O2 Study Shows Disturbing Disconnection Between Parents And Digital Demands Of The Job Market

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12th June 2014 15:04 - Information Technology

Research commissioned by O2 has found a “disturbing” disconnection between parents’ career advice and the increasingly digital demands of the job market.

The study, which was conducted on 2,000 parents, showed that one in 10 participants said they would actively discourage their kids from getting jobs such as coding and, instead, would advise them to take subjects such as law or medicine (38%).

Almost one quarter (23%) believed web design or computer programming skills were irrelevant, causing O2 to raise concern over the views parents hold in relation to the skillset employers seek.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Association, twice the number of UK students took up degrees in medicine compared with computer science courses between 2012 and 2013.

With an estimated demand for 750,000 digitally skilled workers by 2017 in order to deliver Britain’s digital potential, there are not nearly enough youngsters taking a digital route in their academic pathway.

Hugh Milward, director of corporate affairs at Microsoft, said there are 20,000 graduate vacancies a year in the software industry, but only 7,500 graduates to fill them.

O2’s concerns have recently been echoed by the European Commission (EC) too, who warn that 47% of Europeans are not sufficiently skilled in digital terms to keep up with this day and age’s work environment.

The EC’s report goes on to state that 40% or more of the population have no digital skills at all in some EU member states (Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania).

The EC discovered 11 member states where more than 50% of the population has insufficient digital skills – Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia.

The report, by EC, also stresses the growth in ICT-skilled employment with the sector having grown by over two million jobs since 2000 – seven times faster than overall employment.

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