SOMEONE HAS SPOTTED a decline in the number of young people taking computer sciences courses and come to the conclusion that this could lead to a skills gap in a few years.
The BBC says that figures from the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) show only a modest rise in students taking the new computer science GCSE, despite all the positive buzz about how kids are dropping street dance, being Goths and liking Zayn Malik for a qualification in computing.
Ofqual found that there were 67,800 entries to the exams this year which is an increase against the 61,220 recorded in 2016. That looks like a good thing to us, but the BBC adds that the number of people passing the exams is falling.
If this carries on the UK might have a tumbleweed filled GCSE computing curriculum stuffed with nothing but straw dollies and people who failed woodwork and thought they might get to play some games.
The British Computing Society has warned the number studying for a computing qualification could halve by 2020.
Michael Mercieca, chief executive of Young Enterprise, said that this is bad news.
"A decline in young people taking computer science courses is bad news for the future of the UK's digital economy. Businesses are already grappling with huge challenges around cyber security and artificial intelligence and it's vital that our education system equips the next generation to fill these roles," he said.
"It's time for industry to reach out and provide work more placements, support and training in schools to help inspire students to pursue careers in the increasing critical technology industry."
The British Computer Society is deeply worried about the decline too, adding that where there are increases they are modest.
"This is deeply worrying. computer science was only introduced three years ago and is still a new subject for schools. The number of students taking GCSE Computer Science should be growing very rapidly as schools improve their offering to students and students realise the relevance of the subject for whatever they might be doing in the future," said Bill Mitchell, Director of Education at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. µ
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