Canada's Generation Y high school students believe that jobs in the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector pay well, are easy to find and offer good job security.
July 1, 2009
Canada’s Generation Y high school students believe that jobs in the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector pay well, are easy to find and offer good job security.
However, according to a recent study of Grade 9 & 10 high school students conducted by the Conference Board of Canada and funded by Bell, for the Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow’s ICT Skills (CCICT), these factors have no bearing on whether or not they are attracted to an ICT career.
The study provides new information about why Canadian students have been turning away from computer-related programs in colleges and universities with 33-40% or more rates of declining enrollments since 2001.
The report, entitled Connecting Students to Tomorrow’s Jobs and Careers, reveals that students who perceive that the field is interesting, fun, cool and creative are more likely to want to pursue a career in the field.
Even though conventional wisdom says students fear IT job instability due to outsourcing, offshoring and memories of the dot com crash, the study notes that to tackle its talent issue, the real problem is that high school students are neutral or they don’t know the career possibilities in ICT.
“This survey provides information to develop strategies to encourage young people to pursue careers in ICT,” says Stphane Boisvert, CCICT chairman and president of Bell Business Markets.
“CCICT is already working with its members to improve the pathways to these 21st century careers and to ensure a clear message reaches both students and the people who influence them — parents, teachers, and guidance counselors.”
Canada’s employers in the ICT sector already have difficulty filling positions and the impending retirement of many current employees threatens to make the situation worse.