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More than half of teens think school curriculum sets them up for digital

UK teenagers believe the ICT and computing courses in schools teach them the skills they need for a digital job

Most UK teenagers think the ICT and computer science curriculums in schools give them the skills they need to pursue the higher education and career they want.

Research by managed service provider Logicalis found that 60% of 13 to 17-year-olds think the ICT and computer science curriculums give them a good grounding for further learning and careers.

More than 80% of the teens said their teachers do a good job in using digital to assist the learning process, and more than 50% said ICT and computer science should be mandatory subjects for 13 to 17-year-olds.

Gerry Carroll, author of the report and marketing director at Logicalis UK, said: “Whether creating new careers in an increasingly digitised workplace, or nurturing the skills so sorely needed in the IT industry, today’s teenagers are better placed than ever before to achieve the efficiency and productivity promise of IT.”

But although teens appear digitally and cyber savvy, 42% of those surveyed said they would be willing to sell their personal data for about £15, and some said they would rather claim cash for their personal data than get a job.

A small percentage (7%) of the teenagers have tried their hand at hacking, with many citing curiosity as the reason.

Cyber security is among the roles facing a skills shortage in the UK, and some firms are turning to young people to fill the gap.

Carroll said: “While some of the statistics around hacking and online behaviour may be alarming, it is essential that we recognise the economic potential of these instinctively digital teenagers.”

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  • Almost half of employers think UK firms would be more productive if there was a higher level of digital skills.
  • Around three-quarters of firms think the tech skills shortage could be solved by employing apprentices.

Digital skills are becoming increasingly important, even for those not seeking a career in technology, and many jobs that today’s young people will take do not yet exist.

More than 40% of the teens surveyed said they were either already learning to code or would like to, and 90% admitted watching online tutorials to learn new things.

Carroll added: “With numerous reports bemoaning the loss of jobs to increasingly computerised functions, this generation is busy developing the skills it needs for careers that don’t yet exist. The next decade will see an influx of employees whose capabilities will be light years ahead from our existing expectations of ICT skills.”

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