With the Deloitte Access Economics report, The Future Workforce? estimating that 40% of roles are at risk of being superseded by technology in the future, the spotlight has been shone on the I.T industry and the need for growth.
The problem is that enrolment into I.T courses are on the decline and people are saying that being a geek isn't cool.
This is hard for me to get my head around, because being a geek is supercool. I work in the Product and Tech industry at SEEK and as I casually tell my friends and family about my work week, I watch their jaws drop to the floor, their tongues roll out and the drool pool around their feet. There’s the surface stuff- the coffee machine, the drinks, the slide that takes us from level 4 to level 3 along with the chips, lollies, fruit, breakfasts and endless birthday cakes (if you haven't seen the Portlandia “Stay Cool” sketch, do your self a favour and watch here.) But it’s so much more than that.
I'm being 100% genuine when I say this, I work with people who inspire me to learn. I too want to be the best at what I do. I want to be a geek.
There are so many roles in the IT industry that all require very different skills. From product managers who come up with the ideas for new features, products or services to the developers who string a heap of code together to bring the project to life. The delivery team who keep a project tracking to timeline and budget to the designers who create with logos, buttons, pages and icons, the special gift wrapping on the coded present. And of course the support teams who remind you to “try turning it off and on again.” I’m surrounded by over 200 geeks who are coffee snobs, sneaker heads, take selfies, use hash tags and have a massive amount of people following their social media accounts. These are cool cucumbers, and they own their geekiness.
I looked up “the coolest things on the planet” on google, which is on the internet, which were both built by geeks. 8 of the top 10 coolest things on this planet as voted by millennials are direct results of the I.T industry including mobile phones, the internet, Facebook and of course all things Apple. How is it uncool to help build the future? So if it is in fact the coolest thing on Earth, I’m thinking the problem is that the tech industry isn’t good at marketing its self.
Here are the facts. Creativity, Innovation, Jobs, Cash and Friday afternoon chips and beverages.
If you want to continue to be cool, and have a job in ten years time- maybe suss out a career in the tech industry. There is so much more to the tech world than fixing the office computers and even that can be the coolest job in the world!