Computing is the fastest growing STEM A level, says professional body for IT
12 Aug 2021 10:33 AM
Record numbers of young people have been awarded Computing A-level and are choosing to study computer science at degree level, analysis by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT reveals.
- Highest number of students placed on Computer Science degrees in a decade
- 11% increase in students achieving Computing A level
- More female students than ever awarded Computing A level
- More than half of female students awarded A or A* for Computing A level
This year sees record number of students placed on Computer Science degree courses in the UK, with an increase of 5% from 2020, according to the latest UCAS data. Data also show that the number students placed on Computer Science degree has increased 60% over the last decade.
BCS, has welcomed the rise, which has also seen a 9% increase in female students placed on undergraduate Computer Science degrees in the UK.
There are variations across the UK countries, with the number of students from England placed on Computer Science degree courses up by 6%; from Scotland up 5%; Wales remains the same, and Northern Ireland down 14%.
The numbers of young people awarded computing at A level across the UK has also risen, with an increase of 11% from last year.
Fastest growing Stem A-Level
Computing is the fastest growing STEM A level, with numbers in England rising by 12% (compared to 6.4% overall for STEM subjects; Maths and Further Maths, Computer Science, Biology, Physics and Chemistry).
In Scotland, Computing Science is also increasing in popularity with data showing a 7% increase in the number of students awarded Computing Science Higher.
More female students than ever took Computing A-level this year, with today’s figures showing an increase of 13% on 2020. The numbers of female students choosing Computing A-level in 2021 has increased by over 350% since 2015, according to analysis of A-level results data by BCS.
In Scotland, 17% of Computing Science Highers have been awarded to female students this year.
High marks for women
Women now make up 15% of all A level entries and are also achieving high grades - with more than 51% (45% in 2020) of female students receiving a 'high' (A-A*) Computing grade in 2021, compared with 43% (35% in 2020) of male students.
Julia Adamson, Director of Education at BCS recently said:
“More young people than ever before are choosing to study Computer Science at university. Computing is a rich and creative subject which can lead to exciting and rewarding careers as well as skills which are in high demand from employers, and will help to address the digital skills gap.
“We’re particularly pleased to see rising numbers of female students choosing to study computing at A-level and as a degree and hope this will lead to an increasingly diverse workforce in tech industries.
"Congratulations to everyone receiving their results today. We know students and teaching staff have worked incredibly hard through a challenging year.”