A survey led by an online learning company has revealed that the dream future jobs of many UK kids require digital skills or tech competencies.
After quizzing more than 2,300 parents who answered questions on behalf of their children, edtech organisation Fire Tech hoped to find out just how necessary digital and tech-based education is when it comes to supporting the ambitions of the future workforce.
Survey respondents were first asked whether they worked in a job that required skills relating to digital or something else tech-focused – to which around two-thirds (65%) answered ‘yes’, even when the job they’re in isn’t necessarily directly related to tech or digital industries.
A further 19% of parents claimed they do not work in a tech-related role, but do still possess a digital skill set. A previous study conducted on behalf of Fire Tech also recently discovered that three-quarters of UK online job advertisements require candidates to have digital expertise to apply.
Then, survey participants were asked what types of jobs their children said they wanted when they grow up. The top 10 cited were as follows:
- Doctor – 14%
- Teacher – 13%
- Vet – 12%
- YouTuber – 12%
- Professional gamer – 9%
- Digital artist – 6%
- Musician – 4%
- Professional athlete –4%
- Paramedic – 4%
- Fire fighter – 3%
Interestingly, almost half (45%) of the top 10 professions desired by the children surveyed are rooted in digital.
When parents were asked whether they think their children’s tech-based education at school is sufficient, only 21% said ‘yes’, meaning 79% feel their kids are not adequately being taught key skills in disciplines such as coding, gaming, or digital media. As such, some of their preferred job choices could be inaccessible later down the line due to a lack of support and specialised education in their early years.
Finally, parents were asked if they thought they could be doing more to support their children’s learning in tech-centred subjects, with 45% saying ‘yes’. Of those respondents, 70% said they would like to help their kids develop these skills but are unsure where to access additional help or resources to assist them.
Jill Hodges, founder of Fire Tech, commented on the findings: “I think it is interesting and worrying to hear so many parents feeling they are unsure of how to support their kids to develop the digital skills they’ll need. We have known for years the school curriculum is insufficient; it fails to teach children key life skills they need to be successful in securing a job when the time arrives.
“This is reflected in the situation we see now in the tech industry,” added Hodges, “where there is a digital skills gap and tech companies cannot fill well-paid positions as there are not enough candidates with these vital skills.”
The CEO urged that using digital and tech skills in a fun and engaging way is key to inspiring young people to “continue their studies in STEM and tech and become the next generation of successful digital leaders.”