The A-level results announced yesterday revealed some worrying figures for the UK tech industry. Computer Business Review reported that while the sector “grapples with a digital skills shortage, ICT was found to have one of the lowest pass rates in 2016. Only one in 10 ICT students gained top grades, an A or A*, this year, down from 12% in 2011. Also, the number of students choosing ICT as an A Level subject also continues to fall – 8,7000 students took the course this year, falling by 3,300 in five years.”
I asked Alex Smith-Bingham, Head of Digital at Capgemini UK, for his thoughts on those figures:
“The results announced today show we need to keep raising our game in terms of digital education. However, it is important to note that A-levels are not vital to pursue a successful career in IT as many of our brightest apprentices at Capgemini didn’t take a related course at school. What they had though is passion and ability to learn digital skills on the job.
“The UK has a thriving digital economy thanks to innovation, appetite for change, creativity and concentration of skills. If we are to differentiate ourselves on the global stage and continue delivering exciting digital work in the UK, and ensure that young people reap the benefits, we need to keep inspiring and investing in them through private and public bodies. This includes working closely with schools, teachers and parents to nurture digital skills and passion in this increasingly vital sector of our economy.”
If you’re interested in finding out which skills are worth learning today and how to keep them up to date, check out Capgemini Digital Skills Guide designed to provide some of the answers to those questions.