Where Will Your Future IT Workers Come From?

Finding the right IT people with the right skills is critical to keeping your business running smoothly. So what are you doing to groom the next generation of IT workers for your future hiring needs? It's time to mentor some kids through groups like Teens In Tech and TechGirlz.

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Eliana explained that she was working hard to further develop a game she created, and add more features. She even was exploring the idea of releasing it as an open source project, but wasn't sure she wants to give up control of the project.

Did I mention that she is 12?

Sometimes it takes a helping hand to get you started.

When I was a kid, a local bicycle shop in Madison, Wis., gave me a job as an intern at 13. They taught me about bikes and sales, repairs, inventory, ordering and restocking. They mentored me and helped develop my love of work and learning.

After volunteering for a year, they hired me.

Years later, I discovered computers. I realized computer knowledge would be necessary in order to adapt to a changing workforce. I was curious, motivated and interested, just like all those kids who are getting involved in tech programs like these across our nation.

So what can you and your company do?

Start in your community.

Talk to local high school guidance counselors and even middle school science and math teachers about the IT skills your business will need future employees to have. Encourage them to encourage their students. Consider funding some hardware or software gifts for the school or send in one of your IT staffers on a career day at the school and start nurturing some young minds, and their teachers, too.

Though 12 may sound extremely young, keep in mind these kids will grow up fast. If you have kids of your own you know that all too well. The payoff could come quicker than you realize, one day you're mentoring the next those very kids are grown and knocking on your office door looking for a job faster than you can say "I need a great Python coder."

Today, your company probably has open technology positions that you can't fill. What if you could change that by filling the pipeline now with skilled new workers who appreciate what you did to help them get the skills you needed?

It's worth investigating. It's worth doing. You'll even learn some new things as well about your business and about yourself.

So get out there and mentor and grow and learn. Your next tech workers are out there somewhere.

Go and say hello to them.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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