GCSE results show there's no 'IT' in generation 'Y'

They were once called the ‘MySpace’ generation – the young people who play online computer games, use social networks and, most likely, manage their home PCs better than their parents do.

Yet GCSE and A-level IT results are in. And neither offer hope for plugging the IT skills gap with tech-savvy young talent from generation ‘Y’.

Today’s GCSE results showed a 17% decline in the number of students taking ICT courses compared to 2009.

Comparing 85,599 students gaining GCSE ICT in 2008 with 16,251 gaining computing and ICT A-levels in 2010, only 19% of GCSE students in 2008 carried the subject on to A-level.  

It seems odd that the most technological up-to-date generation are shunning IT courses and, thereby, IT careers.

There’s been a lot of debate about IT education. Some experts believe a lack of role models and non-relevant IT lessons are partly to blame.

Perhaps technology is so integrated into every facet of young people’s lives that studying IT as a stand-alone subject is outdated or just not interesting or relevant to the average young person.

Regardless of the reasons, Kevin Murrell, director and trustee at The National Museum of Computing, says our computer heritage is threatened.

“At The National Museum of Computing many of our displays showcase Britain’s contribution to world computing in previous decades, but one wonders if that level of achievement will be possible in the future.

“Employers tell us that a real skills gap in IT has developed — which I believe is often filled by outsourcing to other countries. We hope that new educational developments will encourage more students to study IT.”

Read about new educational developments and this year’s IT diploma results here.  

View the GCSE results here