Only 1 in 5 female students considering the data career

Only a fifth of women studying at the undergraduate level are considering a career working in data, a new study from Experian has revealed.

The survey, which surveyed 1,204 UK education consumers, found that the majority of female students are deferred because they don’t think they have the right skill set, with nearly half (48%) suggesting they have ruled out this career due to a lack of skills. confidence with science or math.

To raise awareness of the opportunities available to students of all backgrounds, Experian has partnered with The Data inspiration Group to support their Digdata initiative, a small-scale virtual work experience challenges program, online career boards live and classroom resources. Digdata is designed for all high school and college students, as well as teachers and career leaders.

Promisingly, Experian’s research has shown that there is an appetite among younger students to learn more about careers in data. More than two-fifths (46%) of young women studying at a higher education level (such as A-Levels) say the curriculum needs to be updated so students learn how data and math can address some of society’s key challenges, like the climate crisis.

Many college students also see the benefits of a career working with data. Among those definitely open to pursuing technology as a career, 36% think these jobs can pay more, while 30% say they were inspired by someone they know working in the field.

However, educational institutions and companies still need to do more. Only 31% of women at the undergraduate level have noticed ads for data-related roles on social media.

Rachel Duncan, Chief People Officer at Experian UK&I, said:

“The world is changing rapidly and data is at the heart of this transformation. Career paths across a broad spectrum, from fashion design to sports training, finance and marketing, now require an element of data engineering experience. The demand for ‘data professionals’ has tripled in just the last five years.

“Despite this trend, there are still barriers to be overcome and government, educational institutions and companies need to work together to develop key skills and raise awareness of how a career working with data can provide a great career for young people, of all backgrounds. .

“The UK has the opportunity to be a world leader in data. By working on projects like Digdata, we hope to be able to build trust, enhance skills and generate more diversity in our workforce, seizing the opportunities our digital economy presents and developing the next generation of talent.”

Rachel Keane, Founder and Head of Data Inspiration at Digdata, said:

“In line with the government’s plan to ‘increase’ UK employment opportunities, coupled with the national shortage of data professionals, the Data Inspiration Group and Digdata program aim to help students improve and develop their skills.

“As data teams grow in roles and influence, the skills they look for in potential employees go beyond math. The industry needs creative problem solvers, curious thinkers and good communicators – skills that are transferable from all curriculum subjects and that are relevant to various sectors of the industry.

“We want students of all academic backgrounds and abilities to know that a career in data is a choice available to them.”

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