February 2, 2018

Busting Tech Career Myths, Part 7: ’Tech Jobs Are Going Overseas’


A recent survey of 1000 teens in the 13-17 age bracket conducted by CompTIA found that most teens turn to teachers and career counselors at school for information about potential careers. The fact that most teens rely on interacting with people for direction about jobs is heartening in the Digital Age. The deluge of content without context that makes up much of the internet isn’t news; it’s noise. For that reason, having experienced, focused mentors to guide aspiring technologists is not only important, but also necessary.

That’s why, as the leader of an organization committed to drawing new generations of workers into the technology fields, I bust misapprehensions about tech careers on a regular basis.

Per this mission, I’ve so far shredded six common misunderstandings surrounding technology jobs:

  1. “Technology is all about coding, math, and science.”
  2. “Working in technology requires a four-year college degree.”
  3. “If it’s not at Facebook or Google, it’s not a technology job.”
  4. “A tech career means being stuck at a desk.”
  5. “Money is the main benefit of a tech job.”
  6. “My kids won’t listen to me.”

Now, for the seventh and final installment of the series, I want to correct the following misunderstanding:

Myth No. 7: Tech Jobs Are Going Overseas

Two misconceptions give this myth staying power: An oversimplification of the global economy, and a narrow definition of the term “tech jobs.”

Yes, over time certain types of technology jobs have been – and continue to be – outsourced overseas. However, this ebb and flow of employment across increasingly globalized industries and markets doesn’t equal tech jobs leaving the U.S. economy for good. The dynamics of world markets are too complex for such a simple conclusion – especially one that fails to account for the most crucial factor driving the global economy.

The economic reality is that the digital transformation of business is creating technology jobs faster than many companies here and abroad can fill them. Those positions are not concentrated in one area of the country, like Silicon Valley. Our research shows open technology jobs in every state on a regular basis, about half a million during any given calendar quarter.

While some tech jobs in specific categories may move from our shores to others as international business expands, some of those positions may also come back as wages overseas rise or pressure is placed on U.S. companies to re-shore work. Overall, these ups and downs don’t change the big picture: Plenty of tech jobs are being created in the U.S. these days, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.

If we as mentors from the business world can clear these seven persistent myths from the minds of teens and parents today, they will be closing the tech employment gap for us tomorrow.

Charles Eaton is executive vice president of social innovation for CompTIA and CEO of Creating IT Futures.

Read more in Career Planning

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, including Creating IT Futures, CompTIA's IT workforce charity. His first book, "How to Launch Your Teen's Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education," is available at www.tinstem.com.