High achieving graduates will be paid £20,000 tax-free to train as computer science teachers under a new scholarship.
The scholarship is part of a wider government strategy to push IT teaching in state schools towards a more technical, computer science curriculum – and away from an ICT approach, where pupils learn to use common applications.
Bill Mitchell, director of BCS Academy of Computing, said: “Students need to be taught not just how software and hardware works, but also how to create new digital technology for themselves.
The best way to do that is to have outstanding computer science teachers in as many schools as possible, which is why these new initiatives are so important.”
Applications will be accepted from graduates with a first or 2.1 – and an enthusiasm for a career in teaching – in one of the following subjects:
• A computer science (UCAS code G400) or maths degree
• Another degree and are engaged upon a computer science subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course
• A STEM degree with significant computing content, such as electronic engineering
• A non-STEM degree but with extensive professional experience in a computing industry.
Around 50 scholarships will be awarded to graduates undertaking initial teacher training (ITT) courses leading to qualified teacher status (QTS).
Some 64.2% of computer science and IT grads from 2010/11 were in employment, compared with 61.8% for all graduates.
In addition to this, these graduates were more likely than graduates from previous years to find jobs in the computer science field.
Out of the 2010/11 computer science and IT graduates who were in employment six months after graduation, some 47.3% were working as IT professionals.
And if previous years’ figures are anything to go by, this number will keep going up. The promising figure compares with 44.2% of IT graduates from 2009/10 and 38% from 2008/9.