How Teens Can Choose The Right Career In The Tech Industry

When we say that technology is an extension of every teenager’s being, we are not exaggerating. From entertaining themselves, to creating content — whether for school or pure leisure — to attending classes amidst a global pandemic, technology is an integral part of a teenager’s life. In fact, unlike millennials, Gen Z does not have a “pre-Internet” life stage.  They were born into a world where technology had already been gaining momentum, taking on every aspect of our daily lives.

It is no wonder that, in terms of career choices and interests, teenagers are leaning towards careers in technology. In a 2017 study by CompTIA entitled “Youth Opinions of Careers in Information Technology,” about 70% of teenagers surveyed said that they were interested in a career in the tech arena. Teens are also aware that the skills that they have as early as now can potentially translate to future opportunities, such as information systems careers, engineering jobs, and programming positions, among others. 

Quick Tech Industry Statistics

The tech industry has indeed become inseparable from our daily lives, the academe, and several workplaces. 

  • The tech industry is the second largest driver of the US economy, accounting for more than 30% of the total world market.
  • It is expected to grow by 104% between 2018 and 2023. 
  • Median wages in tech are almost 90% higher than the national average. 
  • Software, Programmers, Web and QA are a few of the leading tech jobs.

Helping Your Teen Choose the Right Career in Tech

When we see teenagers breezing their way through every new gadget released, or troubleshooting a problem you have on your laptop like a pro, it can be tempting to think that they had it all figured out. But, teens need guidance about most things, especially when it comes to making decisions about their future. 

If they are expressing interest in a career in tech, the best time to prepare them for it is now. Below are a few pointers to guiding them through the process.

Find various educational pathways

Go beyond the constraints of the classroom and utilize various avenues for learning. STEM courses, whether online or in-person, are a good way to expose your teens to different core subject areas. This gives them the opportunity to gauge which path they find most interesting. 

You can also consider enrolling them in summer coding boot camps and workshops. Learning coding and programming equips teenagers with skills necessary for future jobs. Coding skills remain to be in-demand, and with the constant technological advancements, we don't see this changing anytime soon. 

Help them unlearn the myths that surround the tech industry

It is important to also check your own biases towards the tech industry to avoid letting them influence your judgment and your process. Here are a few myths that you and your teen need to bust:

  • You need to be a math whiz. There is something for everyone in the tech industry. Not all job roles require high-level math skills. For example, certain programming languages require logical thinking and problem-solving more than your prowess in math.
  • The tech industry is a man’s world. It’s true that the industry is currently male-dominated, but this does not mean that women do not excel in it. Encourage your teenage daughter to take on the challenge of breaking glass ceilings and thrive in male-dominated industries and workplaces.
  • You can’t be creative in tech. Many tech roles require creativity. Web design and front-end development are just some of the areas in which being able to come up with new and creative ideas is key to success.

Have a personality assessment

It can help you and your teen to choose which tech career path is most suitable if you have an idea as to which personalities are conducive to certain jobs. 

The list of traits below is not extensive, but it can give you an idea as to the diversity and breadth of positions available, and how they differ in requirements.

  • Creative. Developers, engineers, and programmers rely on creativity, imagination, and skill when creating applications, which involves designing, programming, testing, and upgrading systems. 
  • Analytical. Most IT careers require analytical skills. Computer and information systems managers, coders, database administrators, computer and information research scientists, and computer user support specialists are all expected to have strong analytical skills to excel in their fields.
  • Detail-oriented. Some jobs require you to be meticulous and keen on details. Coders, database analysts and programmers have some of the most tedious tasks. Other detail-oriented IT jobs are network maintenance specialist, web developer, and computer hardware engineer.

Final Thoughts

Exposure, the right mindset, and matched personality are just some of the most important considerations you and your teen must take when choosing the right career in tech. Whichever path they pick, a strong support system is still your best bet in ensuring that your teen lands a fulfilling job in the future. 

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