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Should I do PGCE in ICT?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by hasanali00, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Hi
    I wonder if you could help me. I have a BSc and MSc in computing. I have 4 years of experience of working in the industry as Web Developer.
    Then I have 3 years experience of working as Adult ICT trainer at a community centre.
    I am 32 years old.
    Now I am thinking of doing PGCE in ICT next year and going into teaching full time in a school.
    1 - so my question is, how likely is it that i will be able to succeed in securing full time teaching role in ICT after cmpleting my PGCE considering that I am already 32? (have read very negative reviews on this forum about finding a job)
    2- Is there still demand for ICT teachers?
    3 - perhaps, after completing my PGCE, could I find teaching roles other than at schools?
    thanks very much for your replies.

  2. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    There are a lot of trolls on here that want ot paint a very bleak picture of the world for whatever personal reason they have. Simple facts are that if you looks in the jobs section of this website there are more jobs advertised in ICT than History, Geography, Art etc... in fact pretty much any other non core subject.
    However if you are already training then surely the GTP route would be better for you than a PGCE. Your age in no hinderance whatsoever, you still have 36 years ahead of you.....
  3. As with all jobs, there's no guarantees or promises of what will happen at the end of the training, but you will probably find lots of opportunities for someone with the relevant industrial experience for ICT, especially if you have been following the recent debate about the curriclum changes! And David's right, don't listen to the nay-sayers...... there are many enthusiastic and positive teachers out there (even some of us who have been teaching a large number of years!), there's lots of creative teachers out there (and opportunities for innovative, creative teachers) and 32?!?!?! You're a mere baby - life experiences count for an awful lot in teaching!

  4. Absolutely love the positive comments that have been posted here! We need more positivity in the world!
  5. robot1

    robot1 New commenter

    I'm glad you have got some positive comments and I hate to sound negative but...
    There is no doubt in my mind that some schools will abandon discrete ICT at KS3. It's almost being seen as a 'badge on honour' by some of the new free schools that are being set up. I read that a new one being planned in south London will not offer any ICT. A combination of ICT and Computing courses may be offered at KS4, but will an optional subject competing with all of the other option subjects be a source of secure employment?
    Many contributors on this forum do not realise that Computing is not a 'mainstream' subject and will only have a limited appeal. Look at the number of colleges that have dropped A' Level Computing due to difficulties in recruiting enough students capable of passing.
    No doubt some schools will keep ICT (and maybe rename it) but some will drop it as a compulsory subject. In my school all students have to take ICT at both KS3 and KS4. This will change. The result will be there will be more ICT teachers than ICT/Computing jobs.
    I do not have a vested interest in seeing ICT disappear. I think if delivered properly it's a great subject and I am looking forward to introducing more computing into the curriculum. I depend on teaching ICT and Computing to put a roof over my family's head and food on the table. I hope I am wrong but I think there will be limited demand for ICT teachers in the future as there will be many looking for work.
    Good luck.
  6. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    I'd say there's a lot of uncertainty around the subject. There's no clear central direction any more, and with academies setting their own agenda, it's anyone's guess what they want to offer from one year to the next.
    Schools with weaker departments are likely to see it go, schools with successful departments will no doubt keep it around to maintain their GCSE percentage.
    I think ICT will hold on, and possibly even re-establish itself once industry begins to realise that a lack of specifically taught ICT skills (even the "dull" ones) is resulting in poor recruits who need additional teaching in spreadsheets and such. But that may not really happen until 2020 when the current students feed through into (what remains of...) the job market.
  7. It's a hard call that only you can make. You have seen the news. ICT as a subject is right up in the air at the moment and the truth is no one knows how it will pan out. It has an uncertain future although there does appear to be a real commitment towards introducing proper Computing as opposed to the more waffle-like ICT "skills" (rightly or wrongly) now. There a quite a few optimists on here, who think everything will carry on as normal. Others, like myself, think that severe damage has been done by courses like the OCR Nationals to ICT, and this will continue to be the case until they are all buried - at the moment, it seems that for the Nationals, it's business (and more damage) as usual.The glimer is that ICT GCSE seems to be breathing its last gasp.
    With your strong Computing background, and I assume that this includes some serious programming skills, you ought to be well placed. I would strongly suggest if PGCE courses still want you to do a second subject that you make it Maths as a fallback. As someone who is about to retire, I don't envy you. Most of the time it is a great job. In the last few years, there have been far more awful times than there should be; ICT bores the hell out of children, coursework is ill-conceived and a nightmare to manage and the marking is endless, the constant new initiatives and demands, just in case ofsted come, interfere with teaching and frankly, my one way flight to Kathmandu at the end of July is just the tonic to keep me going in these last 6 months. I hope I make it across the finishing line.
    Good luck with your choice.
  8. I entirely disagree...

    The subject is 'up in the air' due to Goves comments about it.

    Ultimately he wants students to have computing skills - He said himself the subject may be added to the e-bacc.

    If computing dries up and very few students are doing it... Give has shot himself in the foot and so I believe it would be reintroduced as core.

    Computing is used in so many jobs, I think the importance of the subject will only increase.

    We don't know what will happen... But common sense says computing is not going away.
  9. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    See what I mean here come the trolls hiding behind their anonymous nom de plumes. Just do yourself a favour and look at the scores on the doors in the jobs section. Who do you want to believe, the people on here who paint their preferred vision of our profession or the head teachers who pay a bloody fortune to put adverts into the paper to fill actual jobs that they need to pay money out for? Oh yeah whilst you are at it look how many are ICT and how many are computing.
  10. Listen to djphillips! He's right! Computing is too important a skill in the workplace not to be taught!
  11. While I am a troll hiding behind an anonymous nom de plume, I am not an ICT-cusser or a "Computing is Great! (even though only 3 people in the UK want to do it)" sort of troll.
    But I think it's not reasonable to say that the future is rosey or potentially even acceptable for ICT PGCE applicants; the best that could be said is that it's unpredictable and a little dubious.
    Yes, there are job adverts but the role of ICT in schools is going to change and I don't think it will be subtle and it concerns me.
    Surely, djp, you are being a little irresponsible in making such a whole-hearted recommendation of ICT to this guy?
  12. IMHO
    1] Being 32 shoudn't matter. Not looking the same age as pupils and having valid industry/previous training eperiences are both good things.
    2] There is still a demand for ICT Teachers. Whether this will continue remains to be seen.
    3] There are teaching roles outside of schools, e.g. prisons, churches, HE.
    Having QTS does open a variety of doors.
    As already suggested, having an additional subject under your belt would also make you more attractive in the open job market.
    There are a multitude of factors that would determine whether or not you would secure a teaching position after gaining a PGCE......
    -Have you spent anytime recently observing ICT being used/taught in schools?
    -Other than having a liveihood, what is your motivation for teaching in schools?
    -What region of the UK/world would you ideally like to end up teaching in?
    -Have you looked at TeachFirst?


  13. With so much change coming to ICT, it is reckless to suggest to potential new teachers that there isn't a problem. Djphillips is winding you up whereas notjohnbrown is much closer to the current situation. Many of the jobs advertised this week are abroad. Quite a few are in areas few can afford to live in. By all means do an ict pgce but as advised, a maths second subject would be sensible insurance.
  14. autismuk

    autismuk New commenter

    Much depends on flexibility. Recently round here (Norfolk) there was a strong demand for ICT people. I don't know right now. If you can move around the country or are based in more expensive areas it'll be easier.
    I would add to DJP's point though that one problem is the answer is long term, we don't know. How will things like eBacc and the push to computing affect the demand for ICT teachers.
    It could vary ; with Computing it could put a premium on those who are Computing people. I don't really know, it's educated guesswork.
    Some schools are less committed to ICT than others and may move towards it being all subjects based. Or this could become "policy".
    I would support thinking about a suggestion from another poster that you train so you can teach Maths as well ; not only does it increase your saleability but it gives you a bit of a fallback.

  15. autismuk

    autismuk New commenter

    Also worth looking on LEA websites if you have a preferred area.
    I'd say that the problem is that you are looking at the now (incidentally my impression is that the number of advertised ICT jobs has fallen over the last year) rather than considering possibilities which are very plausible.
    Same with Computing vs ICT. Now , yes, very few do Computing GCSE/A-Level.
  16. It is a changing subject and if you do a PGCE you will probably find that you know more about the subject than your tutors. If you can find a school willing to take you on as a GTP that would be my suggestion. The GTP is not an easy course though and does make many more demands of you than the PGCE.
    My school recently advertised for a new ICT teacher and I was forward thinking enough to of specified I wanted someone who could offer Computing, a good thing for schools in my opinion, and we had 36 applicants for the position. I can tell you just from reading the part of your post refering to your previous qualifications that you would of been in the pile to call in for interview (if you had completed your PGCE at that time).
    I am sure there are lots of schools out there who know that their current ICT staff do not have the skills required to teach computing. For some schools this will mean downsizing the department, for others reskilling the department and for some new, higher qualified faces will be required.
    I can recommend the subject, it is going to be fun and interesting again. Some people are predicting big falls in the numbers of pupils taking our courses at GCSE level but the way my school is seeing it we are envisaging running two different types of course where the higher ability study a more traditional Computing course at GCSE and our less able students continue with the OCR Nationals / Btec ICT route (assuming ICT has not been culled today altogether).
    One final thing though, if you can teach Maths and want a full career in a school, then teach Maths. No other subject continues to offer the quickest and easiest path to Senior Leadership, so many schools in the last year have been advertising for Assistant Principles who can offer Maths its ridiculous.
  17. I'm an ICT PGCE student at the moment teaching GCSE ICT and A Level Computing. I think your background is ideal for the past/current/future job spec and, personally, I think you should leave the maths for the maths graduates. There will always be a need for your specialist subject skills in the teaching profession. ICT was called 'Information Systems' when I was at secondary school. I imagine the same debate trolled-on then as it does now.
  18. The arrogance of a PGCE Student feeling he can give worthwhile advice on future employment in the ICT teaching sector actually takes my breath away.
  19. As you have noticed, you will get negative comments here - but not from me! You are a geek, like myself, and do not need to "learn ICT" to be able to teach it - you already know how to use IT systems and much more besides. What your PGCE will do is teach you how to teach well and that is a skill that will always be useful.
    As regards jobs teaching ICT, then there the issue is different since right now we do not know what the future holds. As you have already been told "...some schools are dropping ICT..." whereas others are "...well aware there is a considerable future in Computing..." The lesson here is quite simple: some people mean one thing by "ICT" while others mean quite another thing entirely!
    You will also note people talking about "KS3" and even "KS4" teaching yet none have asked you if you intend to teach primary school, secondary, tertiary, adult education, degree-level courses or whatever. The simple fact is that there *WILL* be jobs out there and they *WILL* need people with both the experience you already have and the teaching skills you are now learning. It will be up to you to choose what sort of skills you want to teach and then to find an employer that also wants those skills taught. They certainly *WILL* be out there, even if you want to fall back on the pre-Gove habit of "teaching Microsoft" that many schools have relied on for years.
    My advice - poor as it may be - to you is to carry on with confidence and to help those who will teach to work out what is best to be taught. Keep up the good work!
  20. Statistically it's probably more important to be one of the two thirds of male teachers on the square. Even more important for a management role.

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