Thibodeaux's speech opened the second day of the CompTIA ChannelCon, the information technology (IT) channel's premier education and partnering event. The conference continues through Wednesday, August 3.
The shortage of workers to fill available job openings in the tech industry has been well documented over the last several years. That gap will widen dramatically in the coming years as industry growth continues and Baby Boomer generation workers retire.
"By our estimate it's a 15-percent shortfall," Thibodeaux said. "We just aren't attracting enough people. Young people just aren't interested in a career in IT. "
Thibodeaux revealed that CompTIA and its Creating IT Futures Foundation are developing "a sustainable nationwide model" that will engage education partners to develop curriculum and projects for in-school and after-school tech-related programs. The effort will also involve getting young people engaged with industry role models, a critical factor in helping students identify potential career paths.
"Kids have really gotten the message about finding and following your passion," Thibodeaux said. "But we're not doing a good job of telling kids why we love what we do. They want to understand not what you do, but why you love what you do."
Also speaking Tuesday was Nir Eyal, author of the best-selling book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. Eyal revealed the characteristics common to products that profoundly affect our behaviors and way of life, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There are four "hooks" that make a product become a habit: triggers, actions, rewards and investments. It starts with a trigger.
"If you want your product to be used habitually you have to be able to tell me what your customer's internal trigger is," he said. "What itch are you scratching? What psychological need are you filling for your customer?"
"It's not the best product that wins," Eyal concluded. "It's the product that can capture the monopoly of the mind. It's the products we use out of habit."
ChannelCon continues Wednesday with sessions on the science and tools of hiring; selling security to customers without invoking the fear factor; perspectives on the Internet of Things; strategies for keeping customers loyal; and the announcement of the Best of Show awards from among the 150-plus companies participating in the ChannelCon Technology Vendor Fair.
For the latest ChannelCon news visit http://channelcon.vporoom.com/.
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