Young hungry for digital jobs – once they get the facts

school kidsOnce young people are given the heads-up on what a digital career entails they are keen as mustard to learn more, and willing to devote their spare time to boosting their skills.

So says a new study from UK digital and tech trade body BIMA, based on the results of its Digital Day survey which follows the 10th annual event at the tail end of last year.

The survey, by Opinium, is designed to help BIMA understand the views of students towards careers within the digital industry, including how attractive the industry appears to them and reasons for their choices.

In an effort to gauge the effectiveness of Digital Day, Opinium asked more than 1,200 students aged 10-19 for their thoughts before and after the event.

It found that before Digital Day, only about three in ten (29%) students thought the industry was desirable, while about three fifths (57%) were unsure about whether they wanted to work in the industry. However, post-event, 80% of students say they would be interested in a career in the sector.

Students’ awareness of career opportunities within the digital industry also improved after Digital Day; jumping from 20% before to 65% after the event.

Crucially, young people want to learn more digital skills, including joining a coding club (54%) and taking part in online learning for different digital skills (47%), outside of the variety of technology-based classes and technology already provided by schools.

The research will be used to help BIMA better understand how students feel about the industry, the classes, and skills that schools could be providing, and how best to appeal to students in the future.

BIMA insists the results show that its members are clearly making a dent in addressing the nation’s digital skills shortage, but more can be done. Ensuring that working in the digital industry is an option for each and every student in the country remains the industry body’s end goal.

BIMA managing director Matt Sullivan commented: “It is clear from these results that Digital Day has a profound impact on students and their interest in learning digital skills as well as their awareness of careers in digital.

“It remains up to us in the sector to work with schools and local authorities to ensure more opportunities are made available to students as the survey shows there is a hunger for more.”

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