New analysis of UCAS data by Cheeky Munkey has suggested that the tech industry is seeing a rise in interest from both women and over-35s looking to get into the sector.
The data obtained from UCAS outlined the number of applicants for IT and computer science courses across universities in the UK. IT security solutions provider Cheeky Munkey analysed the data to measure any changes in demographics of those entering the sector.
According to Cheeky Munkey, applicants studying to enter the tech industry have risen overall by 57% over the past decade. The number of over-35s retraining in computer science courses has also seen an increase – up 19% on levels seen before the pandemic.
Over the last 10 years, women have had the biggest surge in applications for IT courses in the UK, rising by 82% compared to a 52% increase for their male counterparts. Since 2019, potential male students looking to study computer science has risen by 2% – while women stand at a 10% increase in applications.
According to the most recent data, Cheeky Munkey claims that artificial intelligence courses lay claim to the highest proportion of women – although they still only make just over one in five students. Software engineering has seen the largest increase of interest from women – in 2020, 14% of applicants were female, compared to 8% in 2010.
Despite the swell of female applicants, however, computer science courses only attracted 24,020 women in 2021, compared to 117,295 male students.
Graham Lane, Director of Cheeky Munkey, said, “Demand for IT professionals is as strong as ever, especially with disciplines like artificial intelligence set to grow rapidly in the coming years. Failure to meet demand, by shutting certain groups out, and the UK could be left behind in an industry that’s crucial to the economy.
“The sector can only benefit from more perspectives and different experiences, and employers get much greater choice when it comes to finding the best people for each role.
“Graduates provide fresh thinking and come to businesses equipped with the latest in IT theory. The more graduates – no matter their age or gender – entering the industry, the better the pool of talent available.”