Misconceptions ‘hinder’ young people from pursuing data careers

68 per cent of UK students think key qualifications in maths or science are needed to work in data roles, according to new research from Experian.

The consumer credit reporting company said that misconceptions about qualification and skill conditions are stopping British adults in education from pursuing careers working with data.

The study, which which surveyed 2,000 UK adults (16+) in education, also found nearly three quarters – 72 per cent – think that you need specific data skills in order to apply for a data related job.

However, the report showed that despite misunderstandings about the qualifications needed, 53 per cent of respondents are still considering a career working with data.

A further 29 per cent said they would consider a role in data analysis, while 21 per cent revealed they would work in data science.

Men are considerably more likely to consider a career in a data-related field, with 60 per cent doing so compared to 48 per cent of women.

The research follows a recent report published by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) which revealed that there are up to 234,000 job roles requiring data skills currently vacant.

“The pandemic has shown the growing importance of data and the role it can play in overcoming some of societies biggest challenges,” said Jonathan Westley, chief data officer for Experian UK&I and EMEA. “The National Data Strategy is testament to this view, but achieving the Government’s ambitions will continue to be an uphill struggle if there’s not enough talent working in the data industry."

Westley warned that while a growing number of graduates considering a job in data is encouraging, more needs to be done to educate and create awareness around data roles with a "broader, more diverse range of students."

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