Part 3: Future Talent /

Key Findings

In this, part 3 of 4 of the Tech Nation Talent series, we investigate young people’s perceptions of tech as a future career.

This research is critical to build an understanding of young people’s career preferences, and those aspects of tech that might lead to an alternative career choice. In doing so, we highlight opportunities for tech companies, founders and CEOs to move the UK towards a more inclusive and diverse future tech workforce.

1) Technology was the most popular choice of future career for young men at 36% of responses, whilst Creative and design (26%) and Professions (36%) was most popular for young women.

Careers that young men wanted to work in future

Careers that young men wanted to work in future
Proportion of respondents (%)  Proportion of respondents (%)
 Technology 36%
Start my own business 26%
 Professions 20%
Creative and design  18%
 Sports and entertainment 18%
 Financial services  13%
Other 12%
Construction  10%
Retail  9%
Uniformed services 9%
Manufacturing 6%
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Careers that young women wanted to work in future

Careers that young women wanted to work in future
Proportion of respondents (%)
 Professions 36%
Creative and design 26%
Start my own business 24%
Other  21%
Technology 13%
 Retail  13%
Uniformed services 11%
Financial services  10%
Sport and entertainment  9%
Construction 2%
Manufacturing 2%
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2) Technology was the fifth most mentioned career for all Reddit users. The young people discussing careers tended to mention sectors like ‘Finance’ and ‘Energy’ more often when talking about careers.

Mentions of careers on Reddit (All)

Sectors
Number of mentions
 Finance 1315
Energy 468
 Cyclical consumer goods 388
Industrials  329
 Technology 162
Healthcare 156
Utilities 107
Basic materials 54
Non-cyclical consumer goods 24
Telecom services 2
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3) But for UK careers discussions, Technology was slightly lower down the rankings. It was the sixth most mentioned career behind ‘Finance’, ‘Energy’, ‘Industrials’, ‘Cyclical consumer goods and services’, and ‘Healthcare’.

Mentions of careers on Reddit (UK)

Sectors
Number of mentions  Number of mentions
 Finance 14
Cyclical consumer goods 9
 Energy 8
Industrials 4
Healthcare 3
Technology 2
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Gender of young people who want to work in Technology

Gender
Proportion of respondents (%)
Male 69.7%
Female 28.2%
Other 2.1%
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5) Young people aged 16 are more likely to want to work in tech than other age groups surveyed (21%). On the other hand young people aged 19 and older expressed a preference to start their own business and work in Retail.

Age of young people who want to work in tech (normalised by age distribution in survey sample)

Proportion of young people
Age Age
15 0.22
16 0.32
17 0.23
18 0.23
19+ 0.21
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6) Those who wanted to work in technology cited ‘the fast moving and exciting nature’ of the sector (55%), ‘interesting jobs’ (54%) and ‘good pay’ (50%) as reasons for wanting to work in the sector

Reasons stated by young people (who want to work in Technology) for wanting to work in Technology in the future

Statement about careers in tech
Proportion of young people who want to work in technology (%) Proportion of young people who want to work in technology (%)
Fast moving sector 55
Interesting jobs 54
Well paying jobs 50
Big tech company profile 45
Good use of STEM skills 36
I know people in tech 18
Tech companies at a careers fair 18
Friends/parents recommend 14
Other 3
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7) Young people cited job security as the most important aspect of future work (93%) followed by Salary (92%)

Perceptions of career factors of young people who want to work in Technology

Career factor
Proportion of young people who want to work in Technology (%) Not at all important Not very important Fairly important Very important
Job security 1 6 49 44
Salary 2 6 52 40
Work-life balance 1 8 39 52
Career progression 1 9 44 45
Working with diverse people 6 28 42 24
Working with the latest technology 7 43 37 13
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9) Many young people in our survey felt that work experience was crucial to getting their first job (65%), and that they would consider an apprenticeship instead of a university degree if it offered a way into a professional career (60%).

Young people’s perceptions of career paths

Statement about career paths
Proportion of young people (%) Strongly disagree Disagree Neither agree nor disagree Agree Strongly agree
Work experience crucial 3% 10% 22% 43% 22%
App’ship over uni for career 5% 15% 20% 38% 22%
Too few training opportunities 3% 13% 25% 40% 19%
Earn more with uni education 6% 15% 35% 29% 15%
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Reasons for young men no wanting to work in technology

Reasons for young men not wanting to work in technology
Proportion of young men (%) Proportion of young men (%)
Other areas more appealing 46%
I won’t have the skills 32%
I don’t know anything about it 22%
It’s not for people like me 21%
Not many tech jobs 15%
Poor working conditions 14%
Other 7%
 Friends’/parents’ negative opinion 6%
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Reasons for young women no wanting to work in technology

Reasons for young women not wanting to work in technology
Proportion of young women (%) Proportion of young women (%)
Other areas more appealing 50%
I won’t have the skills 45%
I don’t know anything about it 38%
It’s not for people like me 24%
Not many tech jobs 13%
Poor working conditions 8%
Other 4%
Friends’/parents’ negative opinion 4%
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Tech Nation Talent

A four-part series of reports on the talent and skills dynamics of the UK tech sector.


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