Tom Cruise - Top Gun

I got in a plane recently and had an aisle seat as I always do.

On the inside seat at the window was a young kid with his headphones on. He took them off when I sat down and we made our introductions. He asked me what I did. I told him I worked for one of the largest IT certification providers in the world, people with our certs get hired into really good jobs in the IT industry. He picked up his headphones and before he put them back on, said “Cool accent man“.

The middle seat between us was still empty as other passengers came on board so we thought we might have the middle seat free for the duration of the flight. We heard the doors close and one last passenger came down the aisle and sure enough occupied the middle seat.

He was a pilot for the airline and was wearing his uniform. As soon as he sat down, the kid at the window took off his headset and started taking to him. Quizzing him on the type of training a pilot needs, how long he had to train before becoming qualified, how much did it cost, how much a pilot starting out earns. They talked for the duration of the flight.

My takeaway from the story is that kids are not interested in careers in IT. They just don’t see it as being “sexy” enough, not like being a pilot!

One of our biggest challenges in the IT industry is attracting young talent where we have a huge skills gap. There are fantastic opportunities in the IT industry providing fulfilling and rewarding careers to those starting their journey.

We need to demonstrate that a career in IT is as exciting as being a pilot!


John McGlinchey is the Senior Vice President of Global Business Development & Products for CompTIA