Record applications for university computing courses ‘sparked by rise of AI'
The popularity of computing degrees is growing faster than any other course, according to new figures.
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, said its analysis of the latest Ucas data found students had applied for computing courses in record numbers this year.
It said it believes the increase in applications could be attributed to the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning as mainstream topics, with technology such as the AI chatbots of ChatGPT and Google's Bard making headlines in recent weeks.
According to the figures, applications to study computing have risen by 9.6% – which BCS said was more than any other university subject.
Computing courses have also seen an 18% rise in the number of applications from women in 2023, with the gender gap in applications narrowing slightly as a result.
“Young people – and an increasing proportion of young women – see that a computing degree is a passport to change the world,” Julia Adamson, managing director for education and public benefit at BCS, said.
“AI and machine learning are transforming how kids complete homework and how job applicants write the covering letters.
“It's no wonder so many people see their futures in technology. The more diverse range of people we have working in computing the fairer and more inclusive the results will be for all of us.”
BCS's analysis was based on the application figures from Ucas for full-time undergraduate study at UK universities.
Ucas chief executive, Clare Marchant, said: “We are seeing increased interest in subjects which students perceive to have good career prospects, such as computing and law.”