Big Words Spell Out Big Fears Of UK’s 13-17 Year Olds

“What Are Your Main Worries About Your Future?”

Slough, 16th September 2009:  Findings from the [1]Realtime Generation Survey 2009 are published today, revealing the education and career choices, expectations and concerns, of 13-17 year olds from across the UK.  Key findings from the survey, which was commissioned by international IT solutions provider Logicalis, include:

• 80% of UK teenagers are concerned they won’t be able to afford higher education because of the recession

• 48% are worried about getting into debt to finance a University education

• 52% say the recession will affect which University they choose

• Over half (52%) agreed they would be influenced in their choice of college or University by a free laptop or iPhone

• Science/IT/engineering is considered to have the best career prospects (33%); property is considered to have the least (4%)

• 72% intend to take academic subjects over vocational courses

• The majority (37%) of boys want to study science/IT/engineering at higher education; for girls, the arts (25%) is the course of choice

• 35% of girls think the Internet was ‘made’ for cheating when it comes to completing coursework

‘Job’; ‘money’; ‘university’; ‘want’; ‘afford’ - these are the words used most frequently by this generation when asked about their main worries for the future.

According to Chris Gabriel, marketing and solutions director at Logicalis UK, the survey results are a reflection of external influences;

“The word cloud captures the zeitgeist of this generation and, drilling down into individual comments, it reveals deep-rooted fears about the value of education versus employment prospects.  In fact, many of the teenagers surveyed expressed serious concerns about getting into debt to subsidise their studies, and are questioning whether it is worth staying on in education.

“The survey results however, suggest that this generation is planning ahead and offsetting these fears by choosing traditional academic subjects such as science, IT and engineering, which they associate with better career prospects.

“This is in stark contrast to recent years, where headlines have highlighted the popularity of ‘softer’ subjects.  Whether this is a conscious or subconscious reaction to the recession or other external pressures, British plc should be reassured that our knowledge economy is safe for a few more years.”

Of note to the UK government, however, should be the lack of appetite for vocational diplomas, says Gabriel, “With only 28% pursuing a vocational course at University or college, the government will have to work harder to demonstrate the benefits of the new diplomas, and ensure they are of real commercial value to students and businesses alike.”

To download the Realtime Generation Survey 2009 Report, go to www.uk.logicalis.com/rtg.

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