Poll: A-level results - Annual disappointment for the IT sector

A-level results have been announced and it’s the usual disappointment for the IT sector.

Only 16,251 young people gained a Computing or ICT A-level this year. This is a drop of 2.4% compared to 16,658 last year – and a drop of 24% compared to 21,450 students taking IT-related A-levels five years ago in 2005.

Hopes for the UK’s economic growth are being pinned to the IT sector – but if more young people don’t opt in for Computing and ICT A-level, key skills and people will be missing from the UK IT workforce in years to come. The Royal Society has blamed dull IT courses for putting young people off IT careers.



It’s also a tough year to apply to university. UCAS estimated 170,000 students will be left without a place at university this year and there are reportedly fewer UCAS clearing places in computing departments this year too.

Students also struggled to log onto the UCAS website this morning to check A-level results after a surge in traffic slowed the site down.

A UCAS spokesman said the huge volumes of traffic logging onto UCAS Track had slowed the website down for a short period of time this morning – and the website was now operating as normal.

Nick Barron, head of sales at cloud computing firm, Carrenza, said UCAS needed better preparations for the peak in traffic. “All sites and resources have limitations,” he says. “But we assume they didn’t have enough capacity and had a planning failure at the back-end.

“It’s well-documented that this is going to happen. The key is to provide flexibility to scale up resources to extra capacity in the next couple of days,” he adds.

See the A-level results for 2010, here.  

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I got a B!! whoppiee!
As someone who has worked in IT all my life - presently for one of the main banks I'm afraid I would now discourage young people from entering IT. Many of the large employees like mine now regard off-shoring as their only strategy meaning that few young people in the UK can gain a foothold in the business. I read with concern other articles that the UK expects a massive shortfall in IT skills - I'm afraid the jobs are not there. So well done if you have passed your IT exams but I suggest dentistry instead!
Thanks for your comment, Will. It's a shame fewer and fewer young people are doing IT subjects at A-level but even more of a problem if companies are forced to off-shore, reducing opportunities for the limited young talent to enter the profession. Do you think an alternative to off-shoring might be considered by companies if greater number of young people wanted to go into the industry?
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