While most teens working across the country this summer were making minimum wage flipping burgers, Silicon Valley teen-ager Roddy Knight was writing computer code for $20 an hour—plus stock options.

"This is fascinating work," said Knight. "I'm learning so much, and they give me a lot of responsibility."

Knight is one of a growing cadre of students who can boast of honing their marketable skills—and earning lucrative wages—when they write their "How I spent my summer vacation" essays this fall. With the demand for information technology (IT) workers at an all-time high, tech-savvy teens have a unique opportunity to step into positions


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