You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Fewer students are studying science at school and university, favouring more computer based subjects instead.
Is this a positive or negative development? What are the reasons for this?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
In recent years, it has become evident that there has been a shift among secondary and university students away from traditional sciences and towards IT-based subjects. In this essay I will talk about the reasons behind this shift and explain why I think that overall this is a negative development.
The rise on popularity of IT and similar computer-based subjects is unsurprising given how pervasive computer technology is within society. Our lives are so dependent on devices and the Internet that it has become one of the world’s main industries. What is more, the media is full of stories of tech start-ups that have made their founders and inventors into millionaires or even billionaires, so it is easy to see why young people would be attracted to the industry as a field of study. It certainly seems a safer bet than a career in science, which typically requires a longer term commitment and at least at first glance less rewards in terms of salary and social prestige.
However, both academia and society as a whole depend on a sustainable stream of talented scientists, pushing the boundaries of what is possible. These are the people who develop our medicines, design our cars, improve our manufacturing processes, invent new materials – the list is endless and their work is vital for maintaining and improving the quality of life that we enjoy. A fall in the number of students taking sciences therefore means a fall in the number of talented people doing such valuable work.
In conclusion, the move to towards computer-based subjects and careers is understandable, given the importance of the computing industry in today’s world. However, if this is at the expense of having new scientists and engineers, then it is also potentially very detrimental. Without scientific innovation, the world will be a very different place.