IT exam results herald nerd-free future

A Levels: Computing beats all other subjects as youngsters change their views of the profession

A Levels: Computing beats all other subjects as youngsters change their views of the profession

Bill Goodwin

A spectacular increase in the number of students opting to take A levels in information technology this year has raised hopes that the profession may be beginning to loose its geeky image.

Computing outstripped every other A level subject, as entries rose by 11% to 19,000 - the largest increase for any subject this year.

AS level entries grew by 25% and GNVQ entries by 8.4%.

The sudden jump in the popularity of the information technology courses may be the first indication that youngsters are beginning to change their views of the profession.

It also reflects a growing awareness that a shortage of professionals with Internet and Web related skills, is creating some lucrative opportunities.

Research conducted last year by the E-business National Training Organisation showed that many school children were shunning careers in IT because of its anorak-clad image.

"Schools have woken up to the publicity about IT skills shortage. They are listening to the market. And it can only help," said Gordon Greaves, director of the E-skills National Training Organisation.

The sudden increase in popularity of the Computing A level this year follows four years of steady growth.

But despite a plethora of schemes, such as the Women into IT initiative, which aims to encourage more women into the profession, computing remains a male-dominated subject.

The number of male students taking the examination this year is 14,938 compared to only 4,161 female students, figures from the Joint Council for General Qualifications revealed.

Read more on IT jobs and recruitment

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.