Today, students across the country received their A Level results and discovered which university degrees they will be embarking on. Exasol, provider of a high performance analytic database, analysed the UCAS data, looking in particular at numbers entering STEM degrees and found that:
- More young people than ever are studying STEM subjects, up by 8.9% over five years, and 36.8% in ten years.
- The most popular STEM subject, Maths, has increased its examination numbers by 10.9% in five years, and 51% in ten years.
- Computing entries have seen the biggest change of the STEM subjects – an increase of 173% in five years – entries in 2018 are almost three times the number in 2013 – up from 3,758 to 10,286.
- The proportion of women entering STEM subjects has increased slightly from 42.0% in 2013 to 43.4% in 2018.
- The number of women entering Computing has increased five-fold in five years from 245 in 2013 to 1211 in 2018.
The STEM increase comes against falls in Arts subjects. When looking over five years, English is down 19.5%, Drama is down 18.9% and Media Studies is down 12.8% Over ten years those drops are 19.2%, 32.8% and 22.5%.
Ravinder Romanay, Regional VP, UK, at Exasol, comments:
“It is encouraging to see that there are more young people studying STEM subjects than ever before. Exasol analysed the GCE A-level data over the last ten years and found that the number of students studying STEM subjects* at A-Level has increased by 37% in ten years and 9% over five years. This comes against a backdrop of falling overall A-level exam entries.
“The data also revealed that the proportion of females studying STEM subjects at A-level is also increasing - in just five years the proportion of women study Computing has risen from 6.5% to 11.8%. There have been various government-industry initiatives and these are clearly paying off.
“Inspiring the next generation of female talent to take up STEM careers is critical to plugging the skills gap in science and technology. STEM-related jobs are outpacing all other industries and with Brexit on the horizon, this is set to increase.
“Here at Exasol, we pride ourselves on providing an inclusive environment for everyone. We focus ensuring that all our staff are of the highest calibre, which ensures our organisation is best positioned for the future. High-performing teams are non-negotiable for an organisation to be successful, and I fundamentally believe that these teams have to be inclusive of all ages, genders and ethnicities. Without that level of diversity, an organisation simply cannot achieve its full potential.
“There is still plenty more to be done to help improve the gender balance in the tech industry and the fact that more girls are now studying STEM subjects is promising for the future of our industry. Of course, this is no time to rest on our laurels, but the time to press forward and make sure we keep these young people engaged with the technology industry going forward.”
*STEM subjects considered are: Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Maths, Further Maths and Physics