UK teens see ICT as essential to study and IT as top career choice

Logicalis survey reveals 13-17 as ‘digital ready’ generation who see Bill gates as top role model

UK teenagers consider ICT as one of the top essential subjects to study, with IT and science as top career choices, a Logicalis UK survey has revealed.

Conducted by Youngbods the Realtime Generation: Rise of the Digital First Era survey of more than 1000 UK 13-17 year olds found the generation places ICT, Maths, English and Science as their top four subjects.

The report also found that the average UK teenagers has six digital devices and has access to 192GB of storage. Of these, 26% claim to have more than 512GB of storage and 33% are using cloud services. Two-thirds of teenagers are creating and actively sharing videos online according to the survey.

Bill Gates was selected as the top role model for almost half of the teens questioned (46%) over other figures from business, sport, IT, literature and TV.

The survey also revealed a "digital ready" generation, of which 46% said they could not live without their smartphone. Only 4% said they could not live without TV.

Gerry Carroll, author of the report at Logicalis UK, said: “The statistics show a highly connected, commercially aware generation that is pursuing careers in STEM industries, and whose instinctive ICT skills could bring innovation and greater productivity to the workplace.

“This generation has the potential to deliver a digital dividend – an economic return on their ICT skills. But it won’t happen by itself. The challenge for government, the education system and employers is to sustain this generation’s interest in the professions and industries that give Britain its competitive edge.”

Of the teens surveyed, 89% said they expect their employers to fund the digital devices they need for work and 51% expect to be able to choose these devices.

Carroll added: “The 'realtime generation' is expecting to use the technologies and devices to which they’re accustomed, throughout their education and into their careers. A student body or workforce that uses its digital know-how to improve performance or increase productivity is a highly attractive proposition.

“The nation will only benefit from this opportunity, however, if the infrastructure and working practices are in place to accommodate this generation’s expectations.”

Despite IT and science coming out as top career choices for students, IT and technology careers were only selected by 6% of girls.

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