ICT sees big rise in GCSE entrants

Of the subjects with less than 100,000 GCSE entries, ICT saw the second biggest rise in entrants this year.


Of the subjects with less than 100,000 GCSE entries, ICT saw the second biggest rise in entrants this year.

The Joint Council for Qualifications figures show ICT saw a 38 percent increase in the number of entries to 73,487 entries from the 53,197 seen in 2012.

Hospitality saw the biggest rise at 64.16 percent, but that was from a low base of under 2,000 to almost 3,000. ICT was also ahead of engineering which saw a 36.14 percent increase, but which was also from a low base.

“To see a 38% year on year increase in entries for ICT examination at GCSE is a positive step forward in the drive to bridge the digital skills gap. With 90% of jobs in the future predicted to require some form of digital and computing knowledge, there is mounting pressure on the Government from business groups to ensure students leave school armed with relevant digital skills for the workplace and to help grow the UK’s tech sector," said Jane Richardson, Regional Director, EMEA, Oracle Academy.

"However, there is still some way to go in aligning the curriculum with needs of these employers. It is vital that the education system uses this positive news as a jumping off point and looks to develop ICT courses through partnerships with companies like Oracle Academy, to identify the skills children will need in the future and deliver a curriculum that will advance children’s skills.”

For subjects in the sub-100,000 entries category, Spanish was the most popular, seeing a 25.77 percent increase to 91,315 entrants.
But in the subjects attracting over 100,000 entrants, science saw the biggest drop in candidates - from 552504 in 2012 to 451433 in 2013 - an 18.29 percent drop.

As candidates collected their results today, Martin Gollogly, SAP director of university alliances, said: "Much has been done to promote STEM subjects in early education but the focus remains on core subjects with the emphasis on spelling and grammar, in particular, and basic technology skills despite the access to high-end technology.

"While skills in these areas are vital for future employability, practical experience will ultimately help to secure jobs. SAP, in our latest round of internships, has taken on 34 interns, a record number for the UK."

Gollogly said the company was seeing a growing interest in massive online open courses (MOOCs) to educate beyond the basics and core technologies, with MOOCs recently provided by SAP attracting over 40,000 attendees from 158 countries.

He said: "Technology is expensive and rapidly evolving and there are not the skills in schools nor the budgets to keep students and their teachers up to speed about every new development.

"MOOCs enable students to learn without having to make a monetary investment themselves and provide access to a much broader range of specialist technical knowledge."

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