Manufacturing News

Australian youth least confident about technology – survey

Young Australians, relatively speaking, are not confident that they have the necessary technical skills for a successful future career, according to research.

The international research commissioned by Infosys found that just 51% of young Australians feel their technical skills will equip them for their careers. In comparison, 78% of young Brazilians and Indians were confident about their technical skills.

The research report, Amplifying Human Potential: Education and Skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, commissioned by Infosys and conducted by independent research agency Future Foundation, polled 1,000* young people per country, aged between 16 and 25, in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Overall, while youths across all surveyed countries understood the role that technology will play in their careers and the need to advance their own skills, there is a clear disparity in technical confidence and job opportunities among developed and emerging economies.

The data further shows a large technical knowledge gap between emerging and developed economies. For example, there is a 30% gap between Indian young men (81%) and their counterparts in the US (51%). Among female respondents, the gap is 28% between India (70%) and the US (42%), and 37% with the UK (33%).

Among other things, the research also looked at capabilities of existing education systems. It found that, in the US, 45% of those polled considered their academic education to be very or quite old-fashioned, and that it failed to support career goals, compared to 37% in China. In the UK and Australia, 77% had to learn new skills themselves in order to do their jobs, as their school or university education had not prepared them for the workplace, compared to 66% in India.

And the study showed that job security was important for today’s youth, with the majority of them uninspired to work in volatile start-up ventures. Many, especially in developed economies, are reluctant to set up their own enterprises. Instead, they prefer employment with established large and mid-size companies. And the gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers remains prevalent, but it is much starker in developed countries than developing countries.

Dr. Vishal Sikka, CEO and Managing Director, Infosys, said, “Young people around the world can see that new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, will enable them to reimagine the possibilities of human creativity, innovation and productivity.”

* 700 surveyed in South Africa

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