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Study Shows Teen Gamers Like Tech, But Don't All Crave IT Jobs

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the it-is-only-one-corner-of-technology dept.

IT 227

CIStud writes "If you think playing endless hours of Dungeons & Dragons will create a desire to get into the information technology, think again. A new study by CompTIA of teens and young adults shows that only 17% want to pursue a technology career despite the fact that 97% say they 'love' technology." This can't be any more surprising than that most concert-goers don't intend to be professional musicians, can it? 17% actually sounds like a pretty high figure to me. The article goes on to soften even that number, though: "[I]nterest levels jump when teens and young adults are presented with options for specific jobs. Nearly half of the respondents can see themselves potentially designing video games; 41 percent envision creating applications for mobile devices; 39 percent, designing web pages; and 34 percent, applying technology in fields such as healthcare or education."

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Stupid article is stupid (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325089)

I like pizza, but I don't want to be a cook at the local pizza joint.

Re:Stupid article is stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325107)

I like websites, but I don't want to make the stupid fucking things.
Oh well :-(

Re:Stupid article is stupid (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325237)

I like turtles, but I don't want to become one...

Re:Stupid article is stupid (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325873)

Go Green Machine

Re:Stupid article is stupid (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326509)

I'm not exactly in "get off my lawn" territory, but when I was a kid, if you liked computers at all it just made sense to pursue a tech career. Then the 90's boom happened, the market flooded with people that weren't really that interested who wanted the pay day, etc. I've bounced around a bit over the years doing web and winforms development, sys/net/tel admin, etc., but you learn a few things about peoples' perceptions of what various careers mean.

Developing video games isn't sitting around playing retro video games all day and dreaming up awesome shit for an amazing new product. Not in a place that actually ships. It's work.

Being a sysadmin doesn't usually mean reading others email and goofing off on facebook all day, it means stress and deadlines and working on shit hardware you wish you could pitch in a lake, while someone who doesn't understand the job breathes down your neck.

Making websites isn't like playing with ideas on construction paper all day, it's about fighting with bizarre customer requirements, broken browsers, legibility, accessibility, viewer device support, etc. We're largely past the days of Frontpage (or god help us, MS Word) goofs knocking out awful, broken shit for huge sums of money.

Most other kinds of regular programming aren't Matrix-style uberhaxoring in a back alley club somewhere. They're people in polo shirts and khakis, in cubes, with a short stack of reference books, wondering how long that next awful meeting is going to last and if they're going to fall asleep in front of the boss.

For most, jobs are jobs. It's hard to get pumped about doing them unless you just really like what you do.

Re:Stupid article is stupid (4, Insightful)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325549)

This article would have made more sense realistically a while back. Current teen gamers are part of a console generation where one of the main three contenders, the Wii, is even doing well in Nursing homes. Gaming could be seen as having a stronger correlation back when gaming was more niche.

To use your analogy, anyone can make and eat pizza these days. At one point, in a steadily decreasing percentage of those alive, the only people who made/ate Pizzas were enthusiasts who either built their own oven, knew someone who did, or was a relative of an over owner/builder. If you are this involved, connected, etc. you might be more inclined to work at a pizzaria than anything else.

These days anyone can buy a frozen pizza for a dollar and nuke it in the microwave. Yet the TFA makes a big deal that these microwave pizza eaters aren't as dedicated or interested as the oven building pizza eaters. Go fig.

Adding one's own toppings (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326031)

These days anyone can buy a frozen pizza for a dollar and nuke it in the microwave.

Pizzas don't have a mechanism to keep people from adding their own toppings before putting it in a microwave or conventional oven. Console games, on the other hand, do have a cryptographic mechanism to keep end users from adding mods.

Re:Adding one's own toppings (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326113)

I, for one, welcome the shift from car analogies to pizza analogies. um.. overlords?

Re:Stupid article is stupid (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326059)

Gamers don't really have a lot of use for the Wii. Their adoption rate (games per console) is pretty pitiful as is their overall played time. The nursing home thing is much more what we would call serious games. Game technology used for serious purposes, although in a nursing home it might be half and half, get the people exercising while getting them some mental stimulation and entertainment on a rainy day.

users vs producers (5, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325105)

This should be obvious that gamers would be mostly uninterested in tech careers. It'd be like people who watch television all wanting to go into theater, or people who like to drive going into automotive mechanics, or people who like to eat pursuing a career in culinary arts. Liking to use something is very different from wanting to be one of the people who make it work.

Re:users vs producers (2)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325235)

It would be far more interesting to know of those who were interested in tech fields, how much these activities influenced them. Of course, that difficulty of the difference in experiments is probably on par with the difference in how interesting the results are.

Re:users vs producers (3, Insightful)

detritus. (46421) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325347)

Exactly, the whole "video game programmer" craze that started years back from the various online colleges fell flat on its face.
All the gamers expected they could just walk in and land a job making up and designing games without any idea of what was really involved, or that they would actually have to learn a thing about development. The only best possible scenario for the 99th percentile was being doing grunt work for EA working long, stressful hours on someone else's project.

Notice how those degree programs are rarely advertised anymore.

Re:users vs producers (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325573)

"Notice how those degree programs are rarely advertised anymore." I wonder if that has more to do with the legal trouble Le Cordon Blue Schools got into last year. Essentially some for-profit cooking schools were sued for overstating the employability of their graduates.

Re:users vs producers (4, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326167)

We offer a very successful game development specialization as part of computer science or software engineering. That works very well. It is our most popular stream and even kids who don't get the full specialization usually take at least one of the game development courses. It's still a comp sci degree, so they can go off and do anything any other computer scientist can do, they are specialized in game dev.

Easily half of our students are interested in games (and take some game dev courses), and are into technology because of games. But that's mostly the domestic ones. The ones from the middle east, india and china are much more academically oriented (which is why our grad programme is 85% foreign). But game development on average is a shitty career choice, long uncertain hours, low job security and dependence on government handouts for game companies isn't a great way to make a career. So even the ones who have fun making games in course work will go off and build boring databases and web sites or be business analysts etc. When someone offers you a job paying 50k with no benefits to make video games, and someone else offers you 70k with benefits and career advancement options it's tough to take the game dev gig.

Re:users vs producers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325491)

users vs producers == players vs GMs

Re:users vs producers (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325537)

That's because IT is boring. Sitting in an office not talking to anyone is not most people's view of an ideal job. (Though it does offer the opportunity to consume lots of audiobooks. :-) Also talk and music radio.)

Re:users vs producers (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325651)

Actually eating might corrolate decently. It's rare to find a chef that doesn't like to eat.

Re:users vs producers (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325777)

But liking to eat doesn't correlate strongly to liking to cook.

Generically, it's not reasonable to assume that someone who likes partaking or consuming a thing will automatically be drawn to preparing or making that thing. Not all drivers are mechanics, not all foodies are chefs, not all gamers are computer nerds.

What makes a chef/nerd/mechanic is the enjoyment of the end product AND curiosity/enjoyment of the process. The latter is the rarer thing, the "nerd spark".

Re:users vs producers (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325849)

It's a valid study, though. For example: all the good writers read a lot, and most people that "love books" have thought up a story or two of their own in their life. Most artists like to view art as well as produce it. Do all people that have a deep interest in viewing art/reading books yearn to also produce it, or is it just that people that like to produce art/books also like to view it?

I really think that every teen that is truly a fan of TV (most people watch TV, yes, but that's different from being a true fan - just as being a gamer is different than simply playing games, as most people play games of some type nowadays) yearns to be on TV or be one of the people that make it work, at some point. The amount of teens on youtube are a big sign of that, imo.

Re:users vs producers (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326365)

"most people that I know play games of some type nowadays"

Fixed that for you.

There is a large cohort of people over 50 who never played video games as a kid, and still don't. In fact, even after the dawn of the video game in the 1980s, there was still a period when it was mostly (male) geeks playing them, so I think you'd even find a pretty large number of over-40s who never got into gaming when they were young, which is the strongest predictor of whether someone plays games today: aside from people encountering a Wii in their assisted-living facility, you don't see a lot of people getting into gaming for the first time in middle age or later.

Re:users vs producers (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325923)

This should be obvious that gamers would be mostly uninterested in tech careers. It'd be like people who watch television all wanting to go into theater, or people who like to drive going into automotive mechanics, or people who like to eat pursuing a career in culinary arts. Liking to use something is very different from wanting to be one of the people who make it work.

Yeah, it would kind of be like all concertgoers wanting to become professional musicians.

Wait, I think that I may have heard that analogy already.

YouTube is two-way (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326089)

It'd be like people who watch television all wanting to go into theater

That or like people who watch YouTube making their own videos to post on YouTube. It's a bit harder to do that with a video game.

D&D! (5, Funny)

KatchooNJ (173554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325111)

Let's roll to determine your career path. Roll a d20!

Re:D&D! (5, Funny)

kenj0418 (230916) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325841)

Let's roll to determine your career path. Roll a d20!

Ooo, sorry. You rolled a 1. It looks like it's help desk for you.

Help desk == foot in door (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326115)

On the other hand, help desk might be a good way to get one's foot [slashdot.org] in the door [slashdot.org] at some companies.

I could "see myself" as an astronaut as well (2)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325125)

Am I missing something, or is this roughly the equivalent of people saying "I want to be a fireman when I grow up!"?

Still, I suppose it's encouraging that software dev is seen as reasonably classy. Even just a few years ago it was all "but I'm not a sweaty nerd!"

Re:I could "see myself" as an astronaut as well (2)

detritus. (46421) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325419)

Am I missing something, or is this roughly the equivalent of people saying "I want to be a fireman when I grow up!"?

Still, I suppose it's encouraging that software dev is seen as reasonably classy. Even just a few years ago it was all "but I'm not a sweaty nerd!"

Sort of, they see the potential fun in a career and say "I want to be a fireman because I just want to play with the siren and drive a big red truck."
They have no idea of what it fully involves (pun intended).

Re:I could "see myself" as an astronaut as well (2)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325483)

I suppose this could be the same thing... lots of people going "I want to make a game like Angry Birds!" who don't really understand the work involved (hours of debugging a missing paren, etc

)

Re:I could "see myself" as an astronaut as well (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326197)

Everyone has game design ideas, it's only a relative few that can do the required statistics and linear algebra and programming to make it all work. And the people who can do all of those necessary things have as many ideas as people who can't.

Re:I could "see myself" as an astronaut as well (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326201)

I wanted to be a fireman because I liked to play with fire.

One of the crazy things we would do at bonfires was to toss a pallet up on the bonfire which blocks the flames from going up, then seeing how long you can stand on the pallet. High school was such fun.

Re:I could "see myself" as an astronaut as well (2)

dev.null.matt (2020578) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327035)

Am I missing something, or is this roughly the equivalent of people saying "I want to be a fireman when I grow up!"?

Still, I suppose it's encouraging that software dev is seen as reasonably classy. Even just a few years ago it was all "but I'm not a sweaty nerd!"

Sort of, they see the potential fun in a career and say "I want to be a fireman because I just want to play with the siren and drive a big red truck." They have no idea of what it fully involves (pun intended).

Okay, I give up, what pun was intended? (Or are you obliquely referencing the xkcd about using the phrase "no pun intended" after a sentence with no pun in it?)

Huh, not mutually exclusive categories (1)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325139)

How many said they wished to produce educational video games for mobile devices?

Influx of jock gamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325159)

After spending decades ridiculing the nerds with their pen-and-paper games, board games, and joy sticks, the jocks are finally owning up to being closet gamers. Isn't that cute?

Shut up and mow my lawn.

Re:Influx of jock gamers (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326487)

Jocks play games.

Water is Wet.

Fire is usually hot.

The sky is often blue.

Everyone wants to design videogames (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325175)

But when it comes to design jobs, you either got in because you have other skills, or because you already had a game design job. In a smallish commercial game team, we'll have 2-3 designer/producers, a dozen or so coders, and over a dozen artist types by the end. On an indie project the "designer" is likely also project lead, and any other "designers" are dual-role.

Re:Everyone wants to design videogames (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325473)

And kids naively going into the game development business where there is already far more supply of labor than demand, is exactly why the guy in "IT" is making six figures a year writing code for 40hrs a week while the "glamorous video game kid" is spending half his time unemployed and the other half working 80hr weeks in miserable conditions for $45k/yr.

Re:Everyone wants to design videogames (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326603)

Does having experience modding games using the game editors help in getting a video game design job?

Re:Everyone wants to design videogames (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40327125)

Does having experience modding games using the game editors help in getting a video game design job?

Modding using the game editors? What does that mean?

If you're talking about a map editor like UnrealEd, then yes. Typically, if you apply for an LD or Art position, you're expected to present a portfolio including work that represents the sort of things you'd be expected to do for the company. An LD with no projects under his/her belt and no levels to demo will probably be ignored. You'll also normally be tested; you'll get a small task and be asked to complete it to the best of your abilities within a certain timeframe.

Re:Everyone wants to design videogames (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327145)

If you're actually any good at it, possibly.

Obligatory Car analogy (1)

Dinghy (2233934) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325179)

I love having a car to drive around, but I don't want to be an auto mechanic. (race car driver though... hmm....)

Re:Obligatory Car analogy (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326143)

Oddly enough, if you like tinkering with things or pulling stuff apart. You're just as likely to have as much fun being a mechanic, as you are being a programmer. More so with modern cars, but even 14 years ago there was enough electronics in cars to make it an enjoyable experience in to the world of electronics and "why doesn't this damn thing work."

Re:Obligatory Car analogy (1)

Dinghy (2233934) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327093)

Oh I certainly love tinkering, I even did a fair bit this last weekend replacing the battery in my car (and in a '99 Monte Carlo, that's an ordeal). However, like I said, there's a difference between being interested in something or liking it as a hobby vs. desiring it as a career. Gaming is, in general, a hobby.

No surprise, really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325193)

I suspect that a lot of people realize that turning something you love into a career can (can, not will) suck the joy out of it.

I've loved technology for as long as I've been old enough to figure it out. It wasn't until I started doing it for a living that I started to hate it.

Please (3, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325225)

I think the percentage of "young adults" who actually have any idea what their future career is likely to be is less that 17 percent.

Re:Please (2)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325765)

Realistically, yes. I agree.

I'm still dumb founded by those who genuinely believe that we have our life-long career and ambitions set by time we enter high school.

Re:Please (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326677)

Also, how many Google employees wanted to be a "search engine optimizer" (or whatever) when they grew up? How many could have wanted it, since the concept didn't exist in their time?

I bet they don't want to be janitors either. (5, Funny)

pathological liar (659969) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325227)

Why go into the white collar equivalent?

I (sometimes) enjoy my work, but glamorous it ain't.

Sounds about right! (1, Insightful)

Demoknight (66150) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325251)

I'm entrenched in IT and I'd rather be doing anything else on certain days... :)

And? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325329)

Study shows lots of people like pudding, few aspire to become Bill Cosby.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326409)

best analogy so far

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326597)

Of the repeated analogies throughout this thread, I believe this is the one I like most. But just because I like your post, doesn't mean I want to be an Anonymous Coward.

Smarter than they look (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325361)

Normally teenagers are the gold standard for naive thinking, but they got it perfectly right on this one. I'm in IT. I've been here for a long time. I tell anyone considering a career in it to beat themselves soundly about the head and shoulders. How many ways is it bad? Ah, let us count the ways...

You'll rarely get any respect from your employer.
Most of us don't work for Google -- we work for MegaCorp(tm). MegaCorp's sole focus is on the end of quarter profit margin, and that means that everyone that isn't in sales is slowing us down. Cut those budgets! Trim those sales! Yarr, matey, we be bringin' in da gold this quarter! Nevermind that IT said it costs more and runs slower being powered by wind than a diesel engine. Your entire field is considered a bloated waste of money.

You will not be playing with the best technology, you will be helping others play with it.
Whatever is sitting on your desk is most likely a 3 coiled turd unless you are a programmer of some kind, or a manager. It's 3--5 years old, and so loaded down with antivirus, encryption, and at least 5 conflicting corporate 'big brother' programs to catalog your every keystroke that it runs slower than molasses uphill.

Your talents will be wasted.
Only the '20 year men' have a shot at getting something done and being recognized for it. And most likely they'll be looking for dumb kids like you to put in tons of overtime for a pat on the head.

Re:Smarter than they look (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325601)

It seems that the article was in fact talking about a wide range of technology fields, not specifically administration or the operations side of organizations using Technology. I have great hardware and get to play with fun technology at work... My desktop has an i7 with 8 GB of ram, I have two 24" monitors on my desk, and I'm currently leading developer on a project using Hadoop to do distributed processing of various large scales of data. I have been provided a cluster of 5 x 12 core machines just for testing, and have an even larger 7 machine. The PO for that was approved without batting an eye lash.

Maybe that's not the best technology, but it's hardly what I would call antiquated. Getting to write prototypes in new technology is a challenge for me as well, so i don't feel that my "talents" ,such as they are, are being wasted. While I can't disagree with your assessment of many technical positions within the US, and I've worked at some places not entirely unlike what you describe, the truth is there are some great jobs and great positions int he field of technology. While it's true that many/most of the available positions are sub-optimal, I suppose the same could be said for many lines of work. In any event, I think there are excellent opportunities in the technology field in the US, and there's no reason to discourage teens from pursuing it. What would you have them do instead? Get an MBA? (They probably would make more money...)

Re:Smarter than they look (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325721)

This is crap.

Just because you're stuck in a crappy job doesn't mean there aren't a lot of great, rewarding tech jobs out there. If hate your boss or the company you work and aren't fulfilled, then quit. If you have real skills you'll have no trouble finding another.

Re:Smarter than they look (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325767)

Insightful.
As for the last sentence, the key is to collect lots of PAID overtime. Your job is to make the "20 year" manager look good by meeting deadlines; but that doesn't mean you should be taken advantage of.

If they refuse to pay overtime, then just work 42-43 hours and go home. Miss a couple deadlines. When the manager complains say, "I need to work overtime to meet schedule. But I expect to be paid, as required by law." If they still refuse to pay, and insist you MUST come-in on Saturday to work for free (like my last job), do so, but watch hulu instead. Nobody can force you to work without pay.

Re:Smarter than they look (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325941)

Or document the overtime, use the time to look for a new job, and report them on the way out.

Re:Smarter than they look (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326791)

Or document the overtime, use the time to look for a new job, and report them on the way out.

Or, document the unpaid overtime and bill them as a consultant at prevailing wage.

When they refuse to capitulate and/or fire you, turn them in to the state AG and sue the crap out of them.

Re:Smarter than they look (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40327051)

Are they paying you $27.63/hr (assuming a 40-hour workweek), and pay you as salaried, and are a programmer, developer, etc? Then you're not going to get a dime for overtime. You qualify as exempt under federal law due to the "hourly" rate you're paid and the job title you have, but because they stipulated you're a salaried worker, then overtime is considered "included" in your pay. If they want to tell you that you have to work 50 or 70 or 90 hours a week to meet deadline XYZ, then there's very limited options: do it, and get paid $0 extra, don't do it, and risk getting fired with cause (didn't meet deadlines), or quit. There's no law to protect you here, unfortunately. Try very hard to get listed as an hourly, rather than salaried employee. That way, they at least have to pay you your hourly rate when asked to do overtime (not time and-a-half, you're still exempt), and they are completely legally required to pay you every hour they "permitted or suffered" you to work. Meaning, if they explicitly told you not to work more than 40 hours, but then you did, and they continued to tell you not to work more than 40 hours, then they're not liable. If they instead thanked you for working extra, or encouraged you to, then they owe you. (IANAL).

Re:Smarter than they look (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326653)

If they still refuse to pay, and insist you MUST come-in on Saturday to work for free (like my last job), do so, but watch hulu instead

If I'm at work, the damage is already done. Whether I work or watch hulu, the point is I'm not relaxing at home. If you find yourself in such a position, get the manager on tape and sue.

Re:Smarter than they look (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326297)

Sounds like you work for CSC

Dungeons & Dragons? (4, Insightful)

Sir Realist (1391555) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325425)

What tiny proportion of teens and young adults has ever even heard of it, much less played it?

Re:Dungeons & Dragons? (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325619)

D&D was not mentioned in TFA.

Re:Dungeons & Dragons? (1)

Sir Realist (1391555) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326341)

You're right; how weird. In fact, searching for that D&D quote from the original post, all I can find is news aggregators and repostits quoting /. I wonder where the quote comes from?

Re:Dungeons & Dragons? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326697)

If you read the summary it says:

CIStud writes

"If you think playing endless hours of Dungeons & Dragons will create a desire to get into the information technology, think again. A new study by CompTIA of teens and young adults shows that only 17% want to pursue a technology career despite the fact that 97% say they 'love' technology."

Looks like CIStud actually wrote his own summary. That's actually better than the SOP of quoting the first paragraph and leaving it at that. That's more work than the /. editors do.

Just like animals (2)

blastum (772029) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325429)

People who love animals are the same way. The vast majority love them because they are tasty. An independent group love them because they're animals. Same kind of thing for technology.

Dungeons & Dragons (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325443)

If someone is sitting on the sofa playing hours of D&D and eating handfuls of Doritos I doubt they have ANY career ambitions, let alone IT. Personally I don't get the allure of computer games. If I'm going to spend hours doing anything it had better yield some results. And by results I don't mean blowing up the bad guy with a plasma ray.

as a video game designer (4, Interesting)

james_van (2241758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325495)

i thoroughly enjoy crushing teenagers' dreams of being video game designers by showing them the reality of it. i show them some code and start talking about physics or shaders and their little souls just deflate. granted, ill occasionally get one that isnt scared off, but most of them just think that because they play of lot of video games, they could design them.

Re:as a video game designer (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325727)

They could design them, but most of them couldn't code them. People who use the web can often be good web designers, but not many of them can actually write the html, and even fewer can write the server-side that generates the HTML.

I realize that in the game design industry, the term "designer" is usually abused to include the coding aspects, but that really isn't design. Even creating the 3D models may or may not qualify as design, depending on how strict you're being about the term.

Re:as a video game designer (2, Interesting)

james_van (2241758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325861)

valid point. with very few exceptions, most of the kids ive ever talked to about game design probably couldn't "design" a game though. They have a few abstract ideas, but when i've challenged them to write some things down and make a few sketches (to at least encourage them to think more in depth and flesh those ideas out) they quickly fold. i usually get stuff like "i want to make a game like WoW, but cooler". so i say "what would you do to make it cooler?" and they reply with " i dont know, add more stuff or something".

Re:as a video game designer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326495)

Most adults I've talked to have the same problem.

Them: "I have a great idea for a game! Angry Birds, but better!"

Me: "That's an interesting idea, but I'm uncreative. Can you give me some kind of deeper design, what you want the levels to look like?"

Them: "Um......can't you just do it?"

Re:as a video game designer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326875)

Does it help if the kid has developed maps or levels using the in game editors?

Then again, do games even ship with those anymore? Haven't played many games the past few years.

D & D and technology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325497)

Isn't Dungeons and Dragons a tabletop game played with dice and paper and figures? I fail to see the relation with "technology". It's not like we're talking about video/computer games here.

I work with computers and electronics, and I have never played or observed D & D.

Re:D & D and technology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325851)

You're thinking of the good old days of D&D. With 4E (and the trailing days of 3.5) WotC really started pushing online components, probably because they knew everyone wanted searchable PDFs of their 3 splatbooks/mo. The result was a number of dodgy initiatives focused around an online tabletop coordinating system that was a combination of Skype and maptools.

Or something like that. I'm not sure how it panned out, because I left to go play some AD&D over IRC. It's fun.

In other words... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325507)

teen gamers like to play, not work.

Gee, real "news at 11" story there...

I'm also failing to find an overall point here. I drive a car every day, yet I'm not an auto mechanic. I brush my teeth every day, yet have never had a desire to be a dentist. Not quite sure when we started thinking that most of the objects or functions consumers interact with or do every day would somehow prove a professional correlation, especially when the cobbler wears no shoes.

Post-Microsoft era (0)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325527)

I have successfully discouraged my 20-year-old son from going into IT. There have been countless man-years and dollars lost due to the incompetence of a Microsoft-dominated world (mostly viruses and malware, but also regular blue screens of death and lack of consistency among development platforms). Now that we're entering a post-Microsoft world (think Linux/Apache/Java/PHP/Python, Watson and iPad), it's safe to go back into IT if you do it the right way.

For you that think I'm just picking on Microsoft, I have spent my entire career (1976 to present) working on systems that don't require anti-virus software to be safe.

Re:Post-Microsoft era (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325627)

I'm willing to bet you don't let an end-user sit down on a production server and start browsing the web with active x security turned off.

Re:Post-Microsoft era (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326007)

+1 Insightful. Grandparent is a moron.

Re:Post-Microsoft era (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325635)

Every system today required protection against malicious code and attacks. Wake up hippy, disco is over.

"Potentially designing video games" (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325591)

From what I've seen, most of them think this means coming up with a few ideas and then finding someone else to do all the hard stuff. It's pathetic. Maybe 1% of that 50% will actually take it seriously, and even then a bunch of them may get 2-year technical school degrees that come printed on Charmin 2-ply. If they're lucky, they can get a job at EA getting paid peanuts while being chained up in the basement and eating hardtack and swill.

There is more to technology than IT! (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325629)

Past the obvious, "it's not because I like it that I want to produce it". There are more technology than IT. Engineering (as in building stuff) is all about technology, but it has nothing to do with computers. Chemical engineering is all about technology as well. But it is not IT.

Re:There is more to technology than IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40327037)

This.

I kept waiting for the author to mention other technology areas, instead of just rambling on as if IT were the only one. Oh hey, look, CompTIA (who produced the study the article is based on, is an IT industry association. That would explain the "all tech is IT" tone of things. Grain of salt taken.

Mandatory anecdote: my 14-year-old nephew, an avid gamer, wants to go into biology. According to this article, that would place him into the "not going into technology" category. Pfft.

"Teen Gamer craving a job" seems like an oxymoron (3, Funny)

dlb (17444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325799)

Who was thinking about work when you were a teen? (Let alone IT work)

When you're a teen,.. playing Xbox 8 hours a day while getting paid for it would seem like a perfectly legitimate career path.

Tester's job (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326215)

How would a teen react to the description of a tester's job? "You will be playing Xbox for eight hours a day. The games you will be playing are horribly broken. You win if you can tell us how you broke them."

Re:Tester's job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326815)

No way, that's BS. Everyone knows that being a tester is all about tightening up the graphics on level 3.

Playing games isn't the same as creating games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325815)

I think there is a misconception that somehow creating a game is easy, especially a popular game since those are the ones that make $$$. How many AAA titles are created by a single person or even 10 people? None! How many games are released and don't see enough copies to break even? Most! How many years of your life does it take to create a game? 2-3!

Now what about IT? You are a cost cog in the cogs of business

Different world now, tech-wise (5, Insightful)

ErichTheRed (39327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40325925)

I think this is just natural considering what's happened with technology in the last 20 or so years. Tweeting, blogging or posting a status update to Facebook is not a difficult, cumbersome task. The user interface is intuitive, you don't have to do too much magic to get Internet access, and the results are immediate. Someone on the back end did all the magic to make this possible -- you're just a user.

Contrast that with being interested in PCs around the early to mid 1990s. The cohort who "loves technology" was limited because loving technology meant you loved to mess around with arcane, strange concepts that most of the population didn't understand. Today's "love technology" crowd actually loves using technology someone else built for the most part. Do you think your average Facebook using teenager would want to go back to, say, 1993 and spend hours fiddling with driver parameters to get a video card working in Windows, or OS/2, or DOS, or Linux? Or figuring out the magic incantations to get your 14.4 kbps modem to dial into an ISP?

Unlike a lot of people, I still actually enjoy my systems engineering/architect job. I get to solve interesting problems and come up with workarounds for strange situations all the time. I wouldn't want a traditional corporate job, or project management, or whatever, just because those jobs aren't intellectually stimulating IMO -- mindless paper shuffling. However, I have seen my share of people who tried to force themselves to love IT jobs, and they're disappointed. The fact remains that you have to have the "figure it out" mindset and the discipline to sit and work through a complex problem. I'm also one of those people who is interested in all the crazy stuff going on under the hood to deliver data around the world, so I guess I "love technology" too. That said, with things like ITIL and process-driven IT, there are a lot of IT jobs that are very boring now...the key is to get yourself one of the interesting ones. As far as software dev goes, sure, everyone thinks they'd love to program video games because playing them is fun. Doing boring, predictable, corporate software development is different -- just connect parts from different toolsets. I can't tell you how many CRUD web interface applications I've seen -- businesses need this stuff a lot more than they need video games. Someone has to do the unsexy work.

So, the group of people who "love building things with technology" is much smaller than the "love using technology to stay in contact with my social circle" group -- same as always.

Media vs Medium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326067)

Most teenagers only care about the media, not the technical side of how it's produced or presented. Look at how many kids post on YouTube, or play with pirated copies of Photoshop. They like technology because it allows them to consume and make media.

Id be more interested in the demographics comparing today's teenagers to the 30 somethings. The average gamer is now 30 years old and has had some experience with non-graphical computers. I'm wondering what effect on the generation that grew up with Apple iDevices had on the interest and more importantly their competency with technology.

Would you trust today's teenager with fixing your computer or a 30 something? What about back in the late 80s early 90s when today's 30 somethings were teenagers?

I love drinking.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326079)

maybe I should make my own beer....

*ends up making shitty craft beer to hide the shitty taste of its beer and inferior hops*

Now I'm the CEO or Sam Adams.

I love food (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326091)

I'm not going to become a chef anytime soon though.

hardware!! (1)

aprdm (2451390) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326141)

no love for hardware developers ? :(

Smart kids (1)

rexbinary (902403) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326191)

"Hey computers are fun and all, but I don't want to be an outsource monkey" Brilliant.

Gamers are not stupid (2)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326311)

Well of course. If I go into management, I can play computer games all day. If I go into IT, I have to fix the managers computer when it won't play games

Dungeons and Dragons Video Games/Computers (1)

Zrako (1306145) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326461)

Since when does playing a game with paper, pencils, dice and figurines constitute the use of computers or technology? A better analogy would be:

"If you think playing endless hours of Call of Duty will create a desire to get into the information technology, think again.

My .02 (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326477)

When you do something you love for a living, sometimes you don't love it anymore. Plus, unless you are a software engineer, a typical IT career can be for the birds. Infrastructure guys are generally worked to the bone and only noticed when something breaks or fails. Management rarely complements an infrastructure team when things go smoothly. Also, to management, IT is an anathema at best and at worst, seen as a liability (read that, necessary evil.) I don't know that I would encourage my son or daughter to go into a career in technology unless they wanted to become programmers. That said, if my children absolutely desired a career in IT infrastructure, I would steer them to the networking side versus the systems side.

Gaming led me into IT because... (4, Insightful)

wynterwynd (265580) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326525)

You used to have to learn everything about the computer just to get the damn games to run.

I literally started my IT career at age 13, hammering away at a shiny new 486SX/25 on a command line trying to get games to run properly. I learned very basic scripting/programming concepts working with batch files and optimizing autoruns so the sound would work in Wing Commander or Space Quest wouldn't crash. I learned hardware installing my first CD-ROM and sound card to play 7th Guest. I learned troubleshooting methodology trying to get Windows 3.1 to work just so I could play Myst.

Gamers today don't have to go through all that. Gaming is mainstream and a long way from the marginalized hobby for nerds that it used to be. Consoles took away all the need for know-how, now it's just insert disc and push buttons. When you don't have to understand the components to get the pretty-shinies to bleep-boop on the screen, you don't try to.

Having said all that, I do believe that PC gaming can lead to IT knowledge, if to a lesser extent than it used to. Hardware tweakers, framerate enthusiasts, and OCers will absolutely have the skills to jump into system building and optimization with both feet.

Stupid, lazy, ignorant and just dumb "study". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326933)

This is as god damned stupid as saying "Hey we found out people who like to drive dont all want to be auto mechanics" or "people who like to eat dont all want to be a chef". Whoever got grant money for this study found the worlds biggest sucker.

They love it because they're dependent... (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326989)

The newer generation didn't grow up with the opportunities the understand what simple coding could do. In the 4th grade (1991), I had "computer class" once a week where we were taught BASIC and the concept of step-by-step logic coding via turtle (Logo). I was able to grow up tinkering with throw-away 286s and 386s, screwing them up and then reinstalling DOS.

Today, kids have beautiful UIs and systems that want to minimize their interactions. They don't have computers... they have "apps", "the internet", and all these other environments, but are rarely presented with the opportunity to understand how Action A leads to Result B.

They love what technology can do, but they have no clue how it works. They're not tech-savvy. They're tech-dependent.

I can see their point (2)

vortoxin (213064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327149)

I like good looking women.

But that doesn't mean I want to be in Pr0n.

I remember an old Sensai wo said he loved his martial art but his turning it into a career teaching kids killed his love of it.

What's the link with D&D? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327161)

What's the link between technology and D&D? Roleplaying (which involves real-life social interaction) in a medieval setting (which has no technology) is pretty far from IT or software development.

It is true that software engineers often fancy board and role playing games. But it's not because of technology, it's because of their mindset.

IT != Technology Related (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40327183)

If you ask 99% of software developers in the US if they want to work in IT they will say no. Most people do not consider software development, engineering (except network engineering), or most technology related jobs to be "IT jobs". IT jobs means running a help desk, or managing active directory.

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