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Teenagers want technology careers, unsure of how to get there

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Nearly half of teens say they would consider a career in tech but run up against perceived barriers and lack of career information.

Some 35% of Australian teenagers think they lack the preparation and exposure to technology in high school or college that would prepare them for a career. A like number believe there are limited job opportunities in technology in their local area. Slightly more than one-quarter of teens cite the lack of affordable schooling and training options and feel the technology field is too competitive and difficult to enter.

Gender bias is still present when it comes to career advice. Boys in Australia received notably higher levels of encouragement from parents, teachers, peers and other to consider a career in tech than girls did (55% vs. 33%).

When teens were asked about specific career opportunities in tech, the most popular choices were designing video games, working in emerging technologies, such as robotics, running a tech business and working in cybersecurity. Australian teens also 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. 

Of Australian teenagers, 45% would consider a career in technology, compared to 50% globally and Australian teens are generally positive about what a job in tech entails; solving problems, doing work that’s interesting and fun and earning a good salary. 

More than 1500 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 from 11 different countries  participated in the online survey International Youth Perspectives of Technology and Careers run by CompTIA (the Computing Technology Industry Association, a non-profit trade association).

To aid in the education effort, CompTIA has created The Future of Tech, a free and growing library of resources designed for anyone interested in learning about new and what’s next in technology. 

CompTIA’s Australia New Zealand (ANZ) Channel Community also recently launched a new initiative to train and certify 3,000 students in the fundamentals of technology. Free courseware materials and certification exam vouchers will be made available to 3000 students age 25 and under in Australia and New Zealand. More information on the program is available at https://www.land.certification.comptia.org/ITFANZ

Among Australian teenagers, 54% generally believe that technology in a positive direction compared to 13% who feel that tech is heading in a negative direction and 33% who are unsure. The corresponding global figures are 54% positive, 11% negative and 35% unsure. 

Factors contributing to their positive feelings include the expectation that innovation and technology breakthroughs could drastically improve lives; offer more choices to meet the needs of just about everyone; produce apps and devices that are faster, better and more feature rich; and narrow the digital divide by providing access to more information and services to more people. 

A majority of young people (69%) report seeing or hearing something about automating technologies and the future of work. They also expressed a degree of concern over the uncertainty of automation. 

“Teens astutely anticipate the need for more training and hands-on experience in various technology disciplines to ensure that they are well positioned for the workplace of tomorrow,” said Anna Matthai, senior manager, research and market intelligence, CompTIA. 

To access a free copy of the full report visit https://comptiacdn.azureedge.net/webcontent/docs/default-source/research-reports/comptia-international-youth-technology-and-career-perceptions.pdf?sfvrsn=f0dfb41e_2.


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