Half of Teens Say They Would Consider a Career in Tech, but Perceived Barriers and Lack of Career Information Persist
New research published by CompTIA, the leading trade association for the global technology industry, finds that teenagers around the world believe that technology is generally moving in a positive direction and is a force for good that will play an even greater role in their lives as they grow older.
The CompTIA report “International Youth Perspectives of Technology and Careers” reveals that one-half of the teenagers surveyed would consider a career in technology. They are generally positive about what a job in tech entails solving problems, doing work that’s interesting and fun and earning a good salary.
But the survey of more than 1,500 teenagers also finds that barriers are still in place that may be keeping even more young people from looking at the technology field as a profession. Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 from 11 different countries1 participated in the survey.
“It’s encouraging to see that a sizable percentage of young people see tech as a viable career option,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO, CompTIA. “But it’s also quite apparent that we still have work to do to correct misperceptions about tech occupations and to provide career instruction and resources that reflect the reality of the 21st Century tech workforce.”
For example, the data shows that three in ten young people are of the opinion that tech careers are out of reach because they are too difficult to enter. This stems from beliefs among some teens that education or training options are too expensive; a feeling of being unprepared, such as lacking strong math and science skills; or perceptions that there are few available technology job opportunities in their local areas.
The report also confirms that gender bias is still present when it comes to career advice. Boys receive notably higher levels of encouragement from parents, teachers, peers and others to consider a career in tech than girls. (52 percent vs. 38 percent)
When teens were asked about specific career opportunities in tech, the most popular choices were designing video games, designing apps for smartphones, web design and working in emerging technologies, such as robotics.
“These are all great career choices, but there are many more job roles in tech that provide the opportunity to earn a good salary, take on new and greater responsibilities and, most importantly, have a positive impact on society,” Thibodeaux said. “We need to expand our outreach to get that message out to the next generations of workers.”