Those pushing for the role of “data scientist” to bridge the gap between IT and marketing have had their hopes dashed after just 229 students in the UK achieved the top grade in ICT A-level qualifications this year.
Some 10,419 students sat A-Level ICT exams this summer, 669 down on 2012. Of those just 2.2% managed to achieve an A* grade – the highest mark possible – also down on last year’s results.
Although smaller than the drop from 2011 to 2012 the decline still presents a problem for the Government, which is making attempts to increase the uptake of computer-relevant courses in order to produce highly skilled technology workers.
Bill Mitchell, head of the Chartered Institute for IT (BCS), said the results were bad news for the UK: “It is very regrettable that computing A-level has again shown another decline this year.”
The figures were not all bad for the high-tech industries, however, with Maths and Science showing a rise in uptake, and more than 100,000 students now taking Maths and Further Maths and more than 150,000 taking Science subjects.
Education minister Elizabeth Truss said of the numbers: “It is extremely encouraging that there has been such a significant rise in the number of students taking A-levels in subjects like Maths and the Sciences. This is good for the economy and will help the UK compete.”
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