IT Group Hosts Virtual Reality Events, Encourages Tech Careers
CompTIA’s Creating IT Futures Foundation takes virtual-reality technology on a road trip to encourage students to consider tech careers.
Through a series of campaigns, initiatives, and a book, CompTIA is working to get young people interested in tech careers. Now its philanthropic arm, Creating IT Futures Foundation, is taking that message on the road.
During its “Virtual Reality Experience Tour,” the foundation is hosting events in Washington, DC; Chicago; New York City; Boston; and at CES 2017 in Las Vegas to introduce kids, students, and parents to augmented-reality technology.
“[Virtual reality is] just another exciting way, I think, for technology to showcase itself because it’s new and it’s different,” Foundation CEO Charles Eaton told Associations Now. While demonstrating the technology, “then we can talk to them about the message of ‘Hey, you know there’s a career in this?’”
The group is working with schools and universities to invite students and their parents to the events. Other initiatives, along with a book scheduled for release in March, also help parents guide their children toward considering a tech career through experimenting and problem solving with these tools on their own.
“The only way the industry can grow is by bringing in a new set of young people to consider this as a career, and you have to approach things differently and give a very different message, I think, to them,” Eaton said.
The event is set up as an informal exhibit with booths, tabletop displays, and product demonstrations hosted by hardware companies. During the first stop in DC, there was a Fruit Ninja tournament held on stage using virtual-reality technology, and a large screen mirroring the scene the players were viewing.
Representatives from the foundation, and its partner event host VR Voice, were on hand to answer questions about the technology and the importance of a tech career.
“Of all the different ways we can reach people, creating apps or a website probably wasn’t going to work. We needed to go to them,” Eaton said.
The tour serves as another messaging channel for the foundation to bolster the tech industry and bring in a new workforce through discussions with parents and their children.
“If left unaddressed, the IT skills gap could adversely impact U.S leadership and competitiveness in the global market, as other countries meet and surpass our technological expertise,” Eaton said in a press release. “In recent research we conducted, teens reported relying on parents for career advice twice as much as any other source, so it is important that parents understand the great career opportunities available to today’s teens.”