Parents should encourage their children to consider a career in IT, delegates were told at the European e-Skills Week conference.
It comes as research released by e-Skills, the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology, reveals that 110,000 people will be needed to enter the UK technology sector each year.
David Clarke, CEO at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, said: "We need to switch young people onto technology at an early age."
But he said the industry faces an "uphill struggle" to convince parents that a career in IT is comparable to law and accountancy and commands a good salary.
The Institute hopes that through outreach programmes and the new Digital Creator qualification, children will get more involved in IT.
Digital Creator provides vital e-skills needed for the modern workplace using digital media.
"Digital Creator has already proved to be very popular with young people, who enjoy employing the technology that they use every day in mobile phones, video cameras and MP3 players to be creative in the classroom," said Clarke.
There are currently 10,000 students enrolled on the GCSE equivalent programme in more than 200 UK schools.
The conference, organised by Intellect and hosted by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, focuses on the UK's technology skills needs.
European e-Skills Week is a campaign designed to highlight the growing demand for skilled IT users and professionals to drive a competitive and innovative Europe.
The campaign seeks to inform students, young professionals, industry and policy makers about the vast range of opportunities that IT-related jobs present.
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