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Gen Y Tech Savvy, But Not Interested in a Career

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the why-when-i-was-that-age dept.

The Internet 593

jcatcw writes "Young people aren't choosing computer science majors because they take technology for granted — it's something to use not something to make a career. "By and large, this generation is very fluent with technology and with a networked world," according to James Ware, executive producer at The Work Design Collaborative LLC, a Berkeley, Calif., consortium exploring workplace values and the future of the workforce. That future may be in managing technology, which requires skills today's college students don't have: writing, critical thinking, hard work and just plain showing up. One of their primary concerns is a flexible schedule and healthy work/life balance."

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593 comments

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

jimboindeutchland (1125659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099733)

right?

Lazy Kids ! (5, Funny)

Irish-DnB (161087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099753)

good. If this bears out then those of us out of college can charge more and more to keep everything running.

Re:Lazy Kids ! (5, Insightful)

rikitikitembo (1146771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099831)

Yes, if only I could charge the Doctor or the Lawyer what he charges me when I fix his computer.

Nah it'll just be outsourced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21099935)

We can farm all the work Americans are too lazy to do out to foreign workers who maintain their life/work balance by showing up on time, working long hours regularly, and accepting a nice low salary.

If the lazy kids manage to pass some law preventing this, we can just relocate out there.

Re:Nah it'll just be outsourced (0, Flamebait)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100165)

MUST... NOT... FEED... THE... TROLLS... [kuro5hin.org]

Oh fuck it. Look, boss, lazy has absolutely NOTHING to do with it. In the third world countries you're outsourcing this shitwork to [kuro5hin.org] , you can feed a family of ten for two dollars, rent a house for fifty bucks a month, and ride anywhere for a dime.

It's not that Americans don't want to do the work, it's that we can't afford to live on the starvation wages you cheapassed bastards pay.

Asshole. My only consolation is knowing you'll burn in hell [holy-bible.us] .

-mcgrew

Re:Nah it'll just be outsourced (1, Interesting)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100321)

Corporations are to be blamed. "Flexible schedule and healthy work/life balance" is something all companies should be able to provide. This is something so trivial there is no excuse. What benefit is 9 to 5?? None whatso ever. I should be able to come in at 4 pm in hte afternoon unquestioned. OTOH how the bloodyass does the management execs justify deserving 10x the salary of the normal employee.

Re:Lazy Kids ! (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100063)

This reminds me of a dilbert...

The PHB is talking to a class of kids, and talking about how he mistreats and abuses them.
Then a kid asks "How long will my Generation have to work? 6 months?"
The PHB replies "60 years"
All the kids have horrified looks and the PHB says, "I see you've made the connection"

Re:Lazy Kids ! (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100175)

good. If this bears out then those of us out of college can charge more and more to keep everything running.
I wonder if auto mechanics held a similar reasoning around 1910 when people started getting less interested in that newfangled horseless transportation technology...

Critical thinking (5, Insightful)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099757)

Is plainly not taught anymore. Most people don't even remember how logic was taught for the past 2000 years.... geometry.

Re:Critical thinking (3, Interesting)

JeepFanatic (993244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099841)

I wish I had mod points right now to mod this up. I've been telling people for years how Geometry was one of the things that helped me most with logical/critical thinking - specifically with a bent toward programming.

Re:Critical thinking (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21100091)

Geometry??? Can you show me a Gen Yer who has found their ass with both hands yet?

Re:Critical thinking (5, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100099)

Indeed. School used to be filled with logic and reasoning -- kids had to learn to think. Now schools are more interested in childrens' self-esteem and socialization. Frankly, part of the problem is that the newest crop of teachers don't know logic or have excellent critical reasoning skills. As each generation passes, we get further from the Aristotelian virtues and knowledge becomes more watered-down.

Nowhere is that more borne out than in computer programming. Logic is the backbone of programming and if you haven't got a decent grounding in it, your coding skills are going to be atrocious, no matter what language you use. I remember when I was going to school to about 8 years ago to get a programming certification so I could shift careers. There I was, in my mid-30s with 18-year-olds all around, who were more interested in Napster and trying to download porn onto the school computers than actually learning the skills they needed. They used to razz me quite a bit, but I got through the whole set of courses with a 4.0 because I had the logical background that made going from pseudo-code to finished program easier.

Until we get back to teaching fundamental reasoning skills in school, each succeeding generation is going to take their environment more and more for granted, and understand it less and less.

Re:Critical thinking (1)

Josh Booth (588074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100375)

What really needs to happen is for people to move back into cities. That way, the schools can actually be large enough and have enough resources to both foster students who are very good at certain fields but can decently BS most anything else, and those students who won't really every have a single skill they can rely on. The way you would do it is treat high school more like a university (without the majors and minors) and while ensuring that most kids get a well-rounded education, you can also ensure that the 10% who really excel at certain fields get the chance to be trained well for those fields. Face it: most people see only what they experience and don't try to look any deeper. For them, you need to make them experience everything. For the people who do try to look deeper, whatever skills they have are usually more specialized. For them, you have to ensure they can properly interact with the jacks-of-all-trades (masters of none), but let them get skilled at what they are good at.

Re:Critical thinking (5, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100139)

Critical thinking...Is plainly not taught anymore.

Oh, plainly! Why, unsupported assertions that critical thinking is dead among These Lousy Kids Today hardly bear questioning!

Re:Critical thinking (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100143)

Is plainly not taught anymore. Most people don't even remember how logic was taught for the past 2000 years.... geometry.

Though honestly, a very large percentage of people over the past 2000 years weren't really taught anything. Formal education has never been universal, and honestly I've been to senior citizens centers and believe it or not they don't spend their days discussing complex philosophical issues. The percentage of people who have the ability to think logically is pretty small, and of those only a percentage have the requisite training to really think critically. It's always been that way.

Re:Critical thinking (5, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100187)

Critical thinking Is plainly not taught anymore.

It's something you have to learn but can not be taught. Logic, history, facts, and opinions may be taught, but thought comes from experience and reflection. The more someone tells you they are going to teach you "critical thinking skills" the more you know they are going to try to indoctrinate you. The majority of people who think they can teach you critical thinking, lack the skill themselves.

Re:Critical thinking (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100223)

Geometry teachers drive '95 Corollas; marketing executives drive this year's BMW.

Using geometric principles, calculate the magnitude of the hotness of the women that each can attract.

Re:Critical thinking (0, Flamebait)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100247)

Critical and logical thinking ceased to exist many decades ago. "If it feels good, it must be true" is the way people think these days.

get off my lawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21099765)

...skills today's college students don't have: writing, critical thinking, hard work and just plain showing up...

Here's a writing tip: as soon as you start calling me a lazy idiot, I stop caring what you think.

"In my day . . ." (5, Insightful)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099803)

Yep, seems like pretty much every "new" generation gets the slam from the ones who came before. Us Gen X'ers were cast off as a bunch of slackers IIRC. In ten years we'll have some snotty Gen Y writer blasting the lazy post-college Gen Z's and ranting how the greedy Gen X'ers will consume the last remaining Social Security resources. Definitely nothing new to see here.

Re:"In my day . . ." (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099977)

Ask anyone what the best music era was and the inevitable reply is "It was the era when *I* was young."

Re:"In my day . . ." (2, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100057)

Ask anyone what the best music era was and the inevitable reply is "It was the era when *I* was young."

Far from it. I was born in 1981, yet I think that the best music era was the 1950s to the 1970s for the amount of great contemporary music it produced compared to now. Figures like Boulez, Stockhausen, and Norgard were able to evolve their art because of much greater funding for the arts than is available now. There is still great music being written, but performances are less frequent in many countries and subsequently so are commisions.

Meanwhile, a great number of young people find 1970s prog rock or 1960s psychadelia more appealing than what is currently available. Certainly people tend to pick various eras as their favourite, even before they were even born.

Re:"In my day . . ." (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100115)

I agree 100% -- though I shudder in combined horror, pity and hilarity imagining a generation who thinks that today is the "best music era." :-)

Re:"In my day . . ." (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100205)

There's tons of great music being made today. However, like great music of other eras, its greatness won't be recognized until the creator is long dead.

Re:"In my day . . ." (1)

zifn4b (1040588) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100141)

Nope - it was definitely the late 60's and early 70's and that was before I was born. There are exceptions but most music since then was formula-based regurgitations of the same thing over and over again. For the music that was actually worth listening to since then, most of it didn't get any air time on the radio or if it did, it was very little.

Re:"In my day . . ." (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100401)

I agree. I was born in the late 80's, and there are only a handful of songs I care for that have been released since I was born (and the majority of those came from artists that were around well before I was born).

Re:"In my day . . ." (2, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100179)

Dude... I grew up in the 80s. While a lot of the 80s music had a good beat that you can dance to, it definitely was not the best music era. In fact, even the 90s when I was a teenager didn't have all that great music (it seems like that was mostly a reaction to all that overproduced synth stuff that came out in the 80s). My vote: the 60s, simply for the originality, but I'm getting OT. :)

In any case, you and the parent are right in that lot of stuff just repeats itself, but some doen't. Look at the generation that experienced the great depression (my grandparents). Those people were much more fiscally responsible than my parents generation (the baby boomers). You see a similar thing in Japan or Germany, on account of major portions of those countries being nearly completely leveled after WWII and nearly an entire generation of young men never came home again. After WWI, the people who went through that were referred to as "The Lost Generation,", you can guess why. People that live through that sort of stuff tend to me much more careful, whereas the younger generations are much more carefree. So it could be that Gen X, Y, Z etc. are getting to progressively more self-centered and showing increasingly less fiscal responsibility (it would explain the housing crisis).

Re:"In my day . . ." (1)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100365)

Um.... No. When I was young, there were: Prince, Nine Inch Nails, MC Hammer, Eric Clapton, and Vanilla Ice. All kinda iffy in retrospect. A few centuries earlier, they had Mozart. A few decades earlier, they had Grand Funk Railroad. And right now Leo Kottke's still making music.... For the open mind, there's always someone making great music. The thing is, from what I can tell people's minds seem to crystallize right around their mid to late twenties, when they actually need security. So, um, people generally have an appreciation for the stuff they have great memories about during their times of freedom. And they build upon that by seeking out more positive inputs while listening to the same thing. So it seems to me like it's a learned response.

Hey! You Gen-Y kids! (0, Offtopic)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100053)

Get off my Second Life lawn!

Fluent? Not really... (5, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099809)

I work with Generation Y'ers and they aren't so "fluent with technology" that they don't need to get a CS education. Most of them still don't know the difference between RAM and a HD. They don't even know the units used to calculate the amount of RAM or the speed of a computer. Obviously, there are exceptions, but it's been my experience in a middle-class community of Gen Y kids that they don't know jack about a computer. Can they use an IPod? sure... but so can my 60 year old mom, big deal. That's like saying my Grandma used to be "fluent with technology" because she could use a typewriter back in the day. Having the ability to use it and having the ability to make it are two totally different things.

Re:Fluent? Not really... (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100073)

Agreed. The other day, I asked my Generation Y stepdaughter about her new computer and asked "What's it got?" "I dunno." "How much RAM?" "I dunno." "CPU? Dual core? Clock speed?" "I dunno. I used to know all that stuff, but I just use it now."

OTOH, she's acutely aware of the fact that floppy drives are now obsolete, a fact that still hasn't seemed to seep into my techie stepson's fool head.

Re:Fluent? Not really... (4, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100237)

Which is the disconnect between technology and the mass market. The customer does not want to know how the computer works -- they only want it to work when they get it out of the box. Mind you, processor speed and hard drive are such that they really aren't the most critical factors in buying a PC anymore for your average user.

This is why Microsoft rules the software landscape, Linux is finding it difficult to make inroads into the PC market, and why Apple has everybody enamored with the iPod. Familiarity breeds contempt, and contempt breeds lack of understanding. All the customer knows is that their laptop works when they turn it out and Windows pops up, and they can use that to load songs on their iPod. The behind-the-scenes does not interest them, which is why the general populace doesn't have a clue about Net Neutrality or DRM.

I ascribe it to the fall of the hobbyist. In the heady days at the beginning of PC age, when guys were buying Altair kits and Ham radio ruled, I think there was a higher level of curiosity. But now I don't think ham radio clubs, computer clubs, or even astronomy clubs are popular anymore, given the instant access to information we have now. I see this trend continuing as long as technology does not require the user to put any thought into it.

Re:Fluent? Not really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21100307)

I now enjoy floppy disk drives. Take an old 5-1/4" drive and make a distributed multiply redundant filesystem on it and store your sensitive information. Even if you could get a drive to read it (if you knew what it was), you wouldn't know my file system.

Re:Fluent? Not really... (5, Insightful)

fullmetal55 (698310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100105)

I think what they meant is they're fluent with the USE of technology. Back in the 50s, most men knew how to fix their car, not just drive it. now most people take their car to a mechanic to fix when it breaks, sure they're more complex now, but that fits the comparison with technology too. The same thing is happening here with computers and technology. in the 90s, more computer users had at least an understanding of what went on under the hood. now, most people who use them, consider them closed boxes, and take them to a tech (mechanic) to fix when it breaks. sure the excuse is they're more complex under the hood, but the real reason is nobody wants to be bothered with how it works, they just want it to work. As Douglas Adams said, the three stages of civilization are "How", "Why", and "Where". How do computers work? (up to the 90s, still ongoing but less so) Why do computers work (current, figuring out what they're good for, developing products etc.), Where? most likely "where is it useful?"

Re:Fluent? Not really... (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100243)

Even better, I go to school with plenty of gen Y kids in CS, IS, and IT who need me to fix their computer. They never seem to pick up even the most basic things when I show them how to fix the problems they created. Some of these people are in the 2nd and 3rd year of their degree program.

Hell at my internship last summer we had several computers in one of the labs got fried, both the power supply and the motherboard. As I'm sitting there moving the old cpu and ram to the new mobo, the 2 new hires are looking over my shoulder asking me questions because they had never seen someone replace the motherboard or a cpu on a computer. They asked me to identify things like the IDE and SATA ports, one of them had no idea what AGP or PCI express was. Both of them were IT majors with 4 year degrees, who went out and searched for Tech support jobs. They were only 5 years older than I am.

The people who paid to learn this shit and are paid to know this shit don't know it.

Re:Fluent? Not really... (2, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100245)

I work with Generation Y'ers and they aren't so "fluent with technology" that they don't need to get a CS education. Most of them still don't know the difference between RAM and a HD. They don't even know the units used to calculate the amount of RAM or the speed of a computer. Obviously, there are exceptions, but it's been my experience in a middle-class community of Gen Y kids that they don't know jack about a computer. Can they use an IPod? sure... but so can my 60 year old mom, big deal. That's like saying my Grandma used to be "fluent with technology" because she could use a typewriter back in the day. Having the ability to use it and having the ability to make it are two totally different things.
Yeah, it's kind of like how in scifi stories you get some hyper-advanced alien or a human from the future stuck in our low-tech world and the assumption is "Wow, you can show us all your future tech!" And the reality is more like "Um, no. I can use the technology of my society but don't ask me to try to recreate it from scratch. Hell, I couldn't even maintain it myself."

What I find is that people are very adept at using technology in a seemingly educated and knowing manner but are often at a loss for the how's and why's. "I point the remote at the TV and it turns on. It's not turning on now. Stupid broken TV!" And then you point out that a DVD case was set in front of the receiver window which is located on the lower right side of the TV. "Damn, how did you figure that out?"

I remember the disbelieving state of shock I was in when I figured out french fries came from potatoes and pickles were actually cucumbers that had been pickled. I was five. The point is, some people have NEVER been disabused of such childhood assumptions or just basic ignorance, even well into adulthood.

Re:Fluent? Not really... (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100347)

Yea, I work at a newspaper, and I know a lot of people who consider themselves "fluent" in technology because they use computers every day, and have a job that deals with the internets.

The reality is, being comfortable with using consumer technology, and having the skillset it would take to make your own MySpace page, counts as computer literacy for a lot of people. I got a rush job on a piece of web code the other day because it was something their little widget bar couldn't produce...I ended up generating a couple of pages of code, and when I got done they asked me to "send it to them so they could put it up online"...This is mostly perl and javascript, mind you, and they can't host anything but the most minor javascript and pure html.

So I sent 'em the Perl, just to watch 'em squirm. It was all file handling code; I guess they thought all you needed to manage file uploads was a webform with a file button...Select the little file and the web fairies carry it across the tubes and put it where you want it.

Anyone ever read the Foundation books? I think of the technologically illiterate maintenance people, who just go through the motions, replacing parts, without understanding how any of the systems work. They can use it, but it's still magic as far as they're concerned, and the instant they step out of their comfort zone, they're lost.

Fresh Nostalgia (4, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099821)

Remember when people would go around saying "I work with computers" when asked what their job was?
Now that would sound like "I work with paper."

Computer literacy level 10! (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099823)

Most of you will be too young to remember "computer literacy" classes which strove to teach students how to use computers. The idea was that if you could use a word processor, spreadsheet, and touch type, then you'd be prepared for the careers of tomorrow.

It's all bullshit. God help us if "data processor" and "data entry clerk" are careers of the future. The ability to use a computer is about as important to "jobs of the future!" as knowing how to husk coconuts is to a Pacific Islander. If you haven't learned those skills in your everyday life, then you're screwed anyway.

The fact of the matter is that someone still needs to build all those cool things like Twitter and Facebook and Myspace and all the rest of the crap out there that these "technology fluent" kids are so good at using. As long as we consider them to be fluent, though, we are putting emphasis on the wrong thing.

I was technologicaly fluent at using a pencil. It wasn't my ability to use a pencil that made me the right guy for my job.

Re:Computer literacy level 10! (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099891)

Most of you will be too young to remember "computer literacy" classes which strove to teach students how to use computers.
Too young to remember? Ha! I made some money 2 Summers ago by teaching one of those. Are you calling me old? Oh, my God, I am old... goes away sobbing.

Re:Computer literacy level 10! (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100253)

Are you calling me old? Oh, my God, I am old... goes away sobbing.
It's ok, you can come on my lawn if you like. You'll get used to it.

Re:Computer literacy level 10! (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099919)

The idea was that if you could use a word processor, spreadsheet, and touch type, then you'd be prepared for the careers of tomorrow.

Not so bullshit really. Try getting a job without knowing how to do the above. I don't think anybody ever implied that data processing was *all* you needed to know for your future career, but going without it certainly wasn't going to help.

I think you are confusing the definition of literacy. Someone that can read is literate, he doesn't need to know how to pen a novel, nor does he even need to be able to analyze the grammatical structure of someone's writing - all they need to do is be able to read and understand. The same is true for technology literacy - if they can operate a computer and do everyday tasks with ease, then they're "literate" by all reasonable standards.

Being able to code is not tech literacy, it's something else altogether.

Re:Computer literacy level 10! (1)

concreationist (760560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100301)

You say that, but I still have daily use of my typing classes I had to take in 7th grade. I was already "tech-savvy" (why, I had an Amiga at home!) but being forced to learn the touch-type method sped up my typing immensely.

For the record, I typed this entire comment while looking out the window.

Gen whatever isn't technology savvy (5, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099829)

These stories simply reflect the fact that, for any value of N, people in generation N-1 generally do not understand technology that became available during the childhood of generation N. This does not make generation N more technically savvy than generation N-1; by the time generation N+1 comes around, generation N will not understand the stuff they have. This was just as true for the baby boomers using remote controls and VCRs that their parents couldn't understand as it is for me using computers that the boomers have trouble with. It didn't mean that the boomers were geniuses because they could use a VCR.

Probably sort of like how my mom can't figure out the internet really well, which I think is rather simple; on the other hand, I can't understand the compulsion 'them darned kids' have for constantly text messaging each other.

Just because you can use mass-market electronic goods does not make one 'technically savvy'.

Re:Gen whatever isn't technology savvy (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099945)

I take issue with your implication that "tech savvy" means is the same thing as "I enjoy this technology". I think it would be much better to define it as technical plasticity - the ability to learn to competently use new technologies. And by that definition, yes, I think younger generations are much more tech savvy than older people. You might not like text messaging, but you figured out how to do it -- which is something most older people can't figure out for themselves.

Re:Gen whatever isn't technology savvy (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100217)

I take issue with your implication that "tech savvy" means is the same thing as "I enjoy this technology"

If you'll read it, that's the thesis of my original argument - that assertion is of course incorrect, but it's the implicit assumption of the many stories that applaud the kids' use of 'technology'.

I think it would be much better to define it as technical plasticity - the ability to learn to competently use new technologies. And by that definition, yes, I think younger generations are much more tech savvy than older people.

Which I also stated. The point is that it's not some innate ability of the people who are now young; they will lose the same advantage to the people who will be young in 20 years.

You might not like text messaging, but you figured out how to do it -- which is something most older people can't figure out for themselves.

But I'm only 30. Give me 20 years and we'll see how I'm doing. Better example - I like C++ and python just fine and can't adapt easily to the whole web 2.0 crap. It probably passed me by. People tend to become attached to the technology that they learned when they were young. And again, the current generation isn't more 'tech savvy' than the last - the only thing that's changed is what is actually considered 'high tech.'

In other words, there's nothing special about this particular generation. Their ability to grasp new technology will, as a whole, fade as their parents and grandparents did.

Re:Gen whatever isn't technology savvy (1)

randalware (720317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100103)

I agrees.

Almost all technology products used by a large group of people have had the sharp edges knocked off.
Knocked off by people that understand the underlying theory,logic,software, & hardware.

Think about the types of users usualy under discussion.
Clueless,users(mac,windows,linux,unix),grand parents,
script kiddies,hackers,computer scientist,tech savy,code monkeys,
hardware engineers,system administrator,data base admin, etc...

Everyone of these labels have a differant depth of understanding the high tech, networked, products the masses are using to text message,p2p,blog....

Without a good understanding of the math,theory,logic, & history of the technologies, you are wandering around in the dark.

 

One of? (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099839)

"One of their primary concerns is a flexible schedule and healthy work/life balance."

Apparently Generation Taco lacks basic counting skills.

Re:One of? (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099909)

Surely its through a "flexible schedule" that you develop a "healthy work/life balance".

Re:One of? (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100065)

Not necessarily. You could have a very flexible schedule that requires 60-80 hours per week of work just as easily as you could have a nice work/life balance in a 9-5 job that only requires you to be there from 9 to 5. Besides, if the writer were trying to make any implication from A to B, the word "and" is hardly appropriate to make the connection.

Re:One of? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100263)

"One of their primary concerns is a flexible schedule and healthy work/life balance."

Apparently Generation Taco lacks basic counting skills.


NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.

Generation Why? (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099853)

I read an interesting science fiction story a few years ago (think it was in Asimov's or "Year's Best Scifi") called "Generation Why." It posited an interesting look at a future generation that scorned the work ethic of its preceding generation because it simply didn't believe in money, material possessions, and work for their own sake. This "generation why" essentially asked the question "Why should we break our backs working long hours away from our families just to have a 9,000 square foot house and a big SUV?", "Why should I learn things that aren't going to make me a better person?", "Why should I work a job that I hate just for a higher salary?", etc.

Of course, this idea is nothing new. Every generation goes through a very similar idealistic phase. Generation Y is now entering its early 20's, and it's likely that this is the phase they're beginning to go through right now. So it's hardly surprising that they're rejecting formal instruction in a field that they already feel very comfortable in (as self-taught learners). Just part of them "finding their way."

Just a thought.

Re:Generation Why? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099969)

It posited an interesting look at a future generation that scorned the work ethic of its preceding generation because it simply didn't believe in money, material possessions, and work for their own sake.

It's far from science-fiction. This shift in thinking has been blamed for the shaky economy of Japan in the last 15 years. The older generations worked themselves to death for the sake of their families and for their social standing. The younger generations started wanting more flexibility and fewer hours.

Re:Generation Why? (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100129)

Yeah, I was going to read that story, but then I thought, meh, what would it achieve?

Lets see ... (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099855)

that makes all the more jobs for us, correct? Everyone wants a DVD player but they don't have to learn how to build one. Anyway its probably just the ones after a quick VC sponsored buck that have dropped out.

Sign of the times... (4, Interesting)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099857)

I was on the bus the other day and there were some high school bimbos (let's not waste words here) and they were all a twitter about the goings on of their MySpace accounts. On and on they yammered about which boys they liked and who's on what list and then they started talking about CSS, that is to say Cascading Style Sheets.

There is a point in your life when you realize that the world has changed, that "nerdy" topics aren't so nerdy anymore, especially now that they are in the mainstream.

Generation Y (ugh!) is undeniably using the tools around them to get things done, just as my generation did a decade ago with more primitive technology. But suffice to say, the reason to get a job in the tech industry is not because you want to play with what you're already using but because you want to create something new. This is not for everyone and I think regardless of the "tech level" society seems to achieve there will always be a minority of tech-career oriented people.

Next we're going to hear ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21099913)

that "we need a big recession to teach these kids some discipline". Same ole stuff for the last few generations at least. Bottom line Mr. Businessman, yes, you may have to offer good wages and training the build good workers. Sorry.

Re:Next we're going to hear ... (3, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100295)

that "we need a big recession to teach these kids some discipline". Same ole stuff for the last few generations at least.
It used to be that "we needed a good war", so maybe things are slowly improving after all.

It is from how they've been raised... (2, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099917)

I think a lot of this attitude is the fault of how we've raised the past generation or so...

Unlike how we grew up....many of today's kids don't play outside much. They don't get out and meet and interact with the kids in the neighborhood, which teaches some good people skills. It also starts engendering a sense of independence. Parents cart the around to planned, and rigidly structured events...soccer practice, lessons of some kind, etc.

We've also sapped out the competitive spirit that kids once had. We played games...there were winners and losers. You had to learn both sides of the coin. Now...we give everyone a trophy because the just participated. We lower the standards in classrooms, 'cause we don't want to hurt little Billy/Susie's self esteem. We teach the wrong things here...the real world is NOT like that, it is not one big happy area where everyone is equal, and treated equal. That has to be quite a shock. We've let kids slide too far with respect to discipline. While I'm not talking specifically about corporal punishment (I don't think throwing that out the door was good either), but, personal discipline...responsibility for actions. If kids screw up, Mom and Dad cover for them....I've heard teachers saying when they had a child acting up, and could actually get a parent in for a conference, the teacher gets berrated over accusing little Johnny of wrongdoing, rather than trying to work together to correct his behavior. Of course later little Johnny expects he'll be covered/forgiven if he's late for work, or just doesn't show up a day for some reason.

Do kids even work these days in high school? As soon as I was 16...I got my first job washing dishes in a medium end restaurant...I worked my way up to head bus boy (even back then in my state you had to be 21 to serve alcohol)...I worked Fri-Sat. evenings....and usually 2 week nights. I saved my money, and when I was a senior, my folks added a little money to mine, and I bought my first car (datsun 280Z). I don't know of any of my friends whose kids actually work jobs....everything is given.

I'd say a lot of this is the past gen. or so's fault....and these kids are in for a shock when they hit the real world.

Re:It is from how they've been raised... (4, Funny)

mrjb (547783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100031)

Unlike how we grew up....many of today's kids don't play outside much. They don't get out and meet and interact with the kids in the neighborhood, which teaches some good people skills.
How is this unlike how we grew up?

Re:It is from how they've been raised... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100147)

I just wish the parents would get kids out of those all those damn silly-looking helmets. Parents today shield their kids behind so many protective layers of car seats, helmets, shin guards, GPS devices, cell phones, etc. I'm beginning to think that the day will come when every kid is permanently encased in a titanium exo-skin with its own tracking satellite. The kids don't need toughening up nearly as much as their PARENTS.

Of course, I grew up when parents didn't even make their kids wear a car seat belts (not where I was from, anyway). And I'm only in my 30's.

Re:It is from how they've been raised... (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100385)

It's true. But you have to consider that it's society that's trying to raise our kids now, not us. Where did all these laws requiring helmets come from? The nervous Nellies who think that they can do a better job raising my kid than I can, that's who. Those people who have been charmed into thinking psychology can point the way, that we have to worry about feelings more than experience. That's why I want my kids to play sports -- I want them to taste not only success, but defeat, to learn to move from one to the other, to develop the character to suck up a loss and use it improve themselves. People wonder why sports consumes such a large portion of our attention these days. It's because it's the last arena where the old natural systems still flourish, where you have to stand up on your own two feet, cast your lot in with the team, and give it your all if you're going to succeed. It's where a kid learns through hard work and hard knocks. Lolly-gaggers and quitters don't stand a chance in sports. Kids are certainly not getting those lessons in school, where touchy-feely has replaced logic and discipline. You want a kid to become a better person and have better self-esteem? Teach them how to learn and then encourage that impulse. A kid will develop more self-esteem taking on challenging puzzles and solving them than being told their feeling matter.

Re:It is from how they've been raised... (1)

torchdragon (816357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100407)

As soon as you give me a link to a titanium exo-skin, I'm buying one. Is it self powered? How much of an impact can it stand? How does it rate compared to the crazy bear guy's suit?

Superhero-dom, here I come!

Re:It is from how they've been raised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21100195)

And they wear pants too low too!

They don't appreciate a good hot meal like our generation no sir. They didn't kill it with spears like we did!

I was on the cutting edge of IT, I helped design our tribe's smoke signals long before other tribes were doing the same!

Re:It is from how they've been raised... (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100395)

I would hope that as you age, you will learn some perspective. However, it appears that thus far, it has yet to happen. I could leave it at that and be labeled a troll, but I'll go on to clarify.

Generalizations and oversimplifications are convenient and are handy for supporting a position. However, there is a point of diminishing returns in broad summation where enough detail is lost so that the summary fails as a useful description of the whole. There are always people in any generation who succeed or fail based on a number of factors. People are diverse and even amongst a handful of people selected from even a non-random batch are likely to have significant differences.

Racism, sexism, even nationalism, and in this case age-ism, they handily discard the individual traits that a person is valued by. It's not wrong to resent a black person for being a criminal when it's proven, but it's unfair to judge someone by a stereotype that does not apply. For each of the examples above, it won't be hard to find someone who defies that standard, because humanity is complex, and to classify them properly would require a similarly complex classification to be useful.

What makes "tech savvy" a big deal? (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099925)

There is a video professor ad where a woman laughs that her four year old is often more comfortable with a computer than she is. A lot of older people just don't realize that **comfort** is not a particularly big deal. Yes, most middle and upper class people in Gen Y are "comfortable with a computer" and other gadgets. So what? When I was in college two years ago, it didn't stop many of them from making many of the same mistakes that their equally **computer illiterate** parents made like not updating their software and trusting everything that came into their inbox that didn't look automatically like spam.

So you can plug your iPod in and sync up your media collection with it. How is that a practical use of your computer, the sort of thing that drives the economy?

I have to wonder... were there ever articles like this talking about basic skills like driving? "Younger generation more comfortable with horseless carriage?" Being able to use a computer? BFD. Who cares. Being able to write software, integrate components and mess with hardware are the skills that stand out.

Re:What makes "tech savvy" a big deal? (1)

phorest (877315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100077)

How is that a practical use of your computer, the sort of thing that drives the economy?

They bought the iPod and all the accessories and music to fill it with! (well, some of that music perhaps...)

Re:What makes "tech savvy" a big deal? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100371)

There is a video professor ad where a woman laughs that her four year old is often more comfortable with a computer than she is. A lot of older people just don't realize that **comfort** is not a particularly big deal. Yes, most middle and upper class people in Gen Y are "comfortable with a computer" and other gadgets. So what? When I was in college two years ago, it didn't stop many of them from making many of the same mistakes that their equally **computer illiterate** parents made like not updating their software and trusting everything that came into their inbox that didn't look automatically like spam.
So much of life is being in the right state of mind. I always have test anxiety and lose a few points just from nerves. Even if I'm intellectually aware of what's going on, the tension doesn't leave until I hit submit and see I passed. It's just the way my mind works. My mom is of the boomer generation and she is typical of boomers I've tried to help with computers, they immediately get tense and confrontational with computers, feeling like it's out to trick them up. Things that are well within their intellectual ability to understand become difficult simply because of the anxiety of sitting at the computer. I'd say it's directly analogous how anyone can easily balance themselves and walk along a curb when it's only a few inches down to the ground but would choke in fear if they had to walk a span of the same width while a hundred feet in the air. Because boomers don't understand computers, they have the fear that pressing the wrong button could make the whole thing explode like a Star Trek console.

I try to maintain a positive outlook on this. People don't like maintaining their cars, doing their own plumbing or messing with the guts of computers. I'd like to think that there will be jobs there for people who do enjoy such things.

Or maybe... (2)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099929)

That future may be in managing technology, which requires skills today's college students don't have: writing, critical thinking, hard work and just plain showing up.

Or maybe, today's college students are wising up to the fact that most businesses work their tech staff to the bone dumbing down reports so their managers could understand them, following step-by-step instructions for an hour when they could fix it in 5 minutes if given the chance and if managers didn't call their IT staff on their vacations/weekends to help fix the e-mail server cause someone decided to change the settings without IT approval.

I've heard of far, far too many IT stories from my friends and on /. to even consider going into IT as a career. IT is not the dream job many people believe it to be. Anyone who runs a simply network for a friend(s)/family knows how annoying it can be to get a random phone call from someone asking for help to access their e-mail.

Re:Or maybe... (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100257)

I took some college classes aimed at getting into IT, right after I got out of the Navy, and decided it just isn't worth it. Too much education for too little pay (especially when I could walk into any energy company and command a low five/high six figure salary (which I have in fact done)).

Priorities (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099943)

One of their primary concerns is a flexible schedule and healthy work/life balance.

That is one of my primary concerns, and I am a Gen-X'r. I think more and more companies that are heavy into software development are starting to recognize that people want a flexible, comfortable workplace and an employer that realizes that adding perks, like flex-hours, casual dress code, telecommuting, more vacation, etc. can balance a crappy/mediocre salary and make up for other short-comings. In many instances adding perks can be a cheap way to attract(and keep existing) talent to your company without having to pony up huge salaries.

Re:Priorities (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100351)

Mine too, and I'm 55. When I retire I plan on going into my dream job: NOTHING!

The only thing worse than working is not having a job.

-mcgrew

Crappy writer (4, Insightful)

KevinIsOwn (618900) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099953)

From TFA:

While they may not possess the tech skills of old -- expertise in outdated areas like NetWare, Cobol, even ColdFusion programming -- this new generation packs a punch with mastery of things like HTML programming and a complete comfort level with business basics like Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel, not to mention Web 2.0 advances like blogging and social networking.
How does knowing HTML pack a punch in comparison with COBOL? Does this writer even know how all these "Web 2.0 advances" are being made? And even though I wouldn't use ColdFusion, that's one way blogs and social network sites get created. This writer is incredibly unqualified to be writing any article about technology. This isn't the only stupid line in there.

liking to drive doesn't make you a mechanic (4, Interesting)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099957)

Familiarity with Facebook and Bittorrent is different than choosing a career as a programmer or network administrator. Familiarity is not maintenance and/or development. The number of people familiar with using automobiles is a little larger than the number who choose a career as a mechanic.

Pure showing off (-1, Offtopic)

Node (9991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099983)

Just thought I would post under my old slashdot user, which I've finally gotten access to again. Fjear my four-digit UID.

Re:Pure showing off (1)

benbean (8595) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100135)

* benbean trembles in fear

You get serious when you get obligations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21099991)

No kids. No mortgage. Few bills.

When these things change, you get more serious.

Gen Y will have to grow up like the rest of us. Putting career in the proper place is a good thing. Your job shouldn't take up the entirety of your life. But most kids in college are lazier than they will be with more commitments.

This has nothing to do with tech (1)

l2718 (514756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100027)

As a sysop, it was immensely frustrating to work with users who have no idea how computers work. They wanted somebody else to figure out what they had to do and if something unexpected happened they wouldn't think through it. As a mathematician, it's immensely frustrating to teach non-majors who strongly object to having to think (or understand) anything -- they want to be given algorithms they can apply (and don't realize that these algorithms only work for exam problems specifically engineered for their benefit). In ordinary life, it amazing to meet people who drive everyday but have no idea how their car works. My girlfriend just showed my an advert for a product lined with Gore-Tex which explains that the membrane is permeable to "water vapour" molecules (hence is breathable), but blocks the much larger "moisture" molecules (and thus waterproof).

The truth is that people simply don't care to think about anything around them. They don't stop to think "why does this work?" "what does it mean?" and similar questions. Since most people seem to do fine without being universally curious, I try to accept it even if it galls me every time. You can see this when people complain "gadget X doens't do what I want it to do". You rarely see people try to make the gadget behave to their desires. If offered a product that suits them, they're happy, but very few people feel the need to force the world to fit them rather than the other way around.

Re:This has nothing to do with tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21100355)

very few people feel the need to force the world to fit them rather than the other way around.


That, right there, is the salient point of this entire discussion, and it is so incredibly sad to see huge masses of people just resign themselves to whatever mediocre existence fate should happen to give them without care or concern for their own desires. And then to take the point further, I look at that and wonder am I really so different from all these people? I hate to think so, but if so it does explain why I've never been able to find myself at ease with any of them.

I would agree. (1)

CleverScreenName (1176231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100035)

As a Generation Y kid working in the real world, I got my undergrad from the University of Illinois in Computer Science. It was great to learn, but overall, I retained nothing. I was burnt out as a developer after two years. I found my true calling after getting my MBA, and now I work in IT Management. The burn-out level of just being a code-monkey was just too much for me.

Good. (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100041)

"Young people aren't choosing computer science majors because they take technology for granted -- it's something to use not something to make a career. "By and large, this generation is very fluent with technology and with a networked world..."


Good. I hate to sound elitist, and god knows that I'm hardly the hottest stuff on the block (I work with a ton of people smarter than I am), but am I the only one who remembers when the CS field was flooded by people whose chief qualifications were Microsoft Word and HTML?

Generation Y? (2, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100069)

Look, kids, I'm what they call a "boomer" [kuro5hin.org] . They call us that because fireworks and guns were legal when we were kids. What? Speak up, I can't hear you! We were also known as "goddamned potsmoking hippies" [kuro5hin.org] .

The next generation was called "generation X" or alternately "Goddamned cocaine-soaked Yuppies".

The next generation was Generation Y. They're also known as "Goddamn punks", "Sales Clerks", "fry cooks", "outsourced and unemployed" and "crackheads".

So your nomenclature is a bit off. These kids would be known as "Generation Z" IINM. Also known as "GODDAMNED KIDS GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN!"

-mcgrew

Who cares? (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100097)

It's not like there's an abundance of CS jobs available (unless you're willing to work for peanuts and you're in a third world country). Consider this job "security".

"Fluent" as in they don'tknow fluent (1)

Televiper2000 (1145415) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100117)

They seem to be using fluent in the "so far behind they think they're head" mode of thinking. I can drive a car, wash it, change the oil, and fill the tires; does that mean I'm fluent in automobiles? These kids aren't fluent in technology, they're fluent in using technology. I must be fluent in pastry because I get to eat a lot of donuts, cakes, and croissants where I work. Personally, I'd say it's the opposite. Generation Y lacks a fascination for technology and science because they don't know much about it.

i must know how every circuit & instruction wo (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100119)

I reverse engineer everthing. I've dissambled TVs, radios, computers, ICs (designed them too), cellphones, computer programs, file formats, whatever. Being superficially familar with technology for any age group doesnt cut it. That is the nature of true technical nerdness.

Missing assessment (1)

Chris whatever (980992) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100121)

it's not because someone knows how to use technology that they understand everything about it and particularly those savvy users

I have people using Iphones and Blackberry and Instant messaging but they dont know jack shit about the rest and how it works in the background so i'm not too afraid of losing my job to those people.

i have seen people boasting about their understanding of the internet and all those nifty gadget they speak about ya know,,,E-mule, Kazzaa, Bit torrent, Messenger and they are the same that usually get hacked and or get loaded with viruses.

technology users do not rhyme with safe usage of it.

And that girl they talk about well, you cant turn your geek switch off when you like computers, you either like it or you dont, learning out of necessity does not make you the hottest tech around and will not assure you a nice place but again that depends on where you want to be, most of the Bosses i had, had half the knowledge i possess but that did not prevent them from making decision for IT but in some case it can be a hindrance when the person over you does not know the implication of what she or he is talking about.

Sounds like the people... (1)

analog_line (465182) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100131)

...who got yelled at for being lazy hippies are yelling at their own kids for being lazy techno-hippies.

Sounds like The Curse (When you have kids, they'll be just like you were) is continuing to work just fine.

Tags (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100137)

this articles tags are the win.

Wrong (1)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100151)

This group of people is the same that think that they don't need us in IT because they know how to turn on the computer, use Word and browse the net. They don't realize that software needs to be written and hardware needs to be designed, and that it is a hard job.

Most people i met in college went to study computer science "because they liked using computers" and when they found out about coding, moved out instantly.

Nothing new to see here, move along.

Re:Wrong (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100363)

I don't think it's quite like what you're stating? What I think we're actually seeing is simply more segmentation of what encompasses "I.T.".

I think of it as akin to books. You've got your authors and your avid readers. There is certainly some crossover there, but on the whole, a reader may not have any interest or skills at writing a good book. A writer probably doesn't have the TIME to read many of the other good books out there, because he/she is too busy writing their own!

In the past, you often had companies hiring both software developers and systems administration/support staff, and putting it all under the general umbrella of "I.T." But that's almost like being an avid reader who hires his own author to write books for him to read.

Now, you're seeing much more outsourcing of software development and purchasing of "canned" packages that can be heavily customized by consultants who temporarily come in, configure it to suit, and leave.

Obviously, software programmers/developers are still needed! It's just that they're not so often needed in the same environment as those using the software.

Increase labor demand, decrease supply... (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100163)

Wow! What do I get?! More money! Please... If companies can't hire enough techies, it is hard for me to feel bad.

Technology is only one side... (1)

pjviitas (1066558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100183)

...of the human machine interface.

With this in mind, Computer Science is just as much about understanding people as it is about understanding technology.

Sometimes we seem to forget that Computer Science is actually a blend of the humanities and the sciences.

Hedghog

The change is in application, not education. (3, Insightful)

sjwaste (780063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100207)

From my perspective as a mid-twentysomething, I agree with this entirely. I went away to college and quickly lost interest in pursuing CS or CE, Math, Physics, or any of the hard sciences, really. The kicker for me was the lack of a solid career path, and the way the folks that studied these subjects were treated in terms of on-campus recruiting, job fairs, etc. Meanwhile, business majors had no problems finding work, especially those who had some technical skills on the side. So I joined them, sort of, and ended up with a business degree in economics.

Coming out and looking for work, I was basically doing applied statistics, writing code for models and such, but would not even have been interviewed without the business degree. The bottom line is that someone with a stats degree could've done the work as specified, but they wanted to hire people who could write the models based on the business problem at hand (interpret it into a regression model basically, find out how to source the data to run it, write it, interpret the findings for management, etc). And I've done this for two different companies, so there's a chance it's not a unique hiring thing.

So I wonder, are people of my generation rejecting the idea of CS and other sciences, but using the concepts they learned from a few courses they took in that department in a business setting? If that's the case, like myself, I'd argue that the change is an emphasis on the application of these skills to business, not an abandonment in their education.

I'm really happy doing what I do, and while I probably lack the theoretical knowledge that a PhD in Statistics would have, my analysis in the business context is what's really being sought -- and I'm strong in that. I'm finishing up a law degree at night now, so I really can't wait to see how the technical skills apply in that profession. Lawyers are largely so tech/scientifically averse that they don't even consider the application of those skills in hiring, I've found. But the lawyers I've worked with here who have the tech or science background are tons better at their job. So what's it gonna be?

Old school (1)

spleen_blender (949762) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100221)

When I think of technology and peoples' understanding of it, I have two schools of thought:

A) The Star Trek school -
In this world, technology is embraced and understood. It is studied and has zero mysticism about it. It works and we know how it works, and we use that knowledge to build greater machines.

B) The Star Wars school -
Sure, Star Wars was very high tech, but throughout the whole series, the understanding of how characters of the technology seems cursory at best. "It works when I do this" kind of mentality, instead of "It works because of this."

Let me finish this post with this, those are similes, so be creative with your interpretation.

True. I'm part of that statistic! (1)

logik3x (872368) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100269)

I didn't RTFA but from the resume a can see myself... I wanted to go into Physics (last year) to do research in physics because I thought CS was a tool... Turned out I didn't like Physics that much to go up to a PhD but my CS+PHYS class we're a blast (at least for me)... So now I'm in CS and hopefully that's the right career path for me!

using features != career (1)

xPsi (851544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100367)

Was someone from the 40s "fluent with technology" because they knew how to use a telephone, dial for an operator, or turn on a radio and tune it to their favorite program? Perhaps. But this "fluency" doesn't imply a desire to actually understand the technology or have a career doing it. People are generally adaptable and will willingly learn features and routines of any new tool they have available. But as long as it works and serves their purpose, most people of all ages don't really care beyond that. It would be like asking circa 1940 "kids these days, they are so good at dialing the operator. why aren't young people interested in a career with the phone company?" (ok, ok, a lot of people did go work for the phone company back then, but not everyone). A black box is a black box no matter what generation we are talking about. Granted, there will also be a subset of people from every generation that want to literally or figuratively take the black box and turn it into a pile of parts on the living room floor...those are the people who go into careers in the field. I'm sure "Gen Y" is no different statistically.

Also...I thought Gen Y was the one before this one? Oh, I give up...However, you know you are a "real Gen Xer" if the two generations after yours also call themselves GenXers and the generations before you calls itself the Baby Boomers. All 5523 of us: we're a true dead spot on the generation spectum. Can't even keep name the recognition.

work/life balance (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100389)

Would-be technologists are turned off by the tech crash of the early '00s, the shift of jobs overseas to outsourcing providers, and an overall perception of IT as a go-nowhere, nuts-and-bolts profession, observers say.

And the up-and-coming generation puts a premium on work/life balance, having seen firsthand the toll working around-the-clock took on its parents. As a result, they tend to shy away from jobs that demand the 40-hour-plus workweeks typical of IT.


If the above is true of today's students, they are smarter than most of Slashdot. :^B

Here's a statistic I am sick of hearing (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100391)

The number of freshmen pursuing a computer science track has fallen by 70% since 2000, according to the Computing Research Association.
Aside from the fact that CS departments were filling up with CS students at a record pace in the 1990's, why is this a bad thing? I personally know a lot of these people who graduated from CS in the 90's. They thought it was going to be easy money, got hit when the dot-com bubble burst, and are now doing different things. These people are my friends, but I have no qualms in saying: they should not have been in CS in the first place. They do not love mathematics, or science, nor do they love to crack a hard problem. To each his own. They are all much happier now, BTW, being lawyers, teachers, adventure guides, and photographers, etc.

Who wants to reinvent the wheel? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100411)

FTA:

"To another generation, IT was cool because no one else knew much about it," notes Kate Kaiser, associate professor of IT (and one of Lee's instructors) at Marquette. "This generation is so familiar with technology, they see it as an expected part of life" -- and therefore not worthy of consideration as a full-time career.
That may also have something to do with the fact that it isn't as lucrative as it used to be, that job security is lower than it used to be, and that it's a more mature field where there is little new ground to be broken (most people in IT are busy rebreaking old ground if they do any ground-breaking at all).

Just as with any maturing technology, focus eventually turns to usage, rather than development of the core technology. Is it any surprise that more people are interested in how best to use a wheel, rather than reinventing it?

IT = stupid career choice due to offshoring (3, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21100415)

I know somebody is going to say that he has a great job, and they can never get rid of him, yada yada. But, that doesn't mean anyting.

What about people just entering the field? What about 5 years from now, or 10 years from now?

Who want's to spend $80K on a college education, and work their ass off. Then, toil for entry level wages for another 5 years, only to train their $5/hour replacements in the Ukraine, or whatever? Great "career" right?

Most IT work is tedious, and unimporant. The pay, at best, is nothing special. And employers seem to have an never-ending list of requirements, even for an "entry level" job.

I think it's safe to say that there are better career choices.
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