The UK’s new digital curriculum doesn’t mirror the whole current digital jobs market according to the niche jobs board Bubble Jobs.
The jobs board, which specialises in advertising digital vacancies, claims that while the new syllabus will help to prepare students for some areas of the industry such as coding and web development – it fails to cover a number of the other skills that are currently in demand.
Earlier this month, the UK became the first country to make computer programming a compulsory part of the curriculum in primary and secondary schools in a bid to address the impending digital skills gap.
However, out of some 1,400 digital jobs that were advertised on Bubble Jobs in recent weeks, just 39% called for the ‘hard’ technical skills such as coding and algorithms which will be taught as part of the new curriculum in roles such as Web Development, eGaming and User Experience.
On the other hand, 61% of the vacancies advertised on the job board called for ‘non-programming’ skills, and instead required skills in other areas such as knowledge of PhotoShop and Google Analytics, along with major CMS platforms like WordPress, in roles such as Digital Marketing, Social Media and Graphic Design.
MD of Bubble Jobs Adam Butwilowski said: “While we’re excited to see the government have finally recognised the digital skills gap and are doing something about it, we’re a bit disappointed in the syllabus which has been put together as we feel it only focusses on a small portion of the current digital jobs market.
“Just over a third of the digital jobs we’ve advertised in recent weeks call for the technical skills which are now going to be taught – so whilst this knowledge is definitely important – we feel that other, non-coding focussed skills are just as important and, as our figures show, so do employers.”
According to the European Commission’s Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, which Bubble Jobs is a part of, there could be a shortage of up to 900,000 ICT professionals across Europe by 2020.
As part of the UK’s new curriculum to tackle this, children as young as five years old will be taught about algorithms, while students aged 11-14 will be taught about the different hardware and software components that make up computer systems.
The previous ICT curriculum was scrapped by former Education Secretary Michael Gove after he described it as “harmful” and “dull”.
Despite the changes coming into force in September, a YouGov survey released earlier this year revealed that over half of England’s teachers are not confident in delivering the new computing curriculum.
The survey, which was carried out on behalf of Nesta and TES and released in July, also found that over two thirds (67%) said they didn’t feel very or at all supported by the Department for Education.