Press release

Huge increase in Computing A-levels good news for economy

15 August 2013

Today’s publication of exam results in Northern Ireland reveals a high percentage increase in the number of students taking A-levels in Computing.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is delighted to see the 78 per cent increase over 2012 (2012: 96; 2013: 171) as well as the excellent female results achieved in the subject in particular.

Graham Barber, Secretary to the Engineering Policy Group Northern Ireland congratulated all students on their performance with their A-level results, and another successful year for the Northern Ireland education system.

“Analysis of this year’s A-level results shows very welcome increases in the number of students studying Computing and Maths.  Particularly pleasing is the high increase in the number of female candidates studying Maths, which is a prerequisite for pursuing a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) career” he said.

“However, there have been reductions in the number of candidates studying the three sciences, equally divided between male and females.  This is concerning as a STEM literate workforce is key to Northern Ireland's future economic success.

“Encouraging females to pursue STEM careers is an important route to ensuring that Northern Ireland has the necessary science and engineering workforce needed for future economic success.  Once females have qualified in these subjects there must be the employment policies to enable them to balance their work and home-life accordingly.”

The IET Engineering Skills & Demand in Industry Report 2013 revealed that just seven per cent of the engineering and technology workforce is female.

Media enquiries to:

Hannah Kellett
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7738 602426
Email: HKellett@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

The IET Engineering Skills & Demand in Industry Report 2013 can be downloaded at http://www.theiet.org/factfiles/education/skills2013-page.cfm

Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespersons.

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