Kids choose careers in tech

Over half of UK schoolchildren want engineering and technology careers, but lack access to technology in the classroom, new research finds

Research from Autodesk has revealed that more than half (52%) of 11-18-year-olds want to pursue a career in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, digital arts and maths) related industries, but are being held back from doing so by lack of access to technology in the classroom. 

The survey asked 1,000 schoolchildren in the UK what they want to be when they grow up. Nearly one third (30%) name-checked scientist, engineer, inventor or app developer as a potential future career, while only a few said they wanted to be prime minister (2%) or a celebrity (13%).

More than half of pupils (57%) said a lack of access to technology is stopping them from using more of it in the classroom. The majority of pupils also highlighted they didn’t feel they had the same access to technology in school that they have at home – over three-quarters (78%) said they can use tablet computers at home with a similar number (73%) saying they can’t use them in the classroom. A third (33%) also said they don’t feel their school knows enough about new technology.

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“We’ve heard for a long time about a growing STEAM skills gap in the UK, but this research shows a real enthusiasm for careers in these industries amongst the next generation,” explained Pete Baxter, Vice President and Head of Autodesk UK.

“However as a country we should be doing everything we can to nurture this enthusiasm within our classrooms so that we can develop the skilled workforce we need to succeed in the future. We believe younger students can be inspired to further their STEAM education through regular hands-on access to highly visual and creative tools and technologies, while older students need the opportunity to master professional tools and techniques to ensure they hit the ground running when they begin their STEAM careers.”

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