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Communications of the ACM

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Building It Talent From the Ground ­p

building talent

Interest and passion around technology, particularly consumer technology, is at an all-time-high among teenagers in Hong Kong. But ironically, such passion doesn't inspire them to pursue a career in technology.

"I'm interested in computer hardware system and multimedia," but not in studying IT, said Gary Fong, president of the Hong Kong Joint School Electronics and Computing Society. He picked a non-IT major for many reasons. Among them, "low-ranking IT techs and engineers are not reputable in the eyes of Hong Kong managers and executives."

Fong isn't alone. The latest admission data from Joint University Programmes Admission shows that mainly grade-C or lower students are admitted to computer science programs, while finance and accounting programs attracts grade-A students.

Keith Chan, acting dean of students at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said the problem is getting worse and creating a domino effect. As computer science programs become less popular, the decreasing admission rate will mean fewer local IT graduates entering Hong Kong's IT job market in the future.

Identifying new directions for the IT industry is critical for building sustainable growth, then younger talent will be inspired to join the industry, said Gabriel Leung, director of community service at the Hong Kong Computer Society.

From Computerworld
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