The Next Generation of IT Experts

As a society and an economy, the need for technical specialists is global. In an age increasingly dependent on technology, the demand for technical consultants is massive and growing. How do educators cultivate interest in technology in grade and high-schoolers in order to motivate the next generation of technical talent? There are 3 levels on which the cultural & societal biases affect a young person’s exposure to the idea of the field of high-tech as an attractive career path.

The first is reputation. The prevalent social bias is that a career in high-tech is stereotyped as lacking glamor. When high school students envision a dream career, they are culturally pre-programmed to daydream about lucrative careers in the entertainment industry – becoming a pop sensation, or a competitive dancer. Careers that require a higher qualification level than pure talent supplemented with training, but which still project a socially glamourous image — being a hot shot lawyer or politician, also make young people’s radars as a dream job, but a career in tech doesn’t usually strike young imaginations the same way.

The second is a basic lack of information. It’s rare for Java experts to come to a high school and talk about their passion for tech, or even for IT recruiters to visit high schools to network with a potential new crop of tech experts. Teachers who introduce the topic in the classroom, and invite technical colleagues to give presentations in class can potentially spark interest in students still trying to make decisions about a career path. In addition, more classes in computer science can add to student’s knowledge of tech and comfort level with it. The fact that many students take their first computer science course as a college requirement is indicative of the dearth of teaching available on this topic on the pre-secondary education level.

Lastly, the family environment on the microcosmic level (in the US, at least), doesn’t emphasize the importance of advanced technical skills. While parents may stress as part of basic parental advice the significance of academic achievement, good writing & spelling skills, or communication abilities in general, conversations about how lucrative and in-demand high tech skills can be are far from commonplace. Parents who suggest that their children meet with IT recruiters in high school and college to consider the advantages of gaining technical expertise, or speak with counselors to weigh pros and cons will have fully explored options for high levels of income that their peers may never have realized were available. Now that’s competitive advantage.

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AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.