Posts

Encouragement from schools is the biggest motivator in choosing a career in tech, with girls more likely to be influenced by role models

14% of students were encouraged to pursue a tech career by their parents, 11% were motivated by an industry role model

 

With many students now approaching their graduation at the end of the school term, recent research has found that the most significant motivator for career direction among 18-24-year-olds is being encouraged by their school or college.

 

The report, by global emerging talent and reskill provider, mthree, found that more than a third of students (37%) attribute their career decisions, such as pursuing a career in technology, to encouragement from their school or college/sixth form (30%).

 

Interestingly, the majority of reasons that were cited for pursuing a career in technology were the same for both males and females. These included being pushed towards a career in tech by their parents (14%) and because they had completed a degree in a related subject (9% of males and 10% of females).

 

However, the research did find that whilst only 8% of males felt encouraged to pursue a career in tech by their friends, over 13% of females gave this as their primary motivation. Similarly, whilst 9% of males were inspired by a high-profile person, or role model within the sector, 13% of females stated that this was their biggest motivator. This suggests that social influence and having recognisable role models is particularly significant to young girls. With women making up just 19% of the technology industry across the UK,  there is a real need for more positive representations of women in technology in the media that can encourage further female uptake of careers in the sector.

 

Becs Roycroft, senior director at mthree, commented: “Whilst it’s great to see the significant role that educational establishments have in encouraging students to pursue a career in technology, it also highlights how students with potential could be missed, if schools do not advocate career paths such as that of tech.

 

“The technology industry is thriving, however, when you consider the diversity problem tech and many other sectors are currently experiencing, addressing the gender imbalance by looking at young people’s motivations for when they chose a career, can go some way to resolving the problem. Our research findings are a further reminder of how, to attract women to pursue careers in the sector, recognisable role models and positive representations of women in the industry, are essential.

“Schools and businesses can take active steps to promote careers in the sector as well as advocating technology jobs as a viable career path for female candidates.

 

“Introducing role models to young girls whilst at school, arranging for inspirational leaders in the field to come in and to discuss their role, can encourage students, and girls, in particular, to see the wide breadth of opportunity that the sector can offer.

 

“Similarly, for businesses, having a greater presence at recruitment fairs and university open days can be a keyway to not only introduce those to the sector, but also as a great opportunity to identify candidates that may have the necessary skills.”

 

“By demonstrating the extensive opportunities within technology and understanding young people’s motivations when considering a career, the technology sector can welcome more suitable candidates that have the relevant skills, to thrive within the industry.”

 

70% of secondary school students admit to future career fear

The Careers after Covid report published today by Launch Your Career, has revealed that 70% of secondary school students do not know or are unsure about what they want to do for a career when they leave school. Three quarters of students (78%) admitted they are worried about making the right choice of career. 

 

The report also reveals that nearly half of secondary school teachers (48%) say their school’s ability to give careers advice to students has worsened since the start of the pandemic. One in five (19%) of secondary school students say they have not received any advice from their school since the first lockdown over a year ago.  

 

Many students (47%) responding to the survey revealed that any advice they had been given had not been personalised to them.  

 

The news comes as students are already coping with disruption to learning, exams and friendships as a result of the pandemic.  

 

Furthermore, Covid-19 has hampered opportunities for work experience and one in four students (28%) revealed they had no practical experience of the working world, not even via a visiting speaker organised by their school. 

 

David Chapman, vice principal of Aston University Engineering Academy (AUEA) said: “After a year of seeing businesses failing, people being furloughed and parents losing jobs, young people are more unsure than ever about their own career opportunities. We need to find new ways to engage them in their future work choices.” 

 

The turmoil brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has also impacted what students want to do after school, with more than half (54%) saying they have now changed their career ideas, making it even more important that they receive good advice to make the right choices. 

 

David Chapman, vice principal of Aston University Engineering Academy (AUEA) said: “We have flipped the careers advice journey on its head and rather than asking ‘what do you want to do?’ we find out more about them as people. With a short personality quiz, we discover each student’s strengths and then research careers they might find fulfilling based on their answers. This starts to open doors for them and helps a young person feel more positive about the future.” 

 

Chris Jeffries, CEO and founder of Dev Clever, the company behind Launch Your Career, said: “Just when good careers guidance is needed most, schools are finding it hard to give quality advice and work experience opportunities. The pressure of the pandemic means they are having to focus instead on plugging curriculum gaps. But young people also need to plan for the future to help them engage in the lessons they are being taught in class today. 

 

“Schools need to look for simple ways to expose students to potential career choices that would suit their personality and engage and excite them in their future. And employers need to be more actively involved so students know what options are available to them once they leave education.” 

 

The research also revealed that three quarters (76%) of secondary school teachers agree students engage more with lessons when technology is used and 34% of students indicate technology could be used to explore career options. 

 

Aston University Engineering Academy is using Launch Your Career’s virtual reality experience to engage students in their career journey. David Chapman from AUEA said: “The virtual reality experience hooks our students into their personalised career journey. It uses gaming techniques they are very familiar with to grab their attention in a way that a normal careers lesson cannot. 

 

“It opens up their eyes to why they come to school each day and shows how the subjects they are learning lead to a real career.” 

  

Other interesting findings from the report include: 

  • 92% of parents have discussed potential career options with their child, however, a third (33%) do not feel equipped to give careers advice.
  • Nearly half (48%) of students want to see which careers would suit their interest and personality.

 

The Careers after Covid report is available at www.launchyourcareer.com/careersaftercovid to download and contains advice and guidance for schools and parents. The free personality career quiz is available to all students at www.launchyourcareer.com.  

 

Launch Your Career is an online and virtual reality experience for young people which provides careers guidance based on a student’s personality. Students use the tool to find out what makes them tick – whether they are an introvert or extrovert, whether they like to plan or are more of a seat of your pants type. Their spirit animal is unlocked based on their answers and they can see careers highlighted that might interest them.   

 

Built on engagement, gamification and fun, Launch Your Career immerses young people in their career journey. With a VR headset, students are absorbed in a quest to find out about jobs that interest them, and what they need to do to secure them. It’s the perfect tool to revitalise careers advice.  

 

Launch Your Career is the brainchild of digital innovation experts, Dev Clever

 

#Careers #classroomVR #LaunchYourCareer #VRinEDU @LaunchYourCareer   

www.launchyourcareer.com