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Proportion of women studying Computing rises to 13.3 per cent

women in computing, teacher, STEM

The proportion of women studying Computing A-Levels has risen to 13.3 per cent, according the new research.

The study, conducted by Ensono, found that although the number of women taking Computing has doubled since 2013, it remains unequal. In 2019, 9,649 males took Computing A-Levels, while only 1,475 females did.

The research also found that there has been a five-year increase in students taking STEM subjects. STEM subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Further Maths, Maths and Physics.

Further to this, there has been a five-year decrease in arts subjects of 20 per cent. Art subjects include English, Drama, Art & Design, Media/Film/TV studies and Religious Studies.

Speaking about the research, Oliver Presland, Vice President of Global Product Management at Ensono said, "More students than ever are achieving STEM A-Levels, with a nine per cent uptick in these subjects over five years."

"Computing has been no exception and it’s especially encouraging to see the proportion of women taking the subject has doubled since 2013."

"However, it’s worth pointing out that in Computing, the gender balance is still highly skewed towards men, with 9,649 and 1,475 entries for males and females respectively."

"More will still need to be done in this regard to encourage women into the space."

"With the UK in the midst of a digital skills gap, increased uptake of Computing A-level represents positive news for the industry."

"Lack of appropriate skills currently presents a major hurdle to business growth and innovation, and has hindered the UK’s competitiveness."

"As the Fourth Industrial Revolution ushers in far-reaching economic and societal changes, the world of work is evolving with new roles demanding new, digital capabilities."

"Youngsters need to be able to flourish in this dramatically different environment, and students today seem to be acknowledging those changes in the subjects they’re choosing.”

Girls taking A-Level computing increase but still lagging behind boys, as computing sees 16% increase in students overall

Female students taking computing at A-Level increased this year, however their male counterparts still heavily outnumber them.computing alevels

The number of female computing students rose from 456 in 2015 to 609 this year, but there were eight times more male students taking the exam.

A higher percentage of girls achieved grades A* to C grades in computing, with 5.3% of girls posting an A* grade, compared with 2.4% of boys.

The proportion of students studying STEM subjects at A-Level remained stable and students taking A-Level overall computing increased by 16% this year to 6,242 students - a rise of 859 from 2015.

However, the number of students taking ICT A-levels dropped to 8,737, which was a fall of 387 from last year.

Across all A-Level subjects the proportion of A* and A grades was 25.8%, down by 0.1% on last year. The pass rate of 98.1% remained the same.

According to the administrations body UCAS a record 424,000 university places have been offered, which is an increase of 3% on last year.

Lynn Collier, COO at Hitachi Data Systems, UK&I, said: “On A Level Results Day, it’s important to remember how key STEM skills are to UK businesses.

“With the growth of digital innovation and big data, the job market has undergone an immense transformation in recent years; new career paths are being created every day and required skill sets are constantly changing and evolving. Modern businesses need a workforce who can respond to innovation and capitalise on the opportunities it provides. For instance, they needs skilled data scientists who understand the information flowing through their organisation and talented developers and coders to manage and build web-based applications. However, this is just the beginning; we don't yet know which skills will be required in years to come and so we need to create a resilient workforce, equipped with the necessary skills to help businesses continue to adapt and thrive in the digital economy.”

Collier added: “That's why STEM subjects are so vital for the success of business. If organisations continue to play their part in encouraging young people into STEM, UK businesses and the technology sector can look forward to a strong pipeline of talent to recruit from in the future.”