New research shows that children could be steered away from technology careers due to lack of coding knowledge from parents.
Parents in Scotland appear to have the most to do compared to their UK counterparts when it comes to brushing up on their coding skills. Nine in 10 parents (94 per cent) do not know how to code and over half (54 per cent) have no idea what coding is. This is in stark contrast to the third (31 per cent) of parents in London who say they can code. The research was from not-for-profit learning site, code.org who provide free coding information and have patrons that include Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
Almost half of parents surveyed have admitted they steer their children towards similar careers as themselves because they feel it’s where they can be the most help. But this knock on effect could have a damaging impact on the future of the UK economy. Figures from digital skills organisation Tinder Foundation, revealed that investing in digital skills could produce £14bn for the UK economy over the next ten years.
The survey also shows that UK parents don’t actively encourage their children into the technology sector because a third of them (31 per cent) don’t know about the increasing number of jobs in the area.
Avid Larizadeh, Head of Hour of Code UK, states: “Coding is now a key part of the UK curriculum but this is only half the challenge. We know how influential and important parents are to our kids’ education and their career choices and we need them to be fully on board with coding too.
“Whether they become a vet or an engineer or fashion designer, coding and the digital world will be central to our kids’ future and it’s important that we encourage and help them to build up these skills in a fun and engaging way.
We know how influential and important parents are to our kids’ education and their career choices and we need them to be fully on board with coding tooAvid Larizadeh, Head of Hour of Code UK
“If we don’t they will be in danger of missing out on the huge number of opportunities out there for them, and with digital skills set to add billions to the UK economy in the next few years, the price could be huge.” Today marks the start of an Hour of Code, a week long initiative, taking place from 7 to 13 December, which aims to demystify coding and enable parents, teachers and students across the UK to get a fun introduction to coding. Over 2000 schools in the UK have already signed up to do an Hour of Code this week and last month both a Minecraft and Star Wars tutorial were launched to encourage more children and adults to take part.
Over 100 million people around the world have already participated in an Hour of Code, including David Cameron and President Obama. Last year’s Hour of Code campaign led to over 6 million people participating in the UK and this year the aim is to get 10 million involved.
A large number of corporations will also be introducing an Hour of Code to their teams this year including the BBC, Barclays, Capgemini, Microsoft, Samsung and Sky. Organisations, schools, businesses and individuals in the UK are all encouraged to participate in the Hour of Code UK by visiting hourofcode.com/uk.