It's official: Brit parents want their kids to be just like Steve Bong
Career as a banker? No, no. Our sprogs should be TECH ENTREPRENEURS, sez survey
Steve Bong is a role model for British parents, who – according to a back-of-the-beermat poll – think a career as a tech entrepreneur would be much more beneficial to their offspring than becoming a vet or a banker, or joining the police.
A survey of 2,000 mums and dads with kids under the age of 18, which was commissioned by cable company Virgin Media, found that leading a life as a profit-lite startup tycoon (presumably with an office that overlooks the Silicon Roundabout) scored highly in the list of promising careers for their sprogs.
Readers might be pleased to hear that jobs as doctors (49 per cent), engineers (45 per cent) and lawyers (43 per cent) all scored higher than tech entrepreneur (38 per cent) in the poll.
But we understand if that 38 per cent figure made you fling spittle at your computer screen today.
Plenty of parents still think that aspiring to be a musician is plain wrong. Just 16 per cent of mums and dads said they wanted their kids to cart around a guitar/piano/double bass from one stinking flea-pit venue to another in the hope of being spotted by Simon Cowell.
The idea of sprogs going into banking when they grow up also received short shrift from the 2,000 folk surveyed by YouGov on behalf of Virgin Media. Only 18 per cent of parents wanted to see their little angels shuffling around the City in bowler hats once they are adults.
Being an app developer is way more important, apparently, with 35 per cent of mums and dads saying that they'd like their anklebiters to code for the web.
All of which brings us to the main purpose of this survey: the UK is in trouble because not enough young people going into the job market today can code.
Virgin Media's Neil Illingworth will please our very own Bongster, however, with this delightful comment:
It can be difficult for parents to know how to best support their kids digital ambitions - especially for those who went through school before the days of apps and superfast broadband.
Back when I learned coding it took days to build something with an end result, but nowadays kids can create apps or games in minutes.
We can't resist sharing this chilling anecdote from Steve Bong about his dad's own parenting methods.
When my father, the financier and diplomat Gilbert Xavier de Bong was a schoolboy, his own father had caught him smoking. In the family tradition, he sat his son down with a full packet of cigarettes and made him smoke each one, until the packet was empty. He matched him smoke for smoke. It worked, and Papa never touched a cigarette again. So imagine my discomfort, then, when my father paid me a rare and unexpected visit to the boarding school in Geneva, only to catch me with several back copies of Color Climax. Let’s just say the next two hours were rather excruciating for both of us.
Yes, mums and dads, kids really should aspire to be tech entrepreneurs. ®
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