Vodacom’s parent company, Vodafone has published the results of an international survey revealing the extent to which young adults aged 18-24 believe they are ill-equipped to participate in the digital economy despite being the first generation to be ‘born digital’.
Vodafone commissioned YouGov to ask 6,000 18-24 year olds in 15 countries, including South Africa, for their views on their future career aspirations and concerns.
More than two-thirds (67%) of young people interviewed said they had received insufficient or no careers advice at any point in their education or since leaving school or university.
Of those who had received careers advice during their time in education, just 15% said the careers advice they had received included more future-focused digital jobs, while 38% felt the advice they had received was focused purely on traditional non-digital roles and 22% said the careers advice they received was ‘out-of-date’.
More than half (56%) of respondents believe the greatest struggle for their generation is to find any kind of well-paid permanent job.
As a result of the findings, Vodafone announced the launch of a future jobs programme to provide career guidance and access to training content in the digital economy for up to 10 million young people across 18 countries, including South Africa.
The mobile operator also announced plans for a significant increase in the number of young people brought into the company to gain direct experience of the digital workplace. “Vodafone will expand its existing graduate, apprenticeship, internship and work experience schemes worldwide to reach a total of up to 100,000 young people by 2022,” it said.
“Over the last year, Vodafone has worked with specialist psychologists, careers advisers and training providers to develop a smartphone-based service – called the Future Jobs Finder – that offers young people a simple but comprehensive gateway to new skills and opportunities for employment in the digital economy, Vodafone said.
Looking at South Africa specifically, the survey asked more than 500 young adults to select three careers they believed to have the most potential.
For the bulk of those questioned (312), the hardest challenge remains finding a well-paid, permanent job.
A sizeable group (245) of respondents said they would rather work for ‘myself/be an entrepreneur’ than work for a company, and 230 respondents believe that with the growth of Artificial Intelligence and the use of Big Data and automation, most jobs and professions will be replaced by machines within 50 years.
Overall, 76% of the respondents were interested in more traditional lines of work – while 62% showed interest in modern careers. Here are the most wanted jobs among SA youth:
|Internet of things product designer||10%|
|Cyber security specialist||8%|
|Machine learning analyst||3%|