Busting 7 Myths About Technology Careers–Part 7

Before deconstructing the seventh and final myth about technology careers, let’s review one last time our myth-wrecking record:

  1. We demolished “Technology is all about coding, math and science
  2. We shattered “Working in technology requires a 4-year college degree
  3. We crushed “If it’s not at Facebook or Google, it’s not a technology job
  4. We smashed “A tech career means being stuck at a desk
  5. We squashed “Money is the main benefit of a tech job
  6. And we shredded “My kids won’t listen to me.”

Parents want their kids to grow into independent adults with stable careers, right? That’s the main reason you give them advice on their education and possible careers. You’re probably glad to be reminded that your advice isn’t falling on deaf ears. Let’s check the facts before we warn them away from a high-potential path.

Our last myth can discourage parents from recommending a tech career for fear of instability. It’s one that has persisted for nearly two decades:

“Tech jobs are going overseas.”

Two misconceptions give this myth staying power: An oversimplification of the global economy, and a narrow definition of the term “tech jobs.”

Yes, over time certain types of technology jobs have been – and continue to be – outsourced overseas. This ebb and flow of employment across increasingly globalized industries and markets, however, doesn’t mean tech jobs are leaving the U.S. economy never to return. The dynamics of world markets are too complex for such a simple conclusion – especially one that fails to account for the most important factor driving the global economy.

The economic reality is that the digital transformation of business is creating technology jobs faster than many companies – here and abroad – can fill them. In recent years in the U.S., more than half a million IT job postings exist for open positions at any given point of analysis.


And as we covered in an earlier myth-mashing post, those positions are not concentrated in one area of the country like Silicon Valley. Our research shows open technology jobs in every state on a regular basis.

Why are so many technology jobs spread across the nation? Because regardless of surface differences, every industry depends on IT. From small, family-run businesses — such as corner convenience stores, dry cleaners and lawn services — to big banks and insurance companies, positions for technologists exist in almost every organization and industry in the country.

So, while some tech jobs in specific categories may move from our shores to others as international business expands, some of those positions can come back in time, as wages overseas rise or U.S. companies see compelling reasons to reshore work. But overall, these ups and downs don’t change the big picture: Plenty of tech jobs are being created in the U.S. these days. And this trend shows no signs of slowing down.

With a bit more understanding of the global economy, you can rest assured that you’re not directing your kids toward layoffs. And you’re probably glad to know technologists find work across the country. Maybe your kids will end up near you. Probably better not to push that right now.

Buy the Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education here and use it to discuss tech career possibilities around your hometown and the country.

 

Busting 7 Myths About Tech Careers–Part 6

To date, we’ve knocked down these myths:

  1. Technology is all about coding, math and science
  2. Working in technology requires a 4-year college degree
  3. If it’s not at Facebook or Google, it’s not a technology job
  4. A tech career means being stuck at a desk
  5. And “Money is the main benefit of a tech job.”

 

To guide your teen, you need to widen your understanding of careers outside yours. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize the motivations and interests that might pull one’s child toward a cluster of careers. But often the harder part is realizing your child’s motivations are different from yours, and that’s ok. By clearing away the myths with facts from experts, both adult and teens start at the same point.

Of course, moving on together needs a conversation, which brings us to our next myth. Let’s topple a myth about parent-teen relationships that can extend beyond the discussion of technology careers:

“My kids won’t listen to me.”

Last March, Creating IT Futures CEO Charles Eaton sat on a panel at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, with three other executives to discuss “Apprenticeships and Solving the IT Skills Gap.” The session was one of about a half dozen speaking engagements scheduled for him at industry conferences this year. Speaking to groups of people is a pretty comfortable experience for him at this point in his life, but nothing prepares you for dealing with an angry or hurt teenager.

As a parent, our author Charles Eaton has had his share of doors slammed in his face by his step-daughter, Lindsay, during her teenage years. And when the discussion wasn’t quite so heated, he’s had many moments talking to his step-son, Dylan, and Lindsay with the sinking feeling that his words were falling on deaf ears. (He’s not out of those woods yet, by the way, as his last two children move into those middle school years.)

It’s not a pleasant experience, that sense of futility, because you care deeply and you want to help with every means at your disposal.

Well, don’t despair. There’s hope – at least in terms of advice on college and careers.

In Creating IT Futures’ Teen Views on Tech Careers study, they asked teens who they rely on most to talk about careers. The most frequent answer was “parents and guardians.” At 68 percent, that answer was given more than two times more often than “teachers” (28 percent) and “school counselors” (25 percent). They do listen to you. Maybe not all the time about everything you’d like to tell them. But most likely they’re listening more often than you think they are – especially when the topic is as important as their future. So, educating yourself about issues and options is critical.

That’s why Eaton wrote A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education.

In the guide, we cover some key subjects that will help in conversations with your kids. There are a lot of preconceived notions about what a tech career means, but if you have some answers to your teen’s questions, and are willing to research the rest, your kids are likely to respect and heed your advice. And from Charles’ experience, once you become a trusted resource to your kids, they’ll keep coming back for more counsel. Lindsay and Dylan are now 25 and 23, and although they live out of the house, he sees them once or twice a week. Almost every time the family comes together, they talk about their jobs, how to grow in their careers, and how to manage people. Lindsay especially has been asking for leadership advice as she now has staff reporting to her. It’s a gratifying feeling after all those years of wondering if the messages were getting through.

For the final installment of our myth-toppling trip, we debunk: “Tech jobs are going overseas.”

Get the A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education here and use it as the outline for some career conversations. Your teen will appreciate the expert perspective you share, even if they don’t actually thank you.

 

 

Busting 7 Myths About Technology Careers–Part 5

Here’s where our myth-busting spree stands to date:

  1. We debunked “Technology is all about coding, math and science”.
  2. We deflated “Working in technology requires a 4-year college degree”.
  3. We discredited “If it’s not at Facebook or Google, it’s not a technology job”.
  4. And we dismantled “A tech career means being stuck at a desk”.

It’s a rare teenager that really understands that a career is about more than paying the bills. Lifeguarding pays for car insurance, a movie, clothes, or games, but a job within a career path impacts more than the bank account. Openly discussing the mental challenges, learning opportunities, emotional effect of your job will help teens explore possible roles more holistically. And we’ll help you have that discussion around tech careers.

Let’s destroy perhaps the most intractable of all the basic myths about technology careers:

“Money is the main benefit of a tech job.”

Many technology jobs pay well, offering salaries significantly higher than the national average of all occupations. And yes, unemployment in tech is low, and the future of tech professions looks good. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the availability of IT jobs is projected to grow by 12 percent during the current 10-year period 2014-2024.

So, how could a high likelihood of economic gain deter today’s teens from becoming tomorrow’s technologists? Because money doesn’t drive everyone, that’s how.

Creating IT Futures knows that money is a factor in what teens want from their careers, but it’s not at the top of the list. In their Teen Views on Tech Careers survey, we learned that helping other people was of equal importance to money in what teens look for in a career.

Like scientists, mathematicians and engineers, people working in technology like to solve problems. Driven by curiosity and empathy, they use big data to alleviate homelessness, for example, or get technology in the hands of people who lack economic opportunity.

Take Lakecia Gunter, who founded the Committee on Black Excellence at her high school. Lakecia received a computer at age 11, and later she used it to lobby teachers and other leaders at her school to find alternatives to suspending struggling students. Today, Lakecia is chief of staff to the CEO of Intel Corporation, one of the largest tech companies in the world.

Our research shows, like Lakecia, many of today’s teens want their work to affect more than a bank account. They want to have a career not a job, and they want to be learning all the time. Working in a tech career has the promise of so much more than just earning a good salary. Busting the myth that high salaries are the main benefit of a tech job should be a priority if we want to attract – and retain — the best young talent for our industry.

Next stop on our myth-mashing tour: “My kids won’t listen to me.”

Buy a copy of Launching Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education here. Use it as a starting point to discuss what beyond money matters to your teen.

 

Busting 7 Myths About Tech Careers–Part 4

Let’s tally the knockdowns to date in our myth-busting brawl:

  1. “Technology is all about coding, math and science”– down for the count
  2. “Working in technology requires a 4-year college degree”– ditto above
  3. “If it’s not at Facebook or Google, it’s not a technology job”– double ditto

As an adult, you recognize there are many factors that determine how a person fits in a job: The physical environment, the ratio of individual work to collaborative work, if co-workers do similar work or tackle very different responsibilities. You know if your kid needs quiet or music, loves or hates group projects, or works through problems with his head or her hands. But where do these answers point kids?

The fourth basic myth about technology careers is a popular misperception of jobs involving technology that could dissuade today’s teens from becoming tomorrow’s technologists and prevent them from closing the tech skills gap for us:

“A tech career means being stuck at a desk.”

Technology connects us globally. So, the industry is growing all over the world, reaching into diverse, exciting businesses – and many places you may not expect. What’s happening with technology today stretches far beyond what can be displayed on a desktop monitor.

Consider the career of Chicago-based artist, agent, writer and independent curator Jenny Lam. Lam uses her online platform to shine a spotlight on artists through unfiltered interviews. Her Artists on the Lam blog fosters art-based discussions and gives a behind-the-scenes view of the process of curating and installing works of art. Lam posts about the artists she represents, the exhibitions she curates and her adventures discovering art and artists around the globe.

Lam’s blog covers art-related topics at local, national and international levels; she brings the world to her local readers, while making her surroundings more accessible to a global audience. Lam is a true technologist, using social media tools to position herself and her clients in the local press, while dipping into other sites as a guest blogger. She’s also a featured Instagram photographer.

A quick look at Lam’s website reveals a self-professed “nerd” who’s amassed a list of markedly non-techie honors. Here’s a few:

  • 1st-prize winner of the National Park Service and National Park Foundation’s Centennial Project
  • Recipient of the Individual Artists Program grant from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for her project “Dreams of a City”
  • In its “Best of Chicago” issue, the Chicago Reader named Artists on the Lam “Best Local Visual Arts Blog”

When we interviewed Lam for the book, How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology, she said of working with technology: “I like how instant it all is and how you can be connected to people around the world all at once.”

And she never mentioned being chained to her desk.

Next match-up for our myth-mangling melee: “Money is the main benefit of a tech job.”

Ready to share Lam’s profile with your teen technologist? Get the book here.

Busting 7 Myths About Technology Careers–Part 3

So, you’re a parent, interested in today’s technology industry, to see if your teen might have what it takes to succeed. In A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education you’ll learn most tech companies look for intangible characteristics. Resourcefulness and collaboration are key attributes for success as a technologist, and if your child has those attributes, she or he can succeed in many different areas of technology.

So far in this 7-part myth-busting series, we busted the fallacies that “Technology is all about coding, math and science” and “Working in technology requires a 4-year college degree.” Now, let’s go after the third basic myth about technology careers. It’s another one that could discourage today’s teens from becoming tomorrow’s technologists and prevent them from finding a job to excel in:

“If it’s not at Facebook or Google, it’s not a technology job.”

 

  • No Valley Required: Today, tech arguably is the most important factor driving the global economy. So, how could a force that powerful be contained in one place? You don’t need to live in Silicon Valley to have a successful, exciting career in technology. Despite surface differences, every industry depends on IT. From small, family-run businesses — such as corner convenience stores, dry cleaners and lawn services — to big banks and insurance companies, positions as technologists exist in almost every organization around the world.
  • No Size Fits All: Per the CompTIA IT Industry Outlook 2017, there are about 375,000 small information technology companies in the United States, and those companies employ about 45 percent of the workforce in the IT industry. Thousands of jobs are available at innovative companies, large and small, and plenty of places to work no matter where you live. And as telecommuting becomes more popular, the opportunities will multiply.
  • Best Back-Up Plan Ever: If a child dreams of playing in the NBA someday, unfortunately the odds are against the kid. Very few players make the pro ranks: today, the NBA has only 450 active athletes. Sure, maybe they’ll have the drive, desire and luck to go all the way. But let’s encourage them to consider all the different ways one might work in sports, especially with technology. They could be a technologist working on data analytics for a professional coaching staff to help find the best defensive scheme for its players. They could be in broadcasting. They might even design the next app to track college basketball scores. With the number of technology jobs available in sports today, a passion for basketball need not burn out. There are lots of ways to connect one’s passions to meaningful and fulfilling work.

Next on our myth-bursting barrage: “A tech career means being stuck at a desk.”

 

You can read profiles of technologists in unexpected places in Launching Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education. Get your copy here.

Busting 7 Myths About Technology–Part 2

When parents and guidance counselors broaden their perspective about what makes a successful technologist, they discover more kids with aptitude for technology careers. Kids with traits like resourcefulness and common sense, who might not take math and science honors classes. Maybe your son or daughter.

In the first installment of this myth-busting series, we tackled the misconception that “Technology is all about coding, math and science.” Now, let’s smack the second basic myth about technology careers. It’s another one that could derail today’s teens from becoming tomorrow’s technologists and prevent them from a fulfilling career in high-demand roles:

“Working in technology requires a 4-year college degree”

  • Multiple Paths: Per the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey, 59 percent of computer support specialists employed that year didn’t have a Bachelor’s degree. The truth is that many people land a job in tech with just some basic training and a certification. Motivated students can learn the underpinnings of technology and start troubleshooting problems or writing code after one introductory class – no matter what age they start studying. Sure, many people learn about technology in high school and college. But plenty of others start studying through online programs that are accessible to anyone – no matter where they live.
  • Wide Horizon:The traditional route of earning a computer science degree isn’t as narrow a road as many would expect. The development of intangible skills, such as being flexible, adaptable and collaborative, can begin in elementary school and carry through high school classrooms. These “soft skills” which I referred to in my last post, can help prepare young people for working in large organizations and other, smaller businesses. A structured program at the college level can familiarize students with workplace skills they will need on the job, such as functioning as part of a team and following the directions of a supervisor. Students also can begin to specialize in college, studying information systems, data analytics and similar courses. And there’s a growing world of coding boot camps operated by private entities, such as General Assembly and Prime Digital Academy, that are helping students find their way into a software development career in just a few months.

While researching How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education, we interviewed Eric Berngen, who worked as a teacher and technology department chair at an early college STEM school, Sarah E. Goode High School in Chicago.

Eric told us: “In the world of technology, there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Technology is not a destination. It’s about a journey.”

But technology moves quickly, and neither a 4-year degree nor a certain set of certifications is a guarantee of success. Like any journey, the keys to pursuing a successful technology career are watching for bumps in the road without losing sight of the horizon, continually moving forward without wearing out, and, above all, being willing to adjust course while staying focused on the final goal.

Because the one thing we can guarantee about technology is that it will evolve. So should anyone who works with it.

Next on our myth-stomping parade: “If it’s not at Facebook or Google, it’s not a technology job.”

You can read about different paths into tech careers in the Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education. Get your copy here.

Busting 7 Myths About Technology Careers–Part 1

Kids inherit myths, positive and negative, from their parents and other adults – adults who might not realize they’re passing on an idea. If you have a misconception about a career or industry, you might limit your teen’s options. And misconceptions about technology are more likely since the field is changing and growing so quickly.

In one of our last posts, we argued that today’s teens should become tomorrow’s technologists and close the tech skills gap. What stands in their way? Seven basic myths about technology careers. So, in the next few installments, let’s bust them one by one, starting with the biggest one of all:

“Technology is all about coding, math and science”

  • Coding: Tech entrepreneur success stories in the news always seem to revolve around software and coding. True, starting salaries for web and software developers are relatively high, and organizations such as Code.org and the Obama administration’s “Computer Science For All” initiative have done a lot to advance the cause of computer science among our nation’s youth. That’s all great and surely will inspire more teens to consider tech careers. But these movements could discourage a lot of kids, too, for whom coding is neither easy, accessible nor interesting. Reality is, as more businesses and households connect more devices to the internet, more data will be gathered, that will need to be protected and understood. We will need more technicians, network specialists, cybersecurity pros and data analysts to handle these tasks. Plus, we will need sales and marketing pros to match all these technologists with the consumers and businesses who need their services. And of course, we will need project managers and other expert technologists to direct and implement these transactions and relationships.
  • Math and Science: Resourcefulness and common sense are greater predictors of success in a technology career than excelling in math and science. Communication skills such as active listening and the ability to articulate and present new ideas are essential for technologists. We refer to these as “soft skills,” although that term certainly doesn’t do justice to the importance of skills such as empathy and an entrepreneurial mindset. True, good grades are important for anyone working toward any future career because they demonstrate the ability to learn and develop. And yes, solid grades in math and science certainly won’t hurt any aspiring student’s chances of finding a future position in technology. But for technologists, grades only tell part of the story. Curiosity and motivation are more important than an impressive report card. The outlook for young people who earn respectable marks – B’s or C’s in most classes – is bright, if they can demonstrate the potential for solving problems in the real world.

 Access to tech classes in school at any level should not be dependent on how well a student scores in math and/or science. Every high school should offer opportunities to learn and work with technology that are broader than a computer science curriculum. Why? Because there still are more jobs in tech infrastructure (hardware, networks, servers, desktops) than in coding. In fact, CompTIA’s Market Research shows that tech infrastructure positions make up 59 percent of the U.S. IT workforce.

Next on our myth hit list: “Working in technology requires a 4-year college degree.”

 

Work through all the myths at once in your own copy of Launching Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education. Order and download it here.

Parents Shower Praise on Eaton’s First Book

Just like most parents, you want to guide your kids toward personally and financially rewarding careers, but you may not know how. Even though technology is essential to much of our lives and jobs, if you aren’t directly involved in technology professionally, you might have a limited concept of technology careers. So it’s hard to know what characteristics to look for in your child to understand if he or she might thrive as a technologist. This book Launching Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education is just the tool for parents like you.

Early reviews laud the guide as a “useful, informative and helpful piece of work,” and compliment Eaton’s writing as “friendly, positive, helpful and encouraging.” The author knows his topic. Charles Eaton is CEO of Creating IT Futures, a charitable organization committed to helping people prepare for and succeed in IT careers to fill IT industry needs. And he’s EVP of social innovation for CompTIA, the world’s largest IT industry association.

“I feel compelled to give it a ringing endorsement,” wrote Ed Tittel, a freelance writer and technology trainer who contributed a review to Tom’s IT Pro. “Most parents will find the book a worthwhile outlay…especially if they’re searching for information and ammunition to stoke a teen’s interest in a technology career.”

“[Charles Eaton] is friendly, positive, helpful and encouraging throughout the book,” Tittel penned. “[The book’s] 96 pages are chock-full of photos, diagrams, graphs and other visual elements, making it a quick read for parents and teens alike.”

About the first chapter, in which Eaton busts seven myths surrounding careers in technology, Tittel concluded: “The explosion of these myths and the truths that refute them are engaging and fun to read, and likely to resonate with teens as well.” We’ll be busting those myths on this blog starting with our next post.

Overall, Tittel found T in STEM to be a “useful, informative and helpful piece of work.”

Paul Katz, who shared a review on Amazon.com, suggested “this book should be present in career centers, libraries and schools across the country.”

“Both parents and teens should give this one a read,” Katz wrote.

Another Amazon reviewer called T in STEM “terrific and practical… It’s a guide I’m putting into practice.”

An Amazon reviewer who goes by the handle LifeLetters was impressed by how the book features people working in technology today, a group Eaton refers to as “technologists.”

“There are many terrific profiles in the book of successful and diverse tech professionals, making it clear that this is a field for all types of people with all kinds of interests,” LifeLetters remarked.

Let Us Know What You Think

Give Eaton’s guide a look. It’s available here, on our site. (It’s a “quick read” with “great insights” per one Amazon customer.) And please share your thoughts on Amazon, too.

Contributing Editor R.C. Dirkes is a business consultant, technology journalist and father of two kids – one a senior in high school, the other a senior in college.

Why Today’s Teens Should Become Tomorrow’s Technologists

It’s the rare teenager that knows with certainty what she or he will do in 5, 10 years. Those teens’ parents probably aren’t reading this, but those who are know how intensely teens like or dislike elements of their school work, their problems, the people and technology around them. With some guidance from parents or counselors, those preferences will point to careers that fit.

Our last post defined the term “technologist”: a label that applies to people working in companies of all shapes and sizes across the country along a broad spectrum of industries – not just those that write software and make hardware. We explained that while technologists have diverse interests and multifaceted personalities, most share five traits:

  • Technologists Thinks Strategy First
  • Technologists Are Curious and Have a Passion for Solving Problems
  • Technologist See Technology in a Constructive Context
  • Technologist Believe Tech Is about Humans, not Hardware or Software
  • Technologist Value Respect, Cooperation and Collaboration

 

Based on this core set of qualities, we believe today’s teens are suited to become tomorrow’s technologists. Why? Because Creating IT Futures asked them what they really want for their future careers in their “Teen Views on Tech Careers” report. We feel that on the whole, their answers align well with the personality of a technologist. To elaborate, here’s our interpretation of our study results in terms of a technologist’s talents.

  • “Strategy First”
    Our preferred definition of “strategy” is a “plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” We believe technologists favor strategies – i.e., plans or policies designed to achieve broad goals — before tactics – i.e., actions and activities implemented to achieve specific objectives. We see this sort of “step back and plan before taking action” attitude among teens participating in Creating IT Futures’ research. When asked to pick from a list of 60 categories the careers that interest them most, teens put professions such as “business owner,” “civil engineer,” “lawyer” and “architect” in the top 10. Yes, classic tech titles such as “software programmer” and “computer technician” ranked high, too. But overall, most of the occupations most interesting to young people involved putting technology to work rather than working to create technology.
  • “Passion for Solving Problems” 
    Roughly eight in 10 teens in the study responded that they would be motivated to learn more about IT programs if “it involved helping to solve a problem in their school.” About the same proportion said they would be motivated if “it involved helping to solve a problem in their community.” Those results speak for themselves.
  • “Constructive Context”
    Most teens (78 percent) in the survey said “learning new things all the time” and “helping other people” would be important to their future careers. To us, these answers suggest young people value technology largely for its benefit to others rather than just for its impact on their own personal or professional lives.
  • “Humans, not Hardware” and “Respect, Cooperation and Collaboration”
    In addition to the high numbers of teens surveyed who expressed a desire to solve problems for their schools and communities, a great many respondents said “helping parents” would motivate them in their careers. These results suggest that young people today do indeed have perspective beyond the gadgetry that surrounds them and have a sense of their place in the larger society.

 

From our vantage points as professionals, parents and technologists, we believe today’s teens are destined to close the tech skills gap. But there are some myths about tech careers that could bump them off course. So, we’ve debunked those myths. Check back to read on.

Ready for your own copy of Launching Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education?  Order and download it here.

 

Who is a Technologist?

What parent wouldn’t want their child to pursue a career that places them in high demand? But if you’re reading this, you probably don’t know why “technologist” is one of those high-demand careers. Many people working in non-technical careers have outdated definitions for “technologist,” definitions that are limited rather than inclusive.

In our last post, we argued the case for teenagers – young people who today are in their middle school to high school years – as the generation that can ultimately close the tech skills gap in the U.S. market. That is, if we can inspire them to start pursuing tech careers now. We called this mission “educating the next generation of technologists.”

“Technologist” is not a term that’s used often even in the technology industry, although it should be. Labels for people who work with technology tend to be very broad–like “IT workers” or sometimes “techies,”–or highlight a specialty like “coders.” On the other hand, “Technologist” is a label that applies not only to the day-to-day work of people in companies of all shapes and sizes across the country, but to a broad spectrum of industries – not just those that create software and build hardware.

So, who is a technologist? Technologists have diverse interests and multifaceted personalities, but most share these five traits:

  • A Technologist Thinks Strategy First
    The first definition of “strategy” is a “plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” Technologists favor strategies before tactics – i.e., actions and activities implemented to achieve an objective. Rather than a reflection of values, this intellectual sequence is a simple acknowledgement of the way most technologists are wired. Before they start working with technology or put technology to work, technologists step back and plan.

 

  • A Technologist Has a Passion for Solving Problems and a General Curiosity
    Technologists don’t see problems as obstacles to avoid; they consider problems opportunities for solutions. Their innate curiosity leads them to confront challenges even when they are not obvious. And their willingness to take initiative drives them to explore ideas, options and scenarios as a means of identifying and designing constructive solutions.

 

  • A Technologist Sees Technology in a Constructive Context
    Technologists appreciate that, in the broadest sense, technology is a tool whose value is determined by its application for the benefit and assistance of people – whether in their personal or professional lives.

 

  • A Technologist Believes Tech Is about Humans, not Hardware
    Technologists see gadgetry as solutions that serve people. No gadget has value unless it helps a customer, colleague, citizen, patient or any other type of person a technologist may encounter during a career. Technologists believe the measure of a job well done is the benefit the technology solution brings the people who experienced the problem.

 

  • A Technologist Values Respect, Cooperation and Collaboration
    Technologists maintain a positive, helpful disposition on the job and in relationships in or out of the workplace. They respect their employers’ codes of conduct, appreciate the contributions of colleagues and understand that going rogue isn’t the best way to analyze a problem, execute a strategy or implement a solution in a business context. This is the reason a technologist’s standards of behavior do not tolerate racism, sexism, ageism or any other approach that demeans others inside or outside an organization.

 

Now, why do we believe today’s teens are suited to become tomorrow’s technologists? That’s our next post.

Want to jump in now to learn if your child could be a successful technologist? Buy a copy of Launching Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education here. You can download a pdf while you wait for to book to arrive.