Tech careers are the safest bet for our children – are we getting them there?

As the Canadian economy continues to stagnate following a nose dive of our resource sector, loss of manufacturing jobs, and a financially-strapped Government, the future for our children can often appear bleak.  The good news is there is clearly a huge area of growth and opportunity in technology jobs across all sectors.  The question is, are we doing enough as parents to re-orient our children to this new reality?  Here are some astounding facts about the current tech industry:

  • Over 200,000 high paying technology jobs will be available in Canada by 2020
  • There are currently 523,000 open computing jobs in the U.S., yet only 43,000 computer science graduates each year
  • Technology jobs are growing at twice the rate of all other professions
  • Computer science graduates earn 40% more on average than other post-secondary graduates
  • Only 6% of post-secondary students are currently enrolled in technology based programs

The rapid growth of technology-based careers makes sense when you think of how every single industry is evolving.  Whether it’s banking, sports, or farming, all sectors are deploying more hardware, software, and internet connected tools than ever before.  Who is going to create and deploy all of these tools if our educational programs don’t keep pace?

There is much discussion afoot by the school system, government, and the private sector to increase technology training in our schools.  However, this can take several years to implement on a grand scale.  Lack of funding, resources, and teacher training are all massive roadblocks in the current environment.  Meanwhile, other countries around the world are pulling further and further ahead (the U.K. being the most recent with their K-12 technology curriculum roll out last year).

So what can we do as parents to close these gaps in our own households?  The good news is there is an ever-expanding toolkit of wonderful resources available online and through private training organizations.  The key is to expose our children to technology-based skills early and try to ignite a passion in them to continue building these skills throughout their student careers.  Here is a selection of some great introductory coding tools to explore with your children (10 Best Games to Teach Your Kids to Code).

For more information on the explosion of technology opportunities please check out this recent Toronto Sun article, or the wealth of great information and tools on Code.org.

To start your child exploring and learning critical technology and STEM skills, please visit STEM Village to learn more and start a free trial today.

Join the conversation with STEM Village on Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to leave your own tip in the comments – we love to hear from you!

This article was written by Doug Walker, Co-Founder of STEM Village, and parent of two.