There have been a lot of articles lately about the fact that we are heading towards skills shortages, probably in almost any field that you can think of, but particularly in the Information Technology world. Demographics will play a large part in this shortage because so many “boomers” are coming to retirement age and the number of people entering the workforce has slowed down.
Another factor in the pending IT skills shortage is the reluctance of this generation of grads to move into technology fields. Anecdotally, when talking with other industry professionals, there appears to be several reasons for this situation.
(1) Kids today view the industry as a bunch of geeks … its not cool to be “in computers”.
(2) Several years ago, during the last big boom there was a concerted effort by industry, government and education to push kids towards a technology career. Then the bust happened, and those jobs disappeared resulting in lots of grads having unrealized ambitions!
(3) For some years now the press has been filled with stories that all the IT jobs are going offshore! The hype has certainly been heard by some and many parents are advising their kids not to pursue jobs that could be “offshored”!
So … why should kids go into technology as a career.
1. There will be shortages again, which means there will be lots of jobs … you heard it here!
2. They are well paying jobs that provide great career opportunities.
3. They are transportable jobs that can take you almost anywhere in the world you would like to go. (My programming job got me to Canada!)
4. There are many streams in technology depending upon your interests … my career went from programming to customer support to sales and into management.
5. These jobs are NOT necessarily for people who want to sit in front of a screen all day … there are people facing jobs, sales jobs, team based jobs. Today “people skills” are sought after in the technology world.
6. The technology world is exciting … nothing much happens that is not touched by technology.
7. The field can be very rewarding … not just financially but also mentally, providing a challenge that can keep you engaged for a long career.
8. You can help to shape the future … if you believe that technology will play a big part in that future!
9. You grew up with computers, you have inate skills already … just harness them!
10. You could be the next Bill Gates … now THAT is cool, even for a geek!