Young children more interested in tech careers than teens
Younger children are more interested in a career in technology than teenagers, according to research.
The study, conducted by firms Nominet and Parent Zone, found 77% of children aged between 11 and 12 are inspired by IT and would like to pursue a career in it.
In contrast, 63% of children aged between 17 and 18 fancy working in IT.
The careers that most interested children between the ages of 11 to 18 were development careers, with a quarter wanting to become a games developer, 13% wanting a career in apps development and 12.6% aspiring to be a web developer.
CEO of Parent Zone, Vicki Shotbolt, claimed children – and especially young women – can be put off careers in technology if their parents advise them to look elsewhere.
She said: “It’s easy for parents to slip into the trap of being negative about technology, but it’s important they try to see it through their children’s eyes and remember that technology is likely to feature in their careers when they leave school.
“There are lots of resources available to parents when it comes to cultivating their children’s interests in IT, so they should know that help is available if they need it.”
Only a quarter of girls said they hoped to work in an IT department, as opposed to 43% of boys.
12.3% of girls said their dream career would be in games development and 11.5% of girls said they wanted to be an entrepreneur.
Shotbolt added: “Young women are strongly influenced by their school years, what they learn and the role models they look up to.
“These influences can clearly make a difference to the choices they make later in life, so it’s paramount we do all we can now to ensure the success of our future IT workforce.”
CEO of Nominet, Russell Haworth, said collaboration between the IT industry and the education sector could help to ensure more young people are better equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to pursue a technology career.
He said: “We’re putting the future of our digital economy at risk if we recruit from only half of the talent pool and fail to encourage more girls into IT.
“It appears that sustained collaboration between schools and the IT industry is what’s required to ignite girls’ interest and to develop their skills.”