Number of computing students drops 8pc in five years

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Number of computing students drops 8pc in five years


'Latest statistics from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) show a steady decline in new entrants for information and communications technology (ICT) courses' (stock photo)
‘Latest statistics from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) show a steady decline in new entrants for information and communications technology (ICT) courses’ (stock photo)

There has been a dramatic 8pc fall in the number of students entering third-level to study computing.

It’s not the lack of jobs, because employment prospects are good, with 81pc of recent Irish tech graduates walking straight into work, overwhelmingly in Ireland.

But despite the high demand from employers and some of the best starting salaries in the economy, interest in a career in this field has dropped significantly.

Latest statistics from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) show a steady decline in new entrants for information and communications technology (ICT) courses – down from 3,103 in 2013/14 to 2,855 in 2017/18.

With employers crying out for graduates with these skills – an audit this year found about 12,000 job vacancies in Ireland – starting salaries compare well with other fields.

The annual graduate destination survey conducted by the HEA shows that, last year, 75pc of honours bachelor degree graduates started on €25,000-€45,000, compared with 56pc for all graduates. Meanwhile, 9pc of ICT graduates started on €45,000 or more, compared with 6pc of all graduates.

From September 2020, all second-level schools will have the option of offering a new Leaving Cert subject of Computer Science, which, it is hoped, will boost interest in this field of study at third-level.

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Irish Independent


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