How technology will change the future of workforces

Nick Richardson
Opinion - Children Tuesday, 7th January 2020

Nick Richardson of the Insights People reports on how the skills and attitudes learned by kids today will shape the workforce of the future

This generation of kids has access to an abundance of digital information and technology from a very young age. And that means that the skill sets of these kids are completely different from those of their parents when they were children. Research by Kids Insights shows how much technology is going to change the future of workforces, with as many as one in four children already having learned to code to some extent. Growing up digital natives, they are acquiring specific skills - often passively while enjoying other entertainments and interests.

For example, one in five kids aged 10-plus is using TikTok, the fun short-video app. Children who are creating their own videos on these platforms are, almost unknowingly, developing their video shooting, editing and effects abilities, all of which may be highly desirable skillsets in the future. Frequent Instagram and Snapchat posters are also developing public relations, marketing and communication skills that future employees will value. And this is true among both sexes: a desire to become a YouTuber/Vlogger grew from 4.1% of boys in Q2 to 4.7% of boys in Q3.

According to recent Kids Insights data, an IT/computer related job is deemed very appealing among boys. In total 8.7% of boys wish for a computer-related job when they're older, with this desire peaking among boys aged 13-18 (14%). As a corollary, boys that are keen on working in IT are 25% more likely than average to spend more of their money online than offline.

Girls are not so drawn to working in computers, with teaching still their number one choice of career, and with English a favourite subject at school. Another profession that is much more popular among girls than boys is that of veterinary surgeon, with the numbers aspiring to this job increasing by 2.3 times over the last quarter. This growth may reflect increasing social activism and growth in online communities around the world, with children taking the initiative and becoming more engaged in the issues that concern them, including animal cruelty and the environment/climate change. In a digitally fragmented world, this generation is inspired and motivated to make positive changes, and technology will be the enabler.

As children especially become increasingly involved in social activism, they're also becoming more conscious of their favourite brands' actions - and this is influencing their choices. Global consumers, down to the very youngest, are seeking out companies that care about environmental issues.

Nick Richardson is CEO of the Insights People. The company's Kids Insight is the global leader in kids' market intelligence, surveying more than 2,000 children every week across three continents and seven countries. Their current reports are predominantly based on the results of surveying 5,000 children between 1 July and 30 September 2019, while also drawing on data collected since May 2017.

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