Microsoft calls for shake up of the way Computer Science is taught

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Microsoft is warning that the UK risks falling behind other countries in the race to develop and nurture computing talent if we don’t ensure that all children learn about Computer Science in primary schools.

One example of an industry that would benefit from an increase in uptake of Computer Science by students is the gaming sector. It generates £3 billion a year for the British economy and games developers and software development businesses require highly skilled individuals to ensure that their businesses thrive. There are currently around 100,000 unfilled jobs in the UK that require Computer Science qualifications but last year only 30,520 graduated with a degree in that subject, a fall on the previous year’s figure.

Steve Beswick, Director of Education, Microsoft UK, said: “Computer Science is something that we have been calling the ‘Fourth Science’ for some time. We believe that it is every bit as important as Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Look at the British gaming industry as an example. It’s a world leader in its sector and we desperately need to ensure that our talent pool of Computer Scientists is as healthy as it can be in order to sustain valuable industries like that.

“By formally introducing children to Computer Science basics at primary school, we stand a far greater chance of increasing the numbers taking the subject through to degree level and ultimately the world of work.
 
“I would like to see a more formalised approach taken to using this material, which is ultimately for the good of our children and the British economy.”

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