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U.K. to Teens: No College Should Not Mean No IT Career

The British Computer Society is urging secondary school students who are not going to college to consider IT careers nevertheless. Part-time courses and work placements can offer viable alternatives to degrees, the BCS said.

The group noted that statistics from the U.K.'s Joint Council on Qualifications show a continuing downturn in the number of high school students studying technology-related subjects.

The number of students taking high-school level computing in 2007 was down 10 percent versus 2006, and the number taking courses in communications technology fell as well, according to the Council.

Industry groups like the BCS have warned that future skills shortages caused by the falling numbers of technology students could cause problems for the IT industry and the wider U.K. economy.

Mike Rodd, BCS director of learned society and external relations, said, "Not studying IT at school does not stop people from following a career in it. Our worry is that if students are not taking it [in high school], it probably means that they are not going to consider IT as a career, and that is a bigger concern.

"There is clearly a perception among students, parents, and teachers that IT does not offer a good career choice," he added. "We have a variety of programs that demonstrate to kids what IT can do for them, including lectures showing the really exciting developments that grab kids' attention."

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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