. The economic reality is that the digital transformation of business is cre- ating technology jobs faster than many companies—here and abroad—can fill them. There are more than half a million tech jobs posted online in the U.S. alone every quarter. Certain tech jobs are re- turning to our shores as wages increase overseas. n