A-Level results hint at potential to close UK’s tech skills gap

, A-Level results hint at potential to close UK’s tech skills gap

The A-Level results have been released, and they showed a clear gender gap.  While girls outperformed boys at the top grades this year after two years of males doing better, the gender gap between girls and boys taking IT and STEM A-Levels is growing.

Numbers from the Joint Council for Qualifications are as follows:

 

Biology

2019 Female – 9.9%

2019 Male – 7.1%

2018 Female – 9.0%

2018 Male – 6.4%

Total number: 8.6% – up 0.7% in 2019

 

Chemistry

2019 Female – 7.2%

2019 Male – 7.6%

2018 Female – 6.4%

2018 Male – 7.0%

Total number: 7.4% – up 0.7% in 2019

 

Computing 

2019 Female – 0.3%

2019 Male – 2.7%

2018 Female – 0.3%

2018 Male – 2.5%

Total number: 1.4% – up 0.1% in 2019

 

ICT

2019 Female – 0.1%

2019 Male – 0.3%

2018 Female – 0.4%

2018 Male – 1.1%

Total number: 0.2% – down 0.5% in 2019

 

Physics

2019 Female – 2.0%

2019 Male – 8.4%

2018 Female – 1.9%

2018 Male – 8.1%

Total number: 4.9% – up 0.2% in 2019

 

Mathematics 

2019 Female – 8.1%

2019 Male – 15.6%

2018 Female – 8.6%

2018 Male – 16.2%

Total number: 11.5% – down 0.5% in 2019

 

Mathematics (Further)

2019 Female – 0.9%

2019 Male – 2.9%

2018 Female – 1.0%

2018 Male – 3.2%

Total number: 1.8% – down 0.2% in 2019

The analysis of results indicates that efforts to get more girls engaged with STEM are not proving successful, but there is hope as more students opt for subjects such as Computing instead.  In light of the UK’s skills shortage, this will undoubtedly contribute towards helping alleviate the stresses of the tech skills shortage.

Agata Nowakowska, AVP at Skillsoft commented on the results:

“While it may seem concerning that less students are taking ICT at A-Level, I’m encouraged to see that more young people are opting for Computing courses instead.  We need our students to be developing digital skills in school that will support them in the real world environment of the workplace.  Computing offers them just this – practical programming skills.  I hope many of these students go on to pursue computer science related courses at university.  For those who don’t, the experience they have gained at school will still prove invaluable as they move into the increasingly digital world of work.”