We all know the stereotype. The ICT industry is awash with pale-faced, greasy-haired, myopic geeks who spend their days in front of a computer screen and their nights in the World of Warcraft. They speak Klingon, quote Yoda in conversation and have every episode of Doctor Who on DVD.
Wrong. These days, you're just as likely to see high-technology surfboard designers wearing board shorts to work as Star Trek T-shirts.
The ICT industry is for inventors and entrepreneurs, architects and fashion designers, filmmakers and digital animators, as well as for bloggers and social networking buffs.
Those of us in the industry know that a career in ICT is a passport to move between continents and companies -- from Newcastle to New York and from Jetstar to Pixar.
So, what are we doing to help young people understand that geek is chic and that the ICT industry has the coolest jobs around?
We all know that the industry is being crippled by a skills shortage. Industry and government are working together on programs and policies to address these shortages, but this is a challenge not just for our leaders.
If you're a person in the ICT industry who loves what you do, then encourage young people to consider careers in ICT and help them understand that ICT jobs stretch far beyond those for "computer nerds".
Tell them that a career in ICT doesn't mean sitting behind a computer cutting code for 12 hours a day -- that they could be designing Web sites, developing games, running projects or running their own businesses.
Wikipedia defines a geek as "an individual who is fascinated by knowledge and imagination". If that's the case, our industry is full of geeks. But, whether you want to save the world or work in the highest-paid industry in the country, a career in ICT is cool.