02 Aug 2011
I work in IT and am a parent of daughters who took GCSE ICT in 2010 and 2006 (ICT lessons are boring and trivial). There is a misconception that ICT is Computer Science. It is not.
I was impressed with what my daughters did for their GCSE ICT – the coursework, which was the majority of the marks, was good. It demonstrated how to see a project through from requirements and design to implementation, test and delivery. They used spreadsheets, Access databases, designed web pages and used a variety of packages found in homes and offices. It was all about acquiring good transferable skills, and whatever my children grow up to do, it will be useful.
The computer was just a tool, like a calculator might be for maths. It was not Computer Science and did not foster a fascination with how computers work, but was about delivering a project to meet a requirement.
Students when choosing subjects for GCSE, A-level or degree courses are pretty savvy – one of the reasons they get put off IT, is that their career prospects are not great (Young people know IT is a dead end).
I have worked in IT for 25 years and have another 20 until I reach retirement age. I am sure my job will not exist in five or 10 years, let alone 20 years. There are very few young people starting out, and much of the work is offshore. Why would youngsters want a career in IT?