Inside CompTIA CEO's Book on Preparing Kids for Tech Careers
Last year, the first edition of a book titled How to Launch Your Teen's Career in Technology: A Parent's Guide to the T in STEM Education made its debut in March. Somewhat later, I belatedly blogged about its release for Tom's IT Pro.
The book did well enough that a second edition has already been produced and made available in eBook and printed from. The book is a short (112 pages) and to-the-point treatise on what learning and prepping for a career in technology is all about.
It's infinitely calm and reassuring, especially for parents (and kids) who may know that technology is important stuff, but who are not otherwise be too comfortable or familiar with the subject matter. It's a great way to introduce kids to a career path they may be timid about pursuing.
Author Charles Eaton, CEO of tech industry association CompTIA's Creating IT Futures charitable arm, starts out by busting a series of often-repeated and widely believed myths about technology, including the following:
? Technology is all about coding and math.
? To work in technology, you need a four-year college degree.
? If it's not at Facebook or Google, it's not a technology job.
? A tech career means being stuck at a desk.
? Money is the main benefit of a tech job.
? My kids won't listen to me.
? Tech jobs are going overseas.
Eaton does a good job of analyzing what's behind these shibboleths, and of explaining why they just aren't so. He then launches into an insightful analysis of what working in tech is like and what it involves, including both the tech job market and the broad range of roles and positions that qualify as "tech jobs."
He also weighs in on wide range of opportunities that don't involve math or programming, as well as discussing opportunities in tech for women and minorities, and a whole lot more. Next, he leads parents through an exercise that highlights the skills, abilities and personality traits that enable people to excel in the technology field.
Thus armed, parents can better evaluate whether a tech job might be a good fit for their offspring.
Next Eaton digs into the educational pathways that people can take to find work in tech. He discusses a series of options, each with a thumbnail case study or example that focuses on a real person's experience in learning and preparation for a job in technology.
Eaton talks about high school academy programs, community college offerings, four-year university plans, and more to underscore the idea that there are many paths for people to follow in finding their way to meaningful and enjoyable work in the technology field. He even describes boot camps and training programs that offer alternate paths into technology skills and knowledge, to help lead people into technology employment in non-traditional learning settings.
The next chapter digs more deeply into the kinds of opportunities available to young people interested in working in some area or niche in the technology space. Eaton examines sports technology, healthcare, the automobile industry, art, agriculture, and finance.
He explores opportunities in industries that use technology to pursue their main business focus, rather than pursuing technology as an end in itself. He makes the point that "technology is a mindset, not a job title," the better to remind readers that technology skills have many applications nearly anywhere a person might choose to look for employment.
The book concludes with an impassioned plea for parents to look long and hard at their kids' personalities, skills, abilities, and interests to help steer them into appropriate technology pursuits where that makes sense. All in all it's an interesting and useful read for anybody with kids aged 12 and up who might not yet have started into post-secondary education.
Best of all, for those parents who, like me, are Amazon Prime members, the eBook of this Guide is FREE through the Kindle Unlimited program. If this means you, be sure to check it out. Enjoy!