UK teens 'not interested' in IT jobs

UK teens 'not interested' in IT jobs

Kids want to be lawyers and teachers, finds survey

Nearly all 14 and 15 year-olds in the UK know little or nothing about careers in engineering and technology.

The finding is from a new study by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Europe's largest professional society for engineers.

Engineering fails to make the top 10 career choices among the same age group, ranking behind hotel management. The top choices are law, teaching and professional sports.

The results come from the first IET Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics research study, in conjunction with the new IET Faraday, a flagship education programme for every secondary-school pupil in the UK.

"I expected the results to show that young people had an increasingly positive view of science, technology, engineering and maths and the careers to which they can lead," said Jan Stapleton, head of education (five to 19 year-olds) at the IET.

"However, the first wave of results has shown that this is simply not the case, despite the many activities and initiatives in this area in recent years. "

Stapleton warned that there is no magic solution to this problem, and that the UK needs to look at all engineering and technology initiatives to determine whether they are having an impact with pupils.

"Engineering brings wealth creation to the economy and it is imperative that the UK attracts more young people into engineering and technology to tackle the growing skills shortage," he said.

The IET surveyed more than 700 pupils in years nine and 10 from a selection of schools in England. Focus groups were held with pupils, teachers and educationalists.