Is teaching technology now more important than maths or science?

With so many businesses placing importance on digital transformation and tech development and the growing urgency of increased cyber-security, is...

Andy Bristow
Andy Bristow
4 min read Reading Time
25 November 2019 Date Created

With so many businesses placing importance on digital transformation and tech development and the growing urgency of increased cyber-security, is it more important for children to be taught about technology in school rather than maths or science?

Over two-thirds (68%) of British business leaders responding to a tech recruitment survey said that they believed it was more important to teach children tech than to teach them maths, and over half (53%) said that schools fail to teach enough tech specialisms.


Tech skills are considered to be sufficiently important to 73% of business leaders, they thought children should be introduced to them in primary school. In addition, 86% were prepared to back up their opinion with practical actions – they said that to help address the UK’s tech skills gap, they would consider linking up with a school or college. The digital skills gap was investigated by the Open University. Their report, Bridging the Digital Divide, published in June 2019, found that 88% of organisations claimed a shortage of digital skills and asserted that the digital skills gap is harming the ability of UK businesses to compete internationally.

Developing the theme from school to the workplace, 60% said that faced with the choice, they’d hire a candidate with a tech specialism rather than one without, and 80% stated that a tech specialism was an “important factor” when it came to recruitment decisions. Three main reasons were given for the preference:

  • to futureproof the business;
  • because the candidate would be able to train others in their skills;
  • because it provides business leaders with a learning opportunity.

Infographic 2

The days when the definition of a sound education was the “three Rs” – reading, writing and arithmetic – are long gone. However, people still need to be proficient in those areas in order to be able to perform and advance in others. Think of them as a suite of basic skills that underpin other learning. As well as 60% of business leaders saying they’d prefer to hire a candidate with a tech specialism, 71% of businesses urge candidates to learn tech specialisms in order to future-proof their careers.

Candidates with a tech specialism are being sought by businesses of all types. Looking across the board, those specialisms most in demand are cybersecurity (79%), data analytics, and business intelligence (each 76%). The desirability of specialisms varies throughout the UK; almost three-quarters of business leaders in London said skills related to the Internet of Things (IoT) were vital, whilst in Birmingham over half consider coding to be key.

How does this relate to our local businesses?

The tech industry in Norfolk and Suffolk is substantial, offering a myriad of opportunities to tech specialists, and Ipswich and Norwich – which have been recognised as areas likely to benefit from future growth and development – offer additional opportunities. Find out more about our local growth opportunities. Clearly teaching tech to school children offers them an advantage when it comes to moving into the job market – and the benefits extend beyond pure IT jobs.

These statistics are based on a survey of approximately 500 IT decision leaders in the UK, and the results were published in More than Code, a report produced by leading UK IT job board, CWJobs.

If you are looking for the best candidates with tech specialisms, we can help. Our expert team has the skills and knowledge to know where to find and how to attract the best candidates. Contact us today to see how we can help you.