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More kids want to be hackers than rockers

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Small business owners concerned about the number and quality of IT workers have been given hope for the future - a new survey has revealed that working with computer technology is the most popular career path for children, ahead of being elected prime minister or even becoming a pop star.

As reported by, over half of UK employers are reported to be unhappy with the skill levels of their IT staff, with many admitting that they required extra training to bring them up to standard.

Concerns have also been raised about the shortage of skilled IT workers in several areas of the UK, particularly London and the South East - regions which have previously benefited from a plentiful supply of computer experts.

However, new research has revealed a potential remedy to firms' IT woes in the future, with nearly a quarter of youngsters surveyed saying they would like a career working with computers.

The study, by IT service operators Parity, found 22 per cent of 12-15 year olds cited working with computers as their ideal career, ahead of launching a pop career (15 per cent) or becoming a doctor (13 per cent).

The prospect of becoming an IT expert was also far more exciting to those quizzed than being prime minister, a bank manager, a soldier or a teacher.

The research found that the main reason for IT ambitions was money, with 34 per cent of those questioned saying that they would like to enter the profession for the salary.

A further 33 per cent said that they wanted to work in IT because of the "exciting technology", but just one in five felt that the job would be particularly fun.

Peter Linas, of Parity, said in the past people had bemoaned a perceived lack of interest in IT in the UK.

"This tide has been reversed in recent years and it's great to see from this research that IT is capturing the younger generation's imagination.

"This goes to show that the tech industries image has changed significantly over a short period of time," he said. ®

Copyright © 2003

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