Three in four people working in UK tech are better off than their parents were, a new report from BCS says – urging better teaching information and coordination with government social mobility programmes to ensure the profession represents all of society.
Moving on Up: a BCS analysis of social mobility in tech says the technology profession can open up more career opportunities for everyone, whatever their social class.
Drawing on education and industry datasets, BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, says technology as a career offers more opportunities for social mobility than medicine and law, with more routes to entry and a far lower cost for qualifications and skills.
It says three quarters of those in IT professions in the UK are better off than their parents were, with that figure as high as 80% in some tech job roles.
“A young person from a less advantaged background will find a career path more open to them in IT than some of the longer-established professions,” concludes the report.
“Given the growth in size, importance and impact of digital, it is vital that our profession is reflective of wider society, and that the UK’s talented young people are encouraged to take a leading role.”
If more people opt for digital over other careers, concludes BCS, the divisions in British society can be eased.
The new BCS report follows last year’s Diversity 2017: shaping our future together research, which highlighted under-representation of women and minorities in IT positions in the UK. It concluded that the tech profession needed to be far more inclusive on age, gender, ability and ethnicity.
And it said that tech professions should include more people from across socio-economic backgrounds.
The new report was unveiled at Rolls-Royce in Derby – one of the 12 opportunity areas – and featured speakers from Fujitsu and Rolls-Royce, alongside local MP Lee Rowley.
BCS has more than 70,000 members across 150 countries. Its royal charter commits it to “ensuring technology-led change is safe and positive for everyone in society”.
Social mobility – BCS recommendations
- Better information for teachers, careers advisers and parents about digital careers, emphasising the variety of entrepreneurial and other opportunities
- All technology education programmes to incorporate policy objectives on social mobility
- Support for school leadership teams around the adoption of IT, encouraging teachers to participate in national networks and programmes
- More accessible IT teaching resources, designed and prioritised for the context where they are most needed
- Regional and local social mobility plans, should highlight digital opportunities and seek partnerships and programmes that bring people together
- More research and monitoring to understand the barriers and solutions for increasing benefits from technology as a tool in social mobility
- All recommendations should have a particular focus in the government’s 12 deprived education opportunity areas.