Autodesk Design the Future programme
According to a recent survey, over half of UK school children want to seek careers in engineering and technology.
Shunning the bright lights of celebrity or dream of being the Prime Minister, the research carried out by Autodesk, revealed that out of 1000 asked, 52% of 11-18 year olds want to work in STEAM fields of science, technology, engineering, digital arts and maths. However, young people find that they are not being given the right tools to do so due to a lack of access to technology in the classroom.
In fact 57% of students claimed this lack of availability is preventing them from using more of it in the classroom and 33% said they felt their school didn’t know enough about new technology. Interestingly, over three quarters of those asked said they felt the access they have to technology at home is not reflected in their school life.
“We've heard for a long time about a growing STEAM skills gap in the UK, but this research shows a real enthusiasm for careers in these industries amongst the next generation,” says Pete Baxter, Vice President and Head of Autodesk UK. “However as a country we should be doing everything we can to nurture this enthusiasm within our classrooms so that we can develop the skilled workforce we need to succeed in the future.”
In 2013, Autodesk launched its Design for the Future programme offering free access to its software to nearly 4,100 UK secondary and post-secondary schools via the Autodesk Academic Resource Centre. This represents the next step in the growth of Autodesk’s education mission, already valued at £24.8 million, to help students and educators engage with new technology.
Fin Crowther graduated from the University of Northumbria where he had access to a number of free Autodesk tools. Since then, he has used these valuable tools to develop showreels and 3D printing projects including his latest project, a 3D printed stop motion animation of a mountain lion’s run cycle.
“Having access to professional quality design software while at university meant I was able to experiment and learn using the best technology available,” says Fin. “Now that I am already familiar with some of the tools already widely used in the animation industry I feel I’m much better placed to both appeal to potential employers and then hit the ground running when I get the job I want.”