IT must offer jobs for the girls

02 May 2008 View Comments
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IT professionals have no lives, say 18-25 year olds

The IT industry must redeem itself in the eyes of potential workers who steer clear of IT, believing it is not condusive to a healthy social life, according to a report.

The skills crisis should be driving the industry to encourage new entrants, particularly women, says IT recruitment specialist GCS.

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“The UK’s IT industry should make small changes now, which could impact the skills shortage," says the report.

"By working with a local school or college you could offer students career advice or actively promote careers in IT, so girls as well as boys are clear on the opportunities a career in IT can present."

"This could be a great way of tapping into the local talent pool," said GCS managing director Chris Bartlett.

The survey found that 40 per cent of 18-25 year olds - 38 per cent of women and 41 per cent of men - have branded IT professionals as "techie geeks with no social skills or social lives".

But only 17 per cent considered IT to be a boring subject, suggesting that the problem lies in the sector's image, not its content. Men were less impressed by IT as a subject, with 19 per cent calling it boring, compared with 12 per cent of women.

While 31 per cent - 37 per cent of women and 28 per cent of men - thought IT was a hard profession to break into, 12 per cent -13 per cent of women and 12 per cent of men - said it was a male-dominated profession.

The survey was conducted through Facebook and respondents were 68 per cent male and 32 per cent female.

Computing Comment:

Computing's renowned society reporter and international blogger Janie Davies reveals her Top 10 Cool IT People – "because they do have lives too, you know."

1) Doctor Who, time traveller, hero
2) Bryan Glick, Computing editor
3) Steve Jobs, CEO, chairman and co-founder of Apple
4) Alan Sugar, entrepreneur, founder of Amstrad
5) Rorie Devine, CTO - Betfair
6) Steve Molyneux, e-learning pioneer and education IT guru
7) Tim Marshall – chief executive
8) Mark Kobayashi-Hillary - outsourcing expert and Computing blogger
9) Dilbert – cartoon character and IT icon
10) Steve Dodson, programme director Digital Challenge

Cool criteria calculated according to factors that may or may not include: pints consumed, job seniority, millions earned, lovers attracted, television exposure, parties attended, respect commanded, down-with-the-kids rating, dancing ability.

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