The study, conducted by global strategic comms and public affairs consultancy Finsbury Glover Hering in September, surveyed 2,400 members of Generation Z and young millennials from the UK, US, Germany and China – questioning respondents on perceived barriers to pursuing a career in technology.
While the findings seem to show that young people overwhelmingly ‘trust’ the sector – and believe it’s a force for good – almost half of young Britons (46 per cent) believe it’s ‘too late’ for them to join the industry.
The respondents believe they didn’t have the ‘opportunity’ to study relevant subjects in school that would allow them to pursue a tech career, with one US respondent aged 25-26 stating that they felt like “a dinosaur already”.
When it comes to pursuing a tech career, fewer than six in 10 Britons believe that it aligns with their values, with 61 per cent of young Brits believing that major tech companies have ‘too much power and influence’ over today’s society.
Over half (56 per cent) of young Brits stated that ‘a good work-life balance’ in tech was a priority, alongside ‘a positive work culture’, good salary, and employees not required to work ‘unreasonably long hours’.
Desk-based office work and the sector’s reputation for ‘grind’ and ‘hustle’ were the most off-putting factors – with one respondent from China, aged 16-18, stating that there was “serious overtime work in most technology industries”.
Gender equality and diversity remained at the forefront of many respondent’s minds, with 52 per cent claiming that joining a company that ‘focused on hiring a diverse workforce’ was a priority.
Furthermore, over half (54 per cent) of British Gen Z and young millennials believed the sector was too male-dominated, with ‘not enough gender diversity’.
Sophie Scott, global technology lead at Finsbury Glover Hering, said: “The results from this research deliver intriguing insight. Issues of diversity and accessibility, as well as the work environment, are barriers holding young people back.
“Astonishingly, many assume it’s too late to enter the sector, despite their youth. And for all, the issue of work-life balance is front of mind.
“Without understanding the dreams and desires of the audience they’re trying to attract, technology companies of every size might well still face that dystopian future we hear about so often – but for lack of humans, rather than for an abundance of machines.”