Love of Technology Doesn't Translate into Career Interest for Many Teens, Young Adults, New CompTIA Study Finds

Jun 13, 2012, 09:40 ET from CompTIA

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The love affair teenagers and young adults have with technology doesn't necessarily translate into interest in a career in information technology (IT), according to a new study released today by IT industry association CompTIA.

While 97 percent of teens and young adults report loving or liking technology, just 18 percent report a definitive interest in a career in IT, the CompTIA study finds. Lack of familiarity with the IT field is cited as a primary factor contributing to low interest in the career path.

Interest levels jump when teens and young adults are presented with options for specific jobs. Nearly half of the respondents can see themselves designing video games; 41 percent envision creating applications for mobile devices; 39 percent, designing web pages; and 34 percent, applying technology in field such as healthcare or education. Six in ten perceive an IT career as an opportunity to help people.

"It's sometimes easy to overlook the vital creative, collaborative and problem solving elements of technology work, as well as the diversity of occupations within the field," said Carolyn April, director, industry analysis, CompTIA. "Mobile app developers, digital content curators, ethical hackers and big data analysts are just a few examples of career options available today that weren't present just a few years ago."

The CompTIA study also finds that teens and young adult may be preparing for technology careers without realizing it. Nearly six in 10 serve as technology facilitators and troubleshooters for their family and friends for problems with computers, software, mobile devices or related technologies.

"In the information economy, technical literacy is a prerequisite for many occupations, even beyond technology positions," April said.

Data for CompTIA's Youth Opinions of Careers in Information Technology study is based on a survey of 1,002 U.S. teens and young adults, about equally divided between boys and girls and age ranges (13-17 and 18-24), and conducted between March 27 and April 2, 2012.

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