Youths love tech, but not necessarily tech career – study

14 Jun 2012

Despite 97pc of teenagers and young adults saying they like or even love technology, only 18pc of them have indicated a definite interest in an IT career, a study released by IT industry association CompTIA suggests.

The main reason the youths have a low interest in an IT career is because they lack familiarity with the IT field, but their interest level jumps when they’re presented with options for specific jobs, the study shows.

For instance, nearly half of the 1,002 study participants said they can see themselves designing video games; 41pc envision creating applications for mobile devices; 39pc can see themselves designing web pages; and 34pc can picture themselves applying technology in field such as healthcare or education.

Another six in 10 youths perceive an IT career as an opportunity to help people.

“It’s sometimes easy to overlook the vital creative, collaborative and problem-solving elements of technology work, as well as the diversity of occupations within the field,” said Carolyn April, director, industry analysis, CompTIA.

“Mobile app developers, digital content curators, ethical hackers and big data analysts are just a few examples of career options available today that weren’t present just a few years ago.”

Teens and young adults may be preparing for technology careers without realising it, the study also suggests. Nearly six in 10 youths serve as technology facilitators and troubleshooters for their family and friends for problems with computers, software, mobile devices or related technologies.

“In the information economy, technical literacy is a prerequisite for many occupations, even beyond technology positions,” April said.

Tina Costanza
By Tina Costanza

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic. She came to Ireland from Canada, where she had held senior editorial positions at daily newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto. When she wasn’t saving dangling participles, she was training for 10K races or satisfying a craving for scones.

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