There was a time when everyone wanted their child to become a doctor or a lawyer. Today, parents are most likely to encourage their children to look at engineering and software development as the career paths with the best long-term prospects.
The poll of 2,000 adults explored which careers parents would encourage their children to follow. Software design (33%) and engineering (31%) were the top choices – ahead of medicine (29%), law (19%), teaching (16%) and banking (9%). The allure of management consultancy seems to have fallen (7%) and the prospect of a career in politics came last (3%).
The study was commissioned by Bakkavor, the UK’s leading provider of fresh prepared food, which itself is investing heavily in technology and engineering across its 22 UK sites. In recent years, the food sector has seen a technological revolution in the way food is made. With a big focus on skills development, health and hygiene standards, energy efficiency, building and infrastructure strategy – engineering is a top skills requirement for Bakkavor, which is on a national recruitment drive for engineers and, as part of its award-winning apprenticeship programme, it is committed to developing the engineering talent of tomorrow.
Around the UK, engineering as a career-path was most popular among people in the Southwest (39%), Wales (38%), and Northeast (36%), whereas a career in food held appeal on several fronts. A number of parents said they would encourage their children to follow careers in nutrition (5%), farming (3%) – and 6% believed that being a chef was a worthwhile career path with good prospects.
Ben Cooper, UK Head of Engineering at Bakkavor said: “British Science Week presents an opportunity to recognise the positive role that science plays not only in our society but also in the world of chilled food production. Today our business is driven by science and data, and it’s all underpinned by engineering. Every week, our engineers add value to our compliance, complex refrigeration strategies, building standards, equipment design and production line efficiency. They help us to feed the nation safely and innovatively and, as we continue to grow, we are investing in the top engineering talent of tomorrow.”