Figures by OKdo show that over 79,964 students sat the GCSE computing course in 2021 compared to 78,459 in 2020. Growth has been significant in recent years: in 2014, only 16,773 students took the course.
More than 11,000 UK job postings require computer science skills and qualifications. Offering an average salary of £53,857, it is not surprising to see a growing interest in the industry.
However, while overall figures suggest that young people are leaning towards careers focused on computer sciences, the percentage of female students enrolled on such courses has fallen two percent from 2020 to 2021.
Computer science in a nutshell
It is the study of algorithmic processes, computational machines and computation itself.
It involves looking at a problem and working out a way a computer might be able to help solve it.
Programmers, coders and software engineers use computational thinking methods at their jobs.
The number of vacancies in the sector is up 91 percent from last year, which could be an encouraging element for youngsters having to decide what to study.
In 2021, 1,500 more GCSE level students than in 2020 sat the computer science exams – a two percent annual increase.
It’s not just school kids either,
The rise is evident at undergraduate level too, with equal growth of two percent.
The analysis, commissioned by global technology company OKdo, has been carried put together the Computer Science in the Classroom report.
Nicki Young, president of OKdo, said: “Our research highlights just how important it is that the number of students studying computer science at GCSE and beyond – and choosing this as a career continues to gain momentum. The tech industry has been reliably growing, and there is high demand for talented people with this specific skill set.
“Great progress has been made, and it is so encouraging to see more students choosing this subject, but there is more work to do to really engage the tech talent of tomorrow. A Data Analyst, a Software Developer, a Web Designer – these should be aspired careers.”
Julia Adamson, director of education at BCS, the chartered institute for IT, said: “Computing provides great career opportunities to young people. We’ve seen increasing numbers studying it, as well as more teachers developing the subject knowledge and expertise to deliver an inspiring curriculum thanks to the support of the National Centre for Computing Education, launched in 2018.
“Great progress has been made, but more needs to be done, especially to encourage more girls and those from underrepresented groups.”