BP CTO issues warning over IT education

By Sooraj Shah
24 Feb 2012 View Comments
Students working with a computer

A senior UK technology executive has warned that the government must ensure it does not deter young people from studying IT.

Speaking at a rountable hosted by recruitment agency The IT Board, BP CTO of strategy and architecture Kieron Drake said it is vital that the government make IT education more attractive to students so that more young people go on to pursue a career in technology.

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"The government has a role. It is mainly that they need to stop deterring students from an IT career," he said.

Last month at the BETT conference, education secretary Michael Gove said that the current ICT curriculum would be scrapped from September and be replaced with one focused on computer science and programming.

Drake agreed that GCSEs in IT need to be changed but suggested that the government may encounter some problems in putting together a comprehensive curriculum.

"First, an IT GCSE needs to incorporate something to do with IT that doesn't put students off taking IT as a career.

"However, there is a broad range of skills required in IT and this is a problem in forming a curriculum as there isn't a ‘one size fits all' curriculum," he said.

"If students were interested in software and there was a curriculum for software development in schools, a computer science qualification wouldn't be a pre-requisite for a career in software development. These are two very different skill sets," he said.


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