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Young IT experts confident despite recession

Young people with an IT qualification higher than GCSE are upbeat about their job prospects over the next year despite the recession, says research. But...

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Young people with an IT qualification higher than GCSE are upbeat about their job prospects over the next year despite the recession, says research. But those without these qualifications are not.

Over half of 16 to 30 year olds with IT qualifications are confident about their career opportunities over the next year despite the recession, according to research carried out by the British Computer Society of about 1000 people.

A total of 57% of those interviewed said those without IT skills will struggle at work.

"Young people realise even basic IT skills are now essential to their long-term employment prospects," said Jennifer Hewitt, Chair ofthe BCS's Young Professionals Group.

The BCS said this suggests there is a digital divide developing and called for more IT training and education.

"While it's great that those with IT qualifications are optimistic, it's worrying for those without IT qualifications if they can't get the jobs or careers they want. BCS wants to see a skilled IT workforce and an IT-literate population, not a bigger digital divide," added Jennifer Hewitt.

One hurdle to a wider take-up of IT skills is the attitude of parents. Over two thirds (68%) of those questioned said their parents did not value IT jobs as highly as careers in law and accountancy. Over half (55%) felt parents should do more to support children that want to study IT.

"We need to get more children and young people interested in IT as a subject. That means getting parents to recognise that IT and computer science are fundamental to society and therefore represent an excellent career choice too," says Hewitt.

Other research findings:

70% said IT offers global careers

54% believe IT is challenging & exciting

Only 19% think IT is boring

41% think IT is an easy industry in which to start your own business

39% think IT is as important a profession as law or medicine

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