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Why aren't young people taking computer courses at school?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BowdonUK, 23 Mar 2021.

  1. dirtychinchilla

    Capodecina

    Joined: 2 May 2011

    Posts: 10,545

    Location: Woking, Surrey

    I like this. My dad worked for Logica and then CGI for more or less his whole career, so he was basically an IT project manager. He's alright with computers, but my knowledge exceeded his when I was about 13. That always tickled me because he was always "in IT."

    Ah well :)
     
  2. amigafan2003

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Jan 2008

    Posts: 18,938

    Location: Fylde Coast, Lancashire

    Schools do not pay enough to get competent, industry trained IT professionals to enter the teaching profession, so the courses just end up being basic computer hardware, word processing, powerpoint, excel and some basic web/python coding that any numpty can teach - i.e. not really interesting or useful for an IT career.

    That's the reason why computing is still one of the few subjects that still attracts a 25k bursary for teacher training - and it's still not enough!
     
  3. KiNgPiN83

    Mobster

    Joined: 16 Nov 2003

    Posts: 4,870

    I wouldn't be surprised if it was just a hangover from the last 20 years or so where there was a big push to go into IT. Everywhere i looked there were do this IT course and get a job paying £xx,xxx type ads. Maybe IT is over saturated or at least certain areas are? (I currently work in IT Infrastructure but wouldn't be surprised if dev jobs were higher in demand these days compared to the IT Support/helpdesk jobs etc.)
     
  4. Hades

    Caporegime

    Joined: 19 Oct 2002

    Posts: 26,492

    Location: Surrey

    Teaching IT would genuinely interest me in the future (the salary may be an issue unless I could reduce my costs a lot though). Like many people here I have a vast amount of IT experience, being self taught from age 12 in 1981, then working in software development, testing, support, project management and various other management anbd non-management hands-on roles for several companies. That experience would probably be quite valuable. But a blocker would be the need for a degree. A quick google shows that private schools can employ teachers without degrees but you must have a degree to work in a state school. That's going to prevent many of the older, more experienced, IT people moving into teaching even if they wanted to.
     
  5. amigafan2003

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Jan 2008

    Posts: 18,938

    Location: Fylde Coast, Lancashire

    There is actually no formal requirement for a degree to teach in a state school - you can do it through something like QTLS. I've known a couple of high schools that have employed ex-Army people direct (no degree).
     
  6. Hades

    Caporegime

    Joined: 19 Oct 2002

    Posts: 26,492

    Location: Surrey

    Thank you.
     
  7. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 25 Oct 2002

    Posts: 29,410

    Location: Hampshire

    Like the OP, at my school there were no qualifications in IT, just computing classes for a short period. I can remember almost nothing about what we were supposed to learn there, I think we did a bit of basic word processing and clip art. I would've taken a computing/IT subject if it had been offered.

    As for the question, my guess is because the stuff they teach in classes is likely to be because it's either:

    a) Very mundane or stuff anyone with an interest would have figured out for themselves years ago. How to create a Word document yadayada.
    b) Not kept up to date enough, i.e. you'd be learning how to use outdated software and techniques that will be obsolete by the time the children enter the workforce

    I agree with MikeTimbers that career paths are, or at least were missing. When I was at school (admittedly in the 90s), I thought IT was literally just a computer programmer or collection of programmers creating a production system. If there was a fault they would go and fix it in situ. I didn't even know there was such a thing as BAs, Testers, PMs, different environments, project wrappers etc etc.
     
  8. peterwalkley

    Mobster

    Joined: 23 Feb 2009

    Posts: 4,022

    Location: South Wirral

    Code monkey of 30 odd years experience here. I have to say the majority of people I've worked with over the years have come from non-IT backgrounds and moved into it later on. Lots of maths graduates, physics and so on. I'm almost a rarity with a Computer Science degree. Didn't study it at school as it didn't exist as a subject in the 1980's.

    It is a subject you can re-train to in later life, largely helped by it being fast moving. Demand for skills has almost always been for the latest shiny technology (Y2K aside), so an old lag doesn't have a massive advantage over someone new as they're both learning the new toys. Experience just helps you learn quicker as lots of "new" stuff frankly isn't that new - lots of same old **** in a different wrapper :)
     
  9. clv101

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 10,809

    Location: Bristol

    Yes, that's a good point. Computing, IT, coding etc is a lot easier to pick up latter in your career than maths, physics, engineering etc.
     
  10. moon man

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Nov 2003

    Posts: 3,828

    Location: St Breward Cornwall

    I am too old also to have studied Computers at school but did do well at Flow diagrams in maths and find them weirdly satisfying, zx81 programming at college, and did alphacam cad programming for a while as a job
     
  11. TheOracle

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Sep 2005

    Posts: 13,858

    Finding good people in IT these days is almost impossible. The majority are those who want to get into IT (but they don't really know why), then when they do, moan about it
     
  12. Diagro

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 3 Jun 2012

    Posts: 9,749


    Wrong.
     
  13. Hades

    Caporegime

    Joined: 19 Oct 2002

    Posts: 26,492

    Location: Surrey

    I'm an old fart. My O level course in 1985 included writing software on punched cards and sending them to the local university to run. We got the results back a week later.
     
  14. malachi

    Capodecina

    Joined: 27 Jun 2006

    Posts: 10,870

    Location: Not here

    Thats true
     
  15. Diagro

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 3 Jun 2012

    Posts: 9,749

    No no no. Wrong wrong wrong.
     
  16. Diagro

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 3 Jun 2012

    Posts: 9,749

    There is no GCSE IT course.

    You have a vocational BTEC in IT or a GCSE in Computer Science.

    Both vastly different courses. Their different subjects.
     
  17. Diagro

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 3 Jun 2012

    Posts: 9,749

    There is no GCSE IT course.

    You have a vocational BTEC in IT or a GCSE in Computer Science.

    Both vastly different courses. Their different subjects.
     
  18. Blackjack Davy

    Soldato

    Joined: 16 Aug 2009

    Posts: 5,584

    To be honest most people simply don't know what its about I would just nod my head sagely and leave it at that. Not so much lack of interest as lack of any handle on the concept does it mean programming, software design, networking, who knows what else? I honestly don't know and wouldn't know how to relate.

    I remember when the whole "IT" thing came out first it was computing classes and yep, you could get a handle on that but then it all became "IT" which is such a catchall phrase that means everything and nothing, it sounds important but no-one outside of the fraternity has a clue and I think its very opaqueness is part of the problem.
     
  19. Hellsmk2

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,457

    I'm 40 too, and I can say with 100% certainty that we had the opportunity to do a GCSE in IT.

    I didn't go to a grammar school or anything other than a plain old run of the mill school. Your statement isn't true. If anything, we went to school at the height of the internet revolution.
     
  20. Cooler running

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 28 Mar 2019

    Posts: 1,108

    Location: Channel Islands

    As a software engineer, there is no shortage of skills when the economy is contracting ;).

    It's going to get even worse if people start sitting in offices again when the cabal adhock "IT guys" maintaining the new wave of company VPN's aren't necessary any more.
     
    Last edited: 25 Mar 2021