Actua’s Coding the Future Survey

February 21, 2018

Thank you for visiting Actua's Blog! We're excited to share with you our media release that went out today highlighting the findings from our latest survey: Coding the Future: What Canadian youth and their parents thinking about coding. 


Major gender gaps and lack of opportunities among chief findings

February 21, 2018

Today, Actua released the results of a first-of-its-kind survey, which assessed the confidence and attitudes of Canadian kids and parents toward coding, and jobs of the future. The results revealed a largely enthusiastic cohort of students and parents, but also a persistent gender gap, a socio-economic divide, and a concerning lack of opportunity to learn to code inside and outside of Canadian schools.

The national survey, conducted by Abacus Research in January 2018, surveyed 1,500 young Canadians and their parents to unearth their attitudes and interest in education and careers that involve using, understanding and producing digital technologies – especially coding. The survey also looked at the extent to which these students had access to educational opportunities to learn coding both inside and outside of the traditional school environment.

“We know that we have a generation of enthusiastic users of new technology like smartphones, texting, video gaming and social media,” says Jennifer Flanagan, CEO and President, Actua. “What we were seeking was a better understanding of their attitudes and interest about future careers in coding and programming and their access to learning opportunities.”

Among the most revealing findings of the survey:

“We have to do better for our girls,” says Flanagan. “Through access to coding in schools and workshops and by promoting female role models, we can begin to break down the persistent gender barriers that still prevent girls from actively seeking opportunities in the most important skills area for jobs of the future.”

We need girls to have the same exposure as boys to coding programs and we need to shift the narrative away from how girls need to change to fit into technology to how technology needs to change to welcome and support girls and women.

Actua was recently awarded $10 million of the Government of Canada’s $50 million CanCode program to support the charity’s initiatives. The funding will be used to support expanded coding programs for girls and young women, Indigenous and other at-risk youth, as well as  teacher training (providing teachers training in coding and digital skills as well as resources they can use in the classroom). Over the two-year period, Actua will engage 500,000 youth across every province and territory.

“We are on the cusp of major global shift toward careers that will require sophisticated digital skills,” said Flanagan. “Canada cannot afford to get it wrong. Our competitiveness and our economy will rely on our children having access to world-class coding, programming and STEM education.”

The full report can be found here.