Posted October 07, 2018 15:14:03 The number of computing degrees in the country has increased steadily for the past decade, but the rate of enrolment in computing has remained stagnant, a survey conducted by the IT and Education Industry Research Council has found.
In 2015, a total of 5.9 per cent of the country’s 15.3 million people were enrolled in computing degree programs, according to the report.
But in 2016, the number fell to 4.4 per cent, with the lowest enrolment rate among the top 10 education sectors (engineering, medicine, arts and technology) of all those surveyed at 1.5 per cent.
“The numbers of computing students are on the rise, but this is largely driven by the rapid growth in the number of students taking online courses,” said Tariq Khan, executive director of the ITIRC.
“For many years, the proportion of computing degree enrolments has been rising, but it is slowing to a trickle as students start to take on more online courses and the demand for online courses increases.”
This means that computing degree programmes are not generating enough students to fill the gaps,” he said.
They are more flexible than traditional courses and have the added benefit of allowing students to take part in online classes as they need to take a full course load, and this enables them to take their course load on demand,” Khan said. “
There is a huge amount of demand for these courses.
They are more flexible than traditional courses and have the added benefit of allowing students to take part in online classes as they need to take a full course load, and this enables them to take their course load on demand,” Khan said.
“These courses can be tailored to students’ needs and to their interests, and provide a more flexible alternative to traditional courses for those who need it most.”
The report found that while there was an increase in enrolment for online degrees, it was still not enough to meet demand.
“Students in the computing sector have been increasingly relying on online courses to supplement their traditional courses.
This has been particularly the case for engineering and medicine students, as these two sectors have seen a significant increase in the numbers of students applying for these degrees,” Khan added.
While the number and rate of students enrolled in online degrees in 2016 increased by 14 per cent compared to 2015, the percentage of computing graduates in the sector remained the same, at 4.1 per cent for all degrees except medicine.
Khan said there was no need to worry about a “dramatic” change in the enrolment of computing.
“Many of the students are still doing traditional courses on a daily basis, so it’s not surprising that enrolment is growing,” he added.
In the past few years, Khan said the growth in computing enrolments had also seen an increase across all sectors, with an increase of 13 per cent among students in engineering, 15 per cent in medicine and 17 per cent at the top of the list of education sectors.
The survey of the industry’s top 30 institutions was carried out in 2017, and it found that the industry had seen a growth in its total enrolments, but enrolment rates were not the same.
“It is important to remember that in many sectors the enrolments of computing programs have been rising year on year for many years,” Khan explained.
“This is not the case in other industries, and we see this happening in IT.
In fact, the numbers have been going up even though enrolment levels have not,” he noted.
The IT industry, which employs about 14 per of the workforce, had a growth of about 17 per-cent in enrolments over the past five years, but still had a 4.9-per-cent enrolment drop rate.