Help Wanted: IT evangelists who can convince kids that this is a profession worth pursuing.
Help Wanted: Primary-school teachers who encourage children--especially girls--to give science and math a closer look.
Help Wanted: College professors who can build curricula that help students studying computer science bridge their skills with other disciplines, such as biology, health care, and entertainment, to help to feed those industries' hunger for innovative technology.
Help Wanted: Executives who encourage their employees to seek additional training, and who are willing to have their companies pay (at least a portion of) the cost for advanced degrees.
As the first set of baby boomers reaches retirement age, as the demand for IT skills is increasing, as Microsoft and Google and other companies post deliriously long lists of job openings, and as the competitiveness of the United States gets called into question, it's time for this industry to take a stand. It's time to promote the values of a job in IT--which really should be called business technology, because no business can survive or innovate without it.
Kids today should follow their dreams. And they should be reminded that IT isn't about low-paying jobs that go to people overseas. They should be reminded of the kind of innovation they see in their iPods, their mobile computing devices, their video games, and that they can benefit from innovation in how they study online, in how they communicate with their friends, in where they shop. This industry needs bright builders, architects, and entrepreneurs who can share creative ideas and turn the impossible into the possible, the slow into the fast, the boring into the exciting, the inefficient into the productive. It needs strong, business-savvy people with deep technological skills.
As Chris Murphy points out in his story ("Speak Up For The IT Career") this week, "Remember, it was engineering students tinkering with what's possible that brought us Google and Yahoo, not a marketing major with a business plan to organize the Internet."
Your help isn't just wanted: It is needed.