During any given quarter in the U.S. economy about half a million jobs working with technology go unfilled because employers can’t find candidates with the right mix of hard technical skills and oft-called business “soft skills,” such as communication and collaboration acumen. Who can fill this tech skills gap? Author, podcaster and social innovator Charles Eaton believes today’s teens are one rich source of talent. “People who succeed in technology are problem solvers who care about other people and the overall quality of their lives,” says Eaton, CEO of Creating IT Futures and executive vice president, social innovation for CompTIA, an IT trade association. “The earlier we can develop and support an interest in tech careers in this next generation of young people, the stronger our industry will become and the more our economy will grow.” “It’s tempting to see educators and technical trainers as the answer to launching your teen’s career in technology,” Eaton adds. “But the secret isn’t just creating curriculum but creating inspiration. And not just in children, but in parents, too. Our research shows that, in terms of advice on college and careers, teens rely on parents 2-to-1 over any other source, including teachers and friends.”
About the Author: Charles Eaton, CEO Creating IT Futures and Executive Vice President, Social Innovation, CompTIA
CHARLES EATON is a father to four children, ranging from elementary school age to working adult, and leads three philanthropic endeavors for CompTIA, the world’s largest IT trade association. As executive vice president of social innovation, Eaton oversees NextUp, CompTIA’s newest initiative to introduce teens to the possibilities of tech careers, and CompTIA Giving, which supports tech-focused charities through – financial and volunteer resources. As the CEO of Creating IT Futures, he leads CompTIA’s IT workforce charity which enables people to improve their lives through employment in the IT industry. Eaton joined CompTIA in June 2010 and has 23 years of nonprofit management experience. Prior to joining CompTIA, he was responsible for fundraising, business development and marketing for the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), a growing healthcare association focused on improving healthcare quality and patient safety. Before joining APIC, Eaton was vice president of member relations for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which stages the largest tradeshow in North America, the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Eaton graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Duke University.