A new report reveals 45 per cent of Australian teenagers surveyed would consider a career in technology, citing that technology is generally moving in a positive direction and will play an even greater role in their lives in the future, however perceived barriers still exist.
The report, International Youth Perspectives of Technology and Careers, which was published by Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a leading trade association for the global technology industry involved the responses of over 1500 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18, from 11 countries.
It found that Australian teens are generally positive about what a job in technology entails – including solving problems, doing work that’s interesting and fun, and earning a good salary.
However the survey also highlighted some of the existing barriers that are keeping more teenagers from looking at the technology field as a profession.
“It’s encouraging to see that a sizeable percentage of young people see tech as a viable career option,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of 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 35 per cent of Australian teenagers are of the opinion that they lack the preparation and exposure to technology in high school or college that would prepare them for a career. A like percentage 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.
The report also confirms that 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 others to consider a career in technology than girls did (55 per cent versus 33 per cent).
When teens were asked about specific career opportunities in technology, the most popular choices were designing video games, working in emerging technologies such as robotics, running a tech business and working in cybersecurity.
“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,” Mr Thibodeaux said. “We need to expand our outreach to get that message out to the next generations of workers.”
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 what’s new and what’s happening in the world of technology.
CompTIA’s Australia New Zealand (ANZ) Channel Community also recently launched a new initiative to train and certify 3000 students in the fundamentals of technology. Free courseware materials and certification exam vouchers will be made available to 3000 students aged 25 and under in Australia and New Zealand. For more information please click here.