Why some young people feel they’re lacking in digital skills

Some 12% of young people between the ages of 18 and 26 say they did not receive any computer education at school. — AFP Relaxnews

Members of Generation Z were born into a world where the Internet already existed and in which they spend much of their time using devices. But younger generations are taking an increasingly critical view of the digital skills they learn in school.

Although young people are often described as “digital natives”, knowing how to use digital technology is not necessarily a given for everyone. That’s why it’s on the school curriculum in many countries. But members of Generation Z aren’t necessarily satisfied with what they’re learning in school when it comes to IT and digital skills, according to a recent survey by Dell Technologies.

The global personal computer manufacturer surveyed more than 15,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 26 from 15 countries worldwide. It found that a significant portion of them are dissatisfied with the IT education they received during their school years. Some 44% of respondents say they were taught only "very basic" digital skills. Even worse, 12% say they received no education at all in technology or digital skills at school.

And this is not without consequences when these young people enter the job market. Indeed, there is a strong demand for digital skills, in computer science and programming, across nearly all sectors of activity. But professionals don't necessarily feel confident about their abilities. Nearly one in three US employees feel they lack basic digital skills, according to a 2020 report from the National Skills Coalition.

So how do we address this lack of digital literacy? For the young people surveyed by Dell Technologies, governments and businesses have a role to play in bridging the digital gap. Regardless, members of Generation Z are determined to tackle this issue head on, with 36% planning to deepen their digital skills on their own. The goal is to improve their employability and become more empowered citizens. And for good reason, since 64% of Gen Zers believe that technology will make an important contribution to tackling the climate emergency. – AFP Relaxnews

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