Record numbers of students choose Computer Science A Level in 2022

More students than ever sat Computer Science at A Level exams this year, with data revealing it is now the fastest growing subject.

Analysis by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT found that entries in England to take Computer Science A level were up by nearly 18% on last year.

Though there are many routes to a tech career, BCS said the subject’s growing popularity was important to the pipeline of talent working in areas like digital health and climate change.

BCS’ study of Ofqual’s provisional data shows that 15,210 students are sitting Computer Science A Level in England this year, up from 12,930 in 2021. This rise of 17.6% is the largest increase of any A Level subject.

It is the highest number of entrants in England ever and a 57% increase over the last five years, BCS, the professional body for information technology, added.

Demand for computer science is rising across higher education too, with BCS’ analysis earlier this year showing applications to study computer science degrees also rising by 13% – the biggest increase of any UK university subject.

Dr Bill Mitchell OBE, Director of Policy at BCS, said: “An A-level in Computer Science helps to develop the thinking skills needed to solve the big challenges facing society, whether that’s in healthcare, climate change, or the digital divide.

“Thanks to initiatives like the National Centre for Computing Education, we’ve got the highest number ever of students ever taking A-level Computer Science, which is excellent for these students and excellent for the rest of us who’ll benefit when they take those advanced skills into their further education and their jobs.”

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, is one of the three consortium partners which run the NCCE, alongside the Raspberry Pi Foundation and STEM Learning. The NCCE is funded by the Department for Education and delivers training and resources with the aim of enabling every child in every school in England to have a world-leading computing education.

Entries to GCSE Computing have also steadily increased over the last five years, showing a 9% increase over the last five years, with 79,135 students entering GCSE computing in 2022, up from 72,360 in 2018.

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