Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Competing With The Younger Generation and the IT Dilemma

“It will be hard because I am so much older than the other graduates. They are much further advanced than I am in all things IT and I am not sure my work experience will compensate”.

These were the words of my Tuesday coffee shop interview/conversation today.

He went on to explain some the “apps” and software being used by his younger University student colleagues to take notes in lectures and tutorials, prepare and collate information for assignments and then to finalise and submit their work.

“I am so out of touch and this is most evident in group work. I have to spend so many more hours reviewing notes and research and then putting together my contribution.”

We chatted further about the origin of this comparative gulf in IT knowledge and how to rectify it. He is considering doing further post-graduate study but was not sure where to start.

My conversation partner has been studying his degree of choice while also working full time. He has attained junior management level and his career is progressing ahead of normal with a seemingly bright future. This additional degree is aimed at enhancing his career prospects in a specific area of interest.

He outlined this interest as being centred on people development, skill enhancement and coaching. This distribution model involves identifying corporate training needs, designing targeted programmes and managing their delivery.

He further talked about the growing outsourcing and specialisation of these services and where he would like to position himself, his business.

I wondered out loud if the so called “IT Gap” is an ever-present problem as the pace of development and launch of new apps and programmes is a daily occurrence. As soon as something new is released, it becomes outdated.

He assured me the primary problem has to do with being a graduate who is so much older than his contemporaries. He added that his educational upbringing was of such a different era, one where he touched-on technology whereas his younger colleagues were imbedded in it.

I empathised with my fellow conversationalist and the dilemma faced keeping up with developments in technology, particularly keeping up with the younger generation.

And his age – 2 months short of his 25th birthday.

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