Of these parents were more likely to steer boys than girls towards a technology career – 13 percent of parents said they would want their son to pursue a career as a tech entrepreneur or games developer, whereas these roles did not appear at all in the top five roles that parents suggested for girls.
A career as an engineer was the top choice of parents for boys to pursue in the future, whereas a quarter or parents hoped girls would become doctors – and only six percent hoped their daughters would become tech entrepreneurs.
Eleanor Bradley, COO of Nominet, said the UK had the potential to be a hub for tech in the future as it begins to grow its digital economy, but parents needed to encourage their children into technology roles for these efforts to succeed.
“Parents are one of the greatest influences on their children’s future decisions, much more than they perhaps give themselves credit for, and I encourage everyone to help all young people – and especially girls – to consider the possibilities the tech industry has to offer,” said Bradley.
The UK IT industry is suffering from a skills gap, and the government has tried to develop a bigger pipeline of young people with relevant skills by introducing the computing curriculum in 2014, making it compulsory for children between the ages of five and 16 to learn concepts such as computational thinking.
Many parents are beginning to understand the importance of computing skills, with 45 percent in the study thinking computing studies will give children useful skills to have after they leave school.
Only 19 percent of parents think coding skills will be important for future jobs.
Dads are often seen as less of a barrier for girls attempting to pursue a technology career than mums, and the Nominet research found dads are more likely to encourage children to attend tech-based after-school activities in general.