Why Study ICT?

Jo Lane

Thursday, 25 October 2018

The careers landscape is forever changing, and the advancements in technology are a key influencer in this.

Ever-advancing technology has opened up a wide variety of new and evolving roles requiring a knowledge of and staying up to date with the latest digital innovations.

For our current generation this is good news, and whilst parents and educators worry about the amount of time young people spend on technology, they can’t ignore the benefits of being tech savvy when it comes to careers of the future.

Classroom tech

It begs the question, however, “Why isn’t ICT a compulsory subject after Year 9 in our secondary schools?”

ICT skills are viewed as key employability skills by employers, and whilst the emerging modern workforce has excellent knowledge of social media, they have limited knowledge of simple programming, or the ability to navigate their way around Microsoft Office when they enter the workplace.

I went to the London headquarters of Sainsbury’s last week with a group of my A level Maths pupils, and it was incredible to learn how ‘Big Data’ feeds into every aspect of the business – from Marketing to Logistics and managing the number of lettuces in a heatwave (apologies explaining the data science behind this would take too long for this blog!)

students on laptop

It was evident that ICT is no longer a stand-alone department focusing simply on IT support. ICT feeds into every business function and therefore having a knowledge of the key disciplines of problem-solving and data analysis, and the confidence to apply ICT skills in the workplace is an asset for any young person entering the workplace.

Knowledge of Python and SQL are highly recommended and would impress the majority of employers, alongside the core subjects.

So rather than viewing ICT as an optional subject for the more ‘geeky’ or low ability pupils, I would suggest that parents and teachers encourage pupils to continue with this subject.

And if this isn’t a viable option, after-school clubs or online self-taught courses are excellent ways to ensure a young person’s CV or University application stand out from the crowd.

Feeding young people’s hungry brains with useful technical skills should be seen as a positive step, so let’s encourage them to explore and embrace the opportunities the digital world provides.



About our Community Expert

Head of Careers at The Windsor Boys' School

Combining her business experience with an ability to engage KS4&5 pupils in the classroom has enabled Jo to specialise in delivering learning experiences linked to the ‘real world’.

An advocate of apprenticeships as an alternative to the traditional university route, Jo states her greatest job satisfaction has come from helping pupils into apprenticeship roles and seeing them thrive. 

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