Let’s tally the knockdowns to date in our myth-busting brawl:
- “Technology is all about coding, math and science”– down for the count
- “Working in technology requires a 4-year college degree”– ditto above
- “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.