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Industry welcome Leaving STEM results

Wednesday, August 13 16:45:58

EMC, the IT multinational that employs over 3,000 people in Ireland, today welcomed the national improvement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in the Leaving Certificate.

This year, 14,326 students sat the Higher-level mathematics paper, a 10pc improvement on 2013 and nearly 30pc on 2012. 7pc achieved a prestigious A grade. The most common grade was C1.

Furthermore, the number of students sitting Higher-level applied mathematics increased by 7pc on 2013, with an impressive 28pc achieving an A grade, the highest in any curricular subject.

Compared to last year, the number of students taking Higher-level physics increased by 12pc; chemistry, 7pc; technology, 4pc; and engineering, 26pc.

Bob Savage, Vice-President and Managing Director of EMC's EMEA Centres of Excellence, including Ireland's Cork-based centre, said that the results were indicative of "a generation of digital natives primed for the world's new tech-driven economy".

"We're glad to see the improvement in, and increased uptake of, STEM subjects by students in Ireland. Not only do more graduates in these fields assure Ireland's place as the second biggest exporter of IT services in the world, they also help to put us at the forefront of emerging technologies like data analytics, cloud computing and cybersecurity," said Mr Savage.

A Forfas report issued in late 2013 predicted that Ireland will see the number of new IT jobs created in Ireland grow to 44,000 by 2018. The tech sector is worth 50 billion annually to the Irish economy.

"Today's results show that the government's policy in promoting mathematics as a subject, and the global focus on STEM knowledge, is having a tangible positive effect on Irish students. While the numbers failing subjects like physics and chemistry at Ordinary level remain an obstacle to be overcome, we are confident that continued investment in the area, perhaps with further bonus points initiatives for science and engineering, will benefit Irish tech industries hugely in the years to come," said Mr Savage.

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