Digital natives love affair with technology continues

Technology is interwoven in the lives of teens today and there is near universal acknowledgement of the fact that they like/love technology. Not only do they profess a love of technology but they are frequently the first point of call for parents/family in need of assistance or help troubleshooting a technology problem.

Perceptions of careers in information technology (IT) are generally positive, but challenges persist

Teenagers in the 13-17 age range see IT careers as being lucrative with the opportunity to do creative, innovative work. Teens also think that working in technology means the possibility to work in an appealing work environment with smart people and plentiful jobs. Moreover, with the staggering cost of higher education, students are increasingly considering the alternatives. Just about a quarter of respondents (26%) in the research are aware of and cite the availability of pathways into IT careers that bypass the traditional 4-year college degree as appealing.

Despite these positives, there are a number of offsetting negative perceptions. Nearly half of teenagers are concerned that careers in IT could be isolating, with long stretches of sitting alone in front of a computer all day. Girls more than boys have this perception.

Interest in IT careers is on the rise, especially among girls

There is growing interest in careers in technology and teenagers today are more open to the possibility of considering a career in the space. Since 2012, net interest has increased by 10 percentage points, according to CompTIA research. When presented as specific occupations, such as working with robotics or designing apps, interest is even higher.

While the trend is heading in the right direction – which is critically important given a shortage of IT workers in many areas, it must be acknowledged that many young people that could be candidates for pursuing a career in IT will fall by the wayside. Some of this can be attributed to information gaps. While most schools provide some type of information or career guidance for IT jobs, nearly 3 in 10 do not provide anything, according to the students in the study.

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