Young adults think a career in tech is ‘unachievable’ due to race and social class

 (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A quarter of young adults think a career in the tech industry is “unachievable” because their social class, age, gender, or race makes them less appealing to employers.

A poll of 1,000 adults aged 16 to 25 found 54 per cent would like to work in the sector, but 27 per cent of those believe it is not a realistic proposition.

It was revealed that 35 per cent think factors such as social class, age, gender, race, and more would limit their chances, while 76 per cent believe the industry is missing out on a hotbed of talent.

The study was commissioned by Samsung, which has re-launched an innovation competition for 11-25-year-olds in the UK and Ireland, called “Solve for Tomorrow”, with a £10K prize, mentorship and access to workshops on offer.

James Kitto, spokesperson for the tech brand, said: “The next generation are going to be tomorrow’s problem-solvers.

“They’re the thinkers that will come up with the ideas and innovations that will address some of the world’s biggest challenges.

“But to be successful in this mission, they will need to be armed with the skills, contacts, and knowledge to unleash their full problem-solving potential.”

A “ruthless” industry

When asked about their perceptions of working in the tech industry, 12 per cent revealed they consider it to be “ruthless”.

While 36 per cent think you need good grades to get jobs in this area.

Such factors might explain why just 21 per cent have attempted to pursue roles in this field – despite 69 per cent agreeing young adults are keen for jobs within it.

As part of the research, the study carried out through OnePoll, also looked at the top considerations young adults have when considering a career or job role.

The most selected options were salary (59 per cent), working hours (51 per cent), and location (49 per cent).

But in line with the findings about the tech industry, 20 per cent said their potential employer’s approach to equal opportunities is important to them.

As is ‘whether people who look like me work in such roles’ (12 per cent).

Further research of 500 young people aged 13 to 18 years, by UK social enterprise Startup Sherpas, found 14 per cent wouldn’t apply for a job if they didn’t know anyone who worked in that industry.

While 35 per cent have been held back from applying for a job due to a lack of Wi-Fi access, and 24 per cent have similarly struggled due to a lack of mobile data.

And in relation to the tech industry, 47 per cent believe they could make a positive difference to it if they had the right support.

Lauren Forbes, spokesperson for social enterprise, InnovateHer, which has partnered with Samsung for ‘Solve for Tomorrow’, said: “Our partnership aims to break down barriers, inspire confidence and pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.

“The benefits are not just for these girls alone, but for society, as we empower them to become tomorrow’s leaders, innovators and changemakers, and we cannot wait to start the work.

“As such we believe it should set the benchmark for welcoming different ways of thinking – conventional and unconventional alike.”