Ask the IT Consultant

Dec 9 2009   12:00AM GMT

Changing Times, Changing Technology, Changing Assumptions

Beth Cohen Beth Cohen Profile: Beth Cohen

Question:  It seems like my kids take computer technology for granted.  Is it just me or do they really have a different perspective on technology and its role in their lives?

Along with my consulting practice, I also teach college at a number of local schools.  I find it incredibly interesting how differently my students view technology that I am still totally enamored with.  I recently asked  my sophomore business students how many of them were using the various Web 2.0 social networking sites.  The answer came back loud and clear – Facebook was the only one that counted.  Linkedin was seen as something for their parents, Myspace they reported was creepy, and the recently shutdown GeoCities was thought of as “old-fashioned and doughty”   Yes, they all had several gmail accounts, which they seem to be willing to change at the drop of a hat, and high tech PDA’s of all stripes, which they use incessantly before, during and after class.  They reported that they would be lost without their PDA’s and fully a third of them own a Mac laptop rather than a PC.  When I asked them a question about what kind of networks a typical global company might need, they looked at me like I was from another planet.  Who needs a network when you have wireless at your fingertips?

So there you go, out of the mouths of babes, the future of IT technology.

This is a generation that started using computers at the age of six.  For them a computer network is a utility to be taken for granted.  It is just there and of course it works.  They have little understanding or patience for how IT systems actually work.  Sort of like my generation’s understanding or interest in the telephone.  You pick it up, it has a dial-tone, and you can connect to anybody in the world at any time, so what.

What does this mean for the future of the IT profession?  Sadly, it is no longer seen as either glamorous or as a way to make it big in industry.  There you go folks, in a nutshell the reason top students are no longer flocking to the Information technology majors is clear – it has become routine.

About the Author

Beth Cohen, Luth Computer Specialists, Inc.

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