Digital Charter Aims To Revolutionise Computing Education In Scotland

Digital Charter Aims To Revolutionise Computing Education In Scotland

Games Companies Wanted

A new Digital Technology Education Charter which combines expertise from industry and academia is aiming to reverse a critical decline in computing and digital technology education in Scotland.

The new charter has so far attracted more than 60 organisations, including Morgan Stanley, Adobe, Microsoft, Pulsion, Incremental, Weir, Scottish Power, and Forrit, aims to attract more young people to study computing and learn digital skills.

The games industry however, is sadly under represented.

A Subject In Decline

Computer science is a crucial skill for anyone wishing to enter the digital technology industries – including games. However in Scotland, computing science is an elective subject, and only offered in third year of high school. There is also a serious shortage of specialist computing teachers, leading to the subject being taught by teachers from other subjects.

One inspiring individual who’s working hard to make a real difference is Toni Scullion, a computing teacher from St Kentigern’s Academy, who’s seen first-hand how the subject is slipping off the curriculum”

There are on average 13,000 new digital jobs created in Scotland every year but through apprenticeships and graduates we are only training around 5,000 to fill them.

Inspiring pupils at a young age is crucial to filling this skills gap. Not all schools even teach computing science anymore. For a sector that is increasingly touching every aspect of everyday life this is completely mad.

This has been a pattern for at least the last decade and we need to take action now or the subject, along with the vast employment opportunities that it provides a grounding in, will be lost for a generation.

By The Numbers

While employment opportunities are rising across every area of the digital world, the numbers of teachers and pupils studying the subject are decreasing.

In 2008 there were 766 computing science teachers teaching 25,000 pupils, by 2020 this had fallen to 595 teachers teaching less than 10,000 pupils with fewer than 2,000 of these female. Research by technology sector body ScotlandIS suggests that 75% of employers are already experiencing difficulties in recruiting qualified digital staff.

Games Companies Wanted

The charter has so far attracted a number of games-related companies and organisations including Abertay University, Rivet Games, Games Jobs Live, Indie Champions, the British Esports Association and the Scottish Games Network, however more are needed.

Eve Wallace, executive director of technology at Morgan Stanley, said:

There is an outdated perception, and a general lack of awareness, of the opportunities on offer within technology which inhibit talented people from exploring and ultimately building successful careers in the industry.”

Through this charter, Morgan Stanley is excited to be a part of an initiative that promotes a partnership between industry and education, helping to tap into and develop the exceptional young talent we have in Scotland and hopefully raise awareness to current and future generations the opportunities that are available to them in the digital sector.

Sign The Digital Technology Education Charter

The organisation is actively looking for ideas and opportunities to get more young people interested and involved in computer science and digital skills. It’s free to sign up to the charter and helps directly contribute to Scotland’s future as a digital nation.

Find out more and sign up here.

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