Teenagers able to code, hack and willing to swap their personal information in return for cash, are on the rise, according to a survey from Logicalis.

Teenagers coding featureAccording to the eighth annual Realtime Generation report commissioned by Logicalis UK, entitled ‘Are you ready for the age of digital enlightenment?’, 7% said they have tried hacking, equating to 1 in 14 or at least one hacker per classroom.

The survey of over 1,000 13-17 year olds found that young people spend nine hours a day online, with 93% owning a smartphone.

Of those questioned 42% said they would rather accept £15 for giving away their personal information than earn cash from a job.

Gerry Carroll, author of the report and marketing director at Logicalis UK, comments, “While some of the statistics around hacking and online behaviour may be alarming, it’s essential we recognise the economic potential of these instinctively digital teenagers.

“Whether creating new careers in an increasingly digitalised workplace, or nurturing the skills so sorely needed in the IT industry, today’s teenagers are better placed than ever before to achieve the efficiency and productivity promise of IT. Public and private sector organisations should nurture and channel these talents, creating the right opportunities for these digitally enlightened teens to deliver their true dividend.”

81% of students said they believe teachers do a great job integrating digital learning into lessons, and 60% said the ICT curriculum offers an adequate foundation for their higher education and career aspirations.

41% are taking a qualification in a computer science subject and 52% would make ICT and computer sciences mandatory – 45% of these were girls.

Of those questioned 43% said they are coding already or would like to learn how. 48% of these are girls.

64% of boys and 48% of girls said they would like to create their own apps to use on HE or company network.

Carroll added: “With numerous reports bemoaning the loss of jobs to increasingly computerised functions, this generation is busy developing the skills it needs for careers that don’t yet exist. The next decade will see an influx of employees whose capabilities will be light years ahead from our existing expectations of ‘ICT skills’.

“Able to create, build or knowledgeably commission the IT they want, today’s teenagers are a future workforce with the potential to enable and transform the UK’s digital economy.”

The top three career options for boys were IT & Information Management (28%), Manufacturing & Engineering (23%), Science & Research (21%). The top three for girls were Education & Training (18%), Medicine & Nursing (18%), Science & Research or Arts, Crafts & Design (15%).