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How to Launch Your Teen's Career in Technology: A Parent's Guide To The T In STEM Education Paperback – 2017
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The book, “How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education,” is part of CompTIA’s NextUp initiative to interest teens in tech careers. NextUp is funded by CompTIA and managed by Creating IT Futures.
Charles Eaton’s “T in STEM” guide provides parents of tweens and teenagers – from middle school through high school— with an insider’s view of today’s tech careers and reveals a vibrant, diverse industry bursting with opportunities that are easier for eager students to seize than many may imagine.
Eaton provides parents and other readers with practical counsel and resources in the “T in STEM” guide:
• Defining the role of a “technologist” in varied businesses and industries at companies large and small around the globe.
• Busting seven common myths about technology careers, such as “Technology is all about coding and math” and “To work in technology, you need a four-year college degree.”
• Scoping the level and depth of opportunity in the tech-related job market, an industry with more than half a million open positions in the U.S. at any given time.
• Providing pointers for recognizing traits in young students that suggest they will succeed in technology careers.
• Identifying “educational pathways”, such as makerspaces and boot camps, that motivated parents can place their tweens and teens on today that will prepare them for tomorrow – and deliver some fun and entertainment in the meantime.
• Introducing readers to an array of diverse people working as technologists today, who followed a variety of paths to success.
Top customer reviews
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1) I invested hours reading the book (an opportunity cost far greater than the cover price of the book itself)
2) I'm an employer of programmers, and regularly work with IT staff in a variety of environments. I feel I can validate the book's content to a degree.
3) As a parent, I have a natural interest in the material
My general feeling is the points the book makes are valid. Careers in technology are not exclusively filled by math geniuses; there's plenty of opportunity for those who have a talent for logical problem solving, especially when intermixed with a sense of human empathy. A solid case worth hearing is built up in the book with regard to that.
As far as practical next steps, the leads the book provides parents to follow-up on are solid. And financially accessible. Not every kid will have a $400+ computer at home. The educational opportunities presented in the book seem to have a lower financial bar, and there's plenty of leads to seek out local groups that have resources. Frankly, for many families, four-year college isn't an immediate financial option for teenagers graduating high school, and the book recognizes that.
1) The book does have some not-so-subtle messaging promoting CompTIA certification. There is a natural business motivation for this book; the more students that seek to get into IT and prove their skills via certification, the more certifications CompTIA will sell. That said, I don't believe the opportunities expressed in the book are oversold, and certifications are cheaper than college.
2) There is some honesty expressed about software development and certifications, which is that employers who hire programmers generally look more for project portfolios than certifications. As someone who hires programmers, I believe this point is absolutely true, and I think the book pointing it out boosts its credibility.
3) I like the focus on how technology careers are accessible for women and minorities. In my last job (which I spent 13 years at), I saw many women and people of different racial/ethnic backgrounds get hired without bias, get invested in, and become valuable members of the company's team.
4) One point perhaps the book indirectly makes, but I think is important to note, is that resources for learning about technology are far more abundant today than they were 20 years ago, when many of today's parents were perhaps teenagers themselves. When I was a teenager, an entry level programming tool would cost at least $99, and a professional grade one would run $499. And desktop computers that could run them well could easily cost $1,500, without the monitor. Today, much training can be done in web-based environments, Portable PCs capability of running development software can run in the low hundreds, and professional tools, such as Visual Studio Community, are free.
I think this book should be present in career centers, libraries, and schools across the country. Is it worth the $15 purchase price? Possibly. I remember being 14 years old, and accidentally purchasing a book about programming (long story). That book likely changed my life.
Sometimes it takes the right book. Both parents and teenagers should give this one a read.
Charles Eaton has provided parents with a valuable resource, explained in terms anyone can understand. An easy and worthwhile read!
And as an English major, I’ve let my discomfort with science/math get in the way of talking to my kids about tech careers. Now I know that problem-solving, communication, and collaboration, some of my strengths, are critical to success in tech, too.
While reading it, I started a conversation with my 15 yo about what I was learning. He replied “Well I’m interested in technology, although I only know about the internet and gaming. What other kinds of tech jobs are there?”
Most recent customer reviews
reading for parents but a great directional book for students...Read more