Last year, it was announced that, going forward, the UK National Curriculum will focus heavily on teaching information technology. This is a change from previous years, when the main focuses of education were basically traditional subjects. The government believes that if it focuses heavily on programming, it can cement the UK’s position as a worldwide leader in the IT industry.
However, the Prime Minister’s lofty goal of turning Britain into a bastion of technological innovation is not the only effect this change will have. This shift in focus is also significantly impacting lesser-acknowledged realms of IT support.
For example, schools are finding themselves making adjustments to adapt to the current curriculum. This includes both students of technology as well as those already circulating in the IT support workforce.
The new IT curriculum requires revisions in traditional teaching. This does not mean that current classroom professors will leave their jobs due to these changes; that is highly unlikely. However, what it does mean is that the curriculum is likely to attract individuals with programming backgrounds to the teaching field and away from support positions. Institutions of higher learning will no doubt seek to hire candidates with strong programming knowledge.
Additionally, schools might require additional IT personnel to support the new teaching platform. Support companies and trainers are bound to be in high demand. It could be the right time for highly skilled IT entrepreneurs to launch start-up companies for this purpose.
Other effects of this new focus will take a bit longer to materialize. It will be several years before students complete this curriculum and filter into the working pool. At that time, it is expected that the UK will enjoy a workforce that is more skilled in programming than ever before. Those who hold GCSEs that are programming oriented will probably acquire even more programming qualifications. This newly improved workforce will change the face of recruiting as it is known today.
Recruiters will need to consider whether a candidate trained under the new curriculum or the old one and decide which skills will most benefit their company. It is advisable that those already programming with the old qualifications seek training under the new curriculum as well if they want to complete in the modern working pool. Even if the skills they already have make them perfectly suited for a job, the perception will be that those trained last were trained best.
Over the long run, it is the government’s goal to ensure Britain becomes a powerful programming hub. Even if this never happens, the effects the process has on the IT support world are irreversible. IT support teams will be driving towards making this happen.
In the near future, office workers with programming training will be better equipped to use
the more intricate features that come with software like Microsoft Office. For this reason, more work will be automated, and offices will reap the benefits. However, because mistakes are unavoidable when workers and software are involved, the need for an IT support team will be greater than ever. Also, support teams will be needed for anything that is related to programming. Support companies that prepare for this now will be doing themselves a favor.
If and when the government realizes its dream, the UK will be creating a much greater number of products. This will also actualize the need for more IT support teams, who may want to expand their skill set to accommodate this, and they may even want to develop their own in-house support software.
All the results of this new curriculum remain to be seen, of course. No one can say with any certainty that the government’s dreams will be realized and that there will not be any ramifications that have not already been mentioned here. However, one thing is certain. IT Support is changing in the UK, and IT Support professionals are going to change right along with it.