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Technical boys and creative girls: the career aspirations of digitally-skilled youths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Billy Wong, Peter Kemp

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)301
Number of pages316
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Publication statusPublished - 2018

King's Authors


Digital technology is increasingly central to our lives, particularly among young people. However, there remains a concern from government and businesses of a digital skills gap because many youths, especially girls, tend to be consumers rather than creators of technology. Drawing on 32 semi-structured interviews with digitally-skilled teenagers (aged 13-19), we investigate their digital career aspirations and examine how identities and discourses of gender can interact with the type of digital careers that are of interest to these youths. While we found digitally-skilled young people still articulate traditional gendered discourses of digital competence, especially around technical abilities, we highlight the growing importance of creativity as a career pathway into digital technology. Implications of the findings are discussed in relation to the new computing curriculum in England, which prioritises technical computing skills, and the discontinuation of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), which facilitates a broader usage of software and digital productivity.

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