'Widespread unawareness' on best dev studies

'Widespread unawareness' on best dev studies

By Rob Crossley

December 13th 2010 at 3:54PM

New NESTA survey shows parents, pupils and even teachers disregard maths, art and physics

Art and Maths studies are near-unanimously ignored by parents and pupils as vital for a career in games development, new data shows.

An IPSOS-Mori survey found that only three per cent of 11-18 year-olds recognised maths as the most important subject for a job creating games.

Six per cent of the same age group thought that Art was the most important discipline.

The data is in sharp contrast with the expectations of many prominent figures in the UK games industry.

Many veteran game developers – from Ian Livingstone to David Braben – believe that younger generations of aspiring developers lack an adequate foundation in these two subjects.

The survey shows that parents, and even teachers, are less enlightened on what the dev sector is calling for.

Seven per cent of parents recognise Maths as the most important subject for game development, while nine per cent think Art is the most principal discipline.

Livingstone said the results “point to a worrying lack of awareness amongst young people and parents of the skills needed to get a job in our industries”.

“We will set out ways to change this situation and ensure that we have the workforce that we need to stay at the top of the global development league,” he added.

Fifteen per cent of teachers named Maths the key subject, while just nine per cent named Art.

"Even amongst teachers only 1 per cent think that physics is most important for video games,” the report, commissioned by NESTA, claimed.

"These findings justify industry concerns about a lack of awareness of the hard skills needed to succeed in these high tech industries," it added.

The study’s initial conclusions were published as part of NESTA’s ongoing review on the so-called skills-gap affecting the UK industry.

The initiative will make recommendations to Government on how the UK can improve its standing on an increasingly competitive world-stage.