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It Careers Aren't Cool Enough For High School Students

computer science laboratory

Credit: Furman University

A study by the Conference Board of Canada for the Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow's IT Skills (CCICT) and Bell Canada found that high school students place a greater emphasis on the coolness and fun factor of a job, even over job security and salary, and that many students are not drawn to information and communications technologies (ICT) careers because they do not believe the work is fun or cool enough.

The report, "Connecting Students to Tomorrow's Jobs and Careers," is based on interviews with 1,034 students in grades 9 and 10 from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax. Nearly 77 percent of the students believe ICT jobs offer average or above average pay, 74 percent believe ICT jobs provide average or above average job security, and 37 percent believe ICT jobs are above average in terms of creativity. However, 31 percent believe ICT jobs are not fun, and 25 percent believe ICT jobs are uncool. "Whether students regard ICT-related careers as appealing or not appear to depend critically on whether they regard ICT jobs as interesting, fun, and cool," the report says.

The results of the study support many of the initiatives the CCICT has been working on during the past year, says CCICT executive board vice president Terry Power. Power says many assumptions on why kids were staying away from ICT revolved around parents getting burned from the dot-com crash, or high school counselors warning about ICT jobs being outsourced. However, the study found that students are staying away from ICT because of its uncool image.

From Computerworld Canada
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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