Blog post

Is it computing?

When we are young we constantly wonder about what we want to be when we grow up.

Most children imagine the jobs that they can play dressing up at and are in regular contact with such as Doctor, teacher, vet, singer etc.

I don’t think many of us grow up to be what we thought we wanted to be when were little. But, do we end up in jobs out of choice or do our parents have a role to play in our choices?

In a recent article on BBC news website a study by O2 showed that a large number of parents still advise on a traditional career choice.

Alarmingly One in 10 of 2,000 parents said they would "actively discourage" their kids from digital jobs such as coding. *

O2 said 23% of parents in the survey thought such skills were “irrelevant". When you walk through any school now, classrooms have ipads, computers laptops etc. Life is so technology based now that surely these would be good jobs to be encouraging your children to go into. I understand that for a lot of people they have not grown up with technology as prevalent as it is in our youth today and encouraging them to jobs in medicine etc may seem like a good choice as they are always thought of as the well paid and well respected jobs, but it would seem that there is a lot of opportunity in computers too.

The government have changes to the curriculum coming up in September:
- Design and technology is linked to innovation and digital industries. Pupils will learn about 3D printing and robotics.
- Computing will teach pupils how to write code. Pupils aged five to seven will be expected to "understand what algorithms are" and to "create and debug simple programs". By the age of 11, pupils will have to "design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems”.

So maybe with this being added to the curriculum people will become more aware of these sort of jobs and parents will start to see the value of these jobs. The industry is apparently crying out for good talented young individuals. When people moan there are no jobs to go to after they have received their degree maybe this is because they are all looking for the wrong sort of jobs?

Hugh Milward, director of corporate affairs at Microsoft, said he "welcomed" the addition of the computing curriculum as it was "absolutely critical" for the success of Britain's young people.

"In the software industry alone there are 20,000 graduate vacancies a year, and only 7,500 computer science graduates to fill them", he said.

It is easy to get lost in technology and think it to be so very confusing, but my husband is a web designer and when he first started to talk to me about his job I felt like I wasn't listening as I thought “I just wont get this at all.. its too hard”. However when he sat me down and showed me the basics of starting to build a website it actually turned out to be a lot easier to understand than I had feared.

I guess it really is time to accept the technology heavy life we live in and help it to progress further through our youth, rather than holding them back for a career they may not want. * study by O2