Computing GCSE Gains Popularity but Grades Drop

The number of girls taking computing at GCSE level has more than doubled, with the subject being more popular than ever before.

The number of students taking the subject has risen by 76% from 35,000 in 2015 to 62,000 students sitting the exam this year.

While the Compting GCSE rose in popularity, the ICT GCSE – which is more focused on day to day technology – has become less popular, with the number of students sitting the exam dropping by 25%.

The trend was also witnessed in last month’s A-level results, which showed an increase in Computing but a drop in ICT.

The rise in popularity of Stem (Science, Technology, English and Maths) subjects among girls is a positive move to bridge the skills gap the UK technology sector is currently facing.

A report by The Science and Technology Committee published in June 2016 showed that the digital skills gap costs the UK economy £63bn a year and companies are struggling to recruit digital specialists.

Neil Carberry, Director for people and skills policy at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), considered the rise in students studying separate sciences and computing to be “warmly welcomed by business across the country”.

He said:  “To stand toe to toe with our international competitors, we need to make sure these young people have engaging and stretching options to continue their studies in these fields.”

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