ICT and computing A-Levels continue to slide

The number of students studying computing subjects has continued to fall, and some grades have slipped.

frustrated student

A-Levels results are out, with record numbers of students gaining record scores except in IT and computing courses.

While more students took A-Level courses and more won top grades across the board, the number of students taking computing and ICT courses has continued to fall, as have their grades, according to stats released by Joint Council Qualification (JCQ).

Across the UK, the number of students taking an A-Level in computing fell from 5,068 last year to 4,710 this year, with just 0.6 per cent of students taking the course.

The percentage of students winning an A grade fell from 16.1 per cent to 15.7 per cent.

As usual, 10 times as many students were male than female, with 4,256 male students taking the subject compared to just 454 women.

Some 15.8 per cent of male students scored a top grade, while 15.0 per cent of female students did slipping from 17.9 per cent last year. Just under six per cent of students failed to even score an "E" grade the lowest mark.

Those trends were partially echoed by the ICT courses. The number of students taking that course fell from 12,277 last year to 11,948 this year, with the percentage of top grades climbing slightly from 9.7 per cent to 10.2 per cent.

The male-female gap was less dramatic for ICT. There were 4,609 women on the courses, compared to 7,339 men. Female students outscored their male counterparts, with 13.3 per cent winning an A grade compared to 8.2 per cent.

According to a Microsoft report, the number of students taking computing courses at A-Level has fallen by 43 per cent between 2001 and 2006. One reason for the drop could be that students see IT subjects as "boring."

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