Even as IT employers fret about present workplace problems like the difficulty of communicating with the current crop of "millennials" - what they want, how they work, why they like to move around - many have begun to wonder whether the solution to ongoing generational communication problems might lie a little further down the line. There's also the ever-looming IT "skills gap," with many more tech jobs available each year than there are workers to fill them.
One potential solution to both budding crises centers around all of the smart kids who are piling up IT certifications in high school and have been essentially interacting with technology since even before entering elementary school. Some may be ready to join the tech workforce straight out of high school, while others are entering college with a serious leg up on degree programs that will season them and round them out for full-time IT employment just a couple of years further on.
Now there's a major new resource aimed at recruiting those same savvy schoolkids into IT careers before they set their hearts (and minds) on other workplace options. On Tuesday, IT industry association CompTIA trumpeted the launch of a new web site aimed directly at students, as well as at the parents and educators who influence their decision making. The new Skillsboost site caters directly to students who either have tech skills already, or may be interested in acquiring them.
Though presently aimed at students in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, Skillsboost is on a mission to recruit kids around the world into IT careers. The site has separate sections for students, parents and educators, but the message is universal to all three: IT wants you, and there are top-compensated jobs available for the taking. Curious students are told that, "Everything Depends on IT," which may sound a bit grandiose until you stop to consider just how far computerization extends into all corners of modern life.
Students who visit Skillsboost can also gauge their IT aptitude by taking short skills tests (and attempting to beat the scores and times posted by peers). And the site guides them through a flowchart of options, with one path tailored to middle school and high school students, while another courts those at the college or university level. CompTIA's popular A+ and Network+ certs are featured, but there's also a strong pitch for Project+, the CompTIA gateway to the ever increasingly popular field of project management.
The pitch to parents focuses on how certification can benefit schoolkids as well as whether it's going to break the family bank - while educators can get information about CompTIA's programs for students at every level. Skillsboost is just getting started, but it could turn out to be a major tool for CompTIA to spread its gospel of certification to an important audience that many organizations are competing to attract.