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Students choose coding and software development careers over medicine and law

Tech-savvy students considering careers in coding and software development over medicine and law, finds survey

Students aspire to learn coding and software development career skills over medicine or law, according to a survey by FutureLearn.

The survey of 1,000 students aged between 16 and 18 found 23% wanted to learn more about a career in coding, followed closely by medicine at 22%, law and marketing at 16% and forensic science at 15%.

The earning potential of a job was the top reason to consider it as a career choice (52%), followed by interesting work (50%), work-life balance (45%), or working to benefit a cause.

Half of those going to university said they are concerned about having enough money to live on, with 35% admitting to worrying about paying back fees. In addition, 17% said they feel pessimistic about job opportunities after they complete their studies.

FutureLearn’s head of strategy and insight, Kathryn Skelton, said: “It's great to see that today's students take their university education seriously, but anxieties about their study abilities – with almost two-thirds saying they don’t feel prepared for higher education learning – indicates they need a helping hand with the transition from school to university.

“FutureLearn’s portfolio of free, online courses from some of the best universities in the UK and internationally helps students to develop skills in self-directed study, as well as giving them a taster of the fascinating topics they can cover at university.”

Of those polled, 40% said their biggest concern about going to university was achieving good grades.

"Career aspirations relating to coding are in line with what we see on FutureLearn, where courses focusing on technology have performed very well with this age group. The University of Reading’s popular 'Begin Programming: Build your first mobile game' course is being run for a second time in October to meet this demand," Skelton added.

“Courses in medicine, forensic science and dentistry are also popular. Sheffield’s Discover Dentistry course – a favourite with A-level students – runs again in the autumn too.”

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