Teens and Tech: CompTIA Report Explores Views on Their Use of Technology, Career Options and the Future of Work
Teenagers, many high-volume users of technology, expect their tech usage to increase over the next two years, according to a report CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce.
CompTIA’s “Student Perspectives of Technology and Careers” finds that more than two-thirds of teenagers have some idea of the career path they would like to pursue. Half that group indicates some interest in working in technology, with boys (55%) more than girls (47%) considering a career in tech.
Interestingly, students who are interested in tech identify specific occupation categories that align with current employer job postings, including positions in software and application development, emerging technologies and cybersecurity.
Just over half of teens (53%) expect to increase their connections to tech. Nine out of 10 connect to the Internet on their mobile phones, confirmation of their need to constantly connect to technology.
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“Young people clearly have great interest and high comfort levels in their interactions with technology,” said Colleen Crino, chief development officer for Creating IT Futures. “Developing these traits will help them as they progress from students to digital knowledge workers and technology professionals.”
Misperceptions about working in tech persist among teens. This includes the feeling that a tech job requires good math and science skills; that the work is complicated and difficult; that you work alone on a computer; the work is boring; or is just for tech geeks.
“Connecting students to more engaging and fun tech resources and curricula, in addition to adult mentors, are two actions that can have an immediate and powerful impact in shaping career decisions,” said Tazneen Kasem, director of youth learning programs at CompTIA.
Just 45% of students report knowing someone personally who works in the tech field. Though an improvement over the previous CompTIA survey on the topic (36%), many young people miss obtaining first-hand knowledge of careers in tech. Another troubling indicator is that boys report receiving higher levels of encouragement to consider a tech career than girls. This encouragement gap is among the factors that contributes to lower rates of consideration for a career in technology among girls.
CompTIA’s “Student Perspectives of Technology and Careers” study is based on a survey of 1,671 teenagers in Australia, Belgium, Canada, India, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and United States.
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