IT education and careers guidance

A recent report by the Corporate IT Forum Education and Skills Commission (CIFESC) has highlighted concerns with IT education and careers guidance in schools, which could lead to a severe skills crisis for the UK as a whole.

This is the first of four reports on addressing the IT skills crisis facing the UK.

“Employment in the IT industry is expected to grow at nearly five times the UK average over the next decade. Yet careers support and education for children and young people interested in pursuing a career in IT is in disarray.” John Harris, Commission chairman and vice president, Global Enterprise Architecture, at AIMIA.

With excellent career opportunities, information on career options needs to be given to students from an early age to inform them of different opportunities available within the IT industry, including ones they may never have thought of as an IT career before.

The report makes 20 recommendations in response to this assessment of the situation. These include:

  • A requirement for schools to ring-fence money for careers guidance and STEM careers events for all Year 9 students.
  • Government funding enabling every school to have a STEM or computer club.
  • A programme to get well qualified IT teachers in every school.

At CASCAiD, we produce online career software resources to help young people discover educational and employment options and to help them with the difficult decisions at each transitional phase.

Launchpad, produced for students in Year 7-9, illustrates how the subject decisions that they make for their GCSEs may affect their later course and career choices, as not taking certain subjects at GCSE can limit your options when you are older.

With Launchpad, students thinking about GCSE options can research subjects, including IT, and see videos and case studies from teachers and older students talking in depth about each subject.

For older students, Careerscape, a library of education and employment information, provides them with information in the form of written articles, videos and case studies about the IT industry.

Students can also explore Careerscape ‘Subject Links’ to find out more about studying IT and where it can lead to in the future in terms of different careers e.g. programming/software developer or project manager.

Without effective career guidance, students may not understand that their decisions now may mean they miss out on future opportunities. This can leave them with unsuitable skills and qualifications to succeed in their chosen career area.

At CASCAiD we have recently been joined by a new IT apprentice, please click here to find out about Sam and his first role in the IT industry.

Additionally, throughout National Careers Week we posted daily career profiles from members of the CASCAiD team, please click here to read Stefan’s experiences of being a software developer.

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