Can I still get a job as a software engineer if I don’t take computer science GCSE?

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Mxxrcell
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#1
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#1
So my dream job is a software engineer, I have plans of going to university and take the required a levels for that job.
However, I am currently in year 10 and wasn’t able to take computer science as a subject because of a lack of students; instead I took ICT, which is boring and looking at graphs is not my cup of tea. Coding, however is.
Can I still become a software engineer if I don't take computer science as a GCSE?
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EOData
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Yes, you can read computer science at university without taking Comp Sci at GCSE or at A level - Maths is the most important A level to take.
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username5773339
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To become a software engineer, you need a degree. And to do a degree, you need the required a-levels (can vary among universities so might need to check that out). I think you can pick up computer science as an a-level if your course asks for it - I know someone who got into A-Level computer science without doing the GCSE.

However, this entirely depends on the university and their entry requirements as I know people who are planning on doing software engineer at university without having A-Level Computer Science. They have ICT and maths as their a-levels - I think maths is the core subject you have to do but I could be wrong so double check.

Long story short, you don't really have to do computer science at GCSE : )
Last edited by username5773339; 5 months ago
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jungle_ninja
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#4
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#4
Just to say - you don't need a degree to be a software engineer. It definitely helps and certain employers still do require it but absolutely not required.

If you like coding, run with that. As a suggestion - learn Python 3 (https://www.learnpython.org/).
You can find loads of ideas for exercises and problems to solve here:
https://github.com/gamontal/awesome-katas
https://projecteuler.net/archives
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AmIReallyHere
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Was ICT not dropped in the UK? - I think IGCSE still has ICT but from what I saw from exam board websites they had no plans to continue it...
https://schoolsweek.co.uk/government...ualifications/
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by a.dream)
To become a software engineer, you need a degree.
No you don't.
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Sinnoh
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The field of software engineering has been around for a lot longer than computer science GCSE.
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EOData
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#8
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
The field of software engineering has been around for a lot longer than computer science GCSE.
In the 1980s there was a Computer Science O level but only a few schools had the means of offering it and the majority of people who went on to code had not done it.
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skylark2
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I am a software engineer and actually took computer science O level back in the 1980s. I can still regale you with the advantages and disadvantages of punched cards and paper tape if you really want (the syllabus was rather out of date in a massively fast developing area).

I didn't take it at A level and don't have a degree in it. I don't think any of my colleagues do either - we are all mathematicians and physicists.
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EOData
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#10
(Original post by skylark2)
I can still regale you with the advantages and disadvantages of punched cards and paper tape if you really want
I'm getting all nostalgic now.
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username5773339
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#11
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
No you don't.
Oh, that's interesting. I thought you needed a degree to pursue it further but I guess I was wrong. Thank you for correcting me!
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skylark2
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#12
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#12
Just to expand a bit, there are a lot of software engineering roles where you need a degree. It doesn't have to be a degree in software engineering and often isn't - it's common for it to be a degree in the (usually scientific) subject area that you'll be writing programs to support.

There are also a lot of software engineering roles where you don't need a degree at all. People come into software engineering via apprenticeships or conversion courses, or after years of programming as a hobby.

I don't think I've seen a software engineering job where you had to have a degree specifically in software engineering.
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Hasan444
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Mxxrcell)
So my dream job is a software engineer, I have plans of going to university and take the required a levels for that job.
However, I am currently in year 10 and wasn’t able to take computer science as a subject because of a lack of students; instead I took ICT, which is boring and looking at graphs is not my cup of tea. Coding, however is.
Can I still become a software engineer if I don't take computer science as a GCSE?
I took a level computer science without GCSE computer science and Its not too bad atm I'm in first year and all it took was asking my teacher what to do to get upto speed and then in a short while I was up to date with everything.
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Undeyapper812
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#14
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#14
A website says: "To do A level Computer science it is not essential to have done computer science at GCSE, though it is advisable to have done some practice of programming in your own time.", so catch up with content you missed just as the last reply suggests. Many people who become software engineers do a computer science degree and the most common requirement for this degree is not A level Computer Science but A level Maths (it is required at some universities, not all) so aim for 6+ in GCSE Maths even if you don't plan on taking A level Maths. This is the website where I got the information from: https://www.cife.org.uk/article/guid...puter-science/ . You should look at it because this will tell you about what you will do at A level.
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