For many, it appears that the number of qualified teachers in British schools has not kept pace with increasing pupil numbers. Not only are the number of pupils seeming to grow, but so are the number of subjects taught.
As a successful London teaching agency, we have delved into the most popular teaching subjects for 2023 and also had a look at those that are likely to become bigger in the future!
Computer Science is the study of computing, including topics such as programming, algorithms, and computer systems.
With an increased emphasis on computing within more or less every industry, the programming field has become a key part of the curriculum. Many believe there is a shortage of skilled workers in the UK’s digital industries, making computer science a highly desirable skill set. As a result, the subject is becoming increasingly popular amongst teachers.
The importance of teaching Computer Science goes beyond general programming skills because it develops problem-solving skills and computational thinking which are increasingly in demand in the job market.
Psychology is the study of the mind and behaviour, including topics such as perception, cognition, and social influence.
Psychology is becoming increasingly important for businesses as they try to get as much out of their employees as possible by improving their thinking and efficiency. It is also something that is being used more in recruitment and job matching in the form of Psychometrics.
According to the British Psychological Society, psychology is one of the fastest-growing subjects at A-level in the UK, reflecting student interest and job market demand. This has led to an increased need in the number of teachers in order to progress these students further into higher education.
It is important to teach Psychology because it develops critical thinking skills, research skills, and an understanding of human behaviour. These are useful in many careers and everyday life, so even if these students don’t progress into a primary psychology role they are equipped with these important skills.
Business Studies is the study of the world of commerce, including topics such as finance, marketing, and management.
In a world where starting a business is becoming more attainable, it is important for young people to have a solid foundational knowledge of how to run one. Business Studies not only allows students to be better equipped at running their own businesses but also to understand what the general day-to-day running of one looks like. It’s also natural to pick up on elements like entrepreneurship and financial literacy through this, too.
According to the Association of Business Schools, there is a strong demand for graduates with business skills in the UK, making Business Studies a valuable subject to study. An increase in popularity amongst teaching professionals is a given due to the increased value of the skills it offers to young people.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology is the study of design and manufacturing, including topics such as product design, engineering, and materials science.
There has been a greater emphasis on increasing the amount of UK manufactured goods and overall UK manufacturing output recently, which will naturally increase the need to educate a new generation of professionals within the industry. Design and Technology also develops creativity, problem-solving skills, and an understanding of design and engineering principles, which are useful in many careers.
According to the Design and Technology Association, there is a shortage of skilled workers in the design and manufacturing industries in the UK, making Design and Technology a valuable subject to study and teach.
Modern Foreign Languages
Modern Foreign Languages is the study of languages other than English, including topics such as grammar, vocabulary, and cultural understanding.
As the world becomes more connected, the need for multilingual workers is growing. The traditionally taught modern foreign languages include French, German and Spanish but the rise of the Asian market has increased the need for Chinese Mandarin and Japanese speakers, which is becoming a more viable option in higher education. Having a second language is a massive plus for any employer and also opens up a wealth of opportunities for professionals working in other territories.
According to the Department for Education, modern foreign languages are becoming more popular in secondary schools in the UK, with over 300,000 students taking modern foreign languages at GCSE level in 2019. Aside from the benefits of learning a new language, the study of this also develops communication skills and a more rounded cultural understanding.
History is the study of past events, including topics such as politics, culture, and society.
A core subject for decades within the education system, there has been a rise in the number of teachers focusing on the subject. History’s importance as a subject goes beyond an understanding of the past because it develops critical thinking skills, analytical skills, and helps provide those who have studied it with informed decision-making in the present and future.
The Department for Education ranks this as one of the most popular humanities subjects in secondary schools in the UK, with over 550,000 students taking history at GCSE level in 2019. Of course, this means there is also an increase in demand for teaching resources, which is a popular role for people that study this subject.
Emerging Teaching Subjects for 2023
Climate Change Education
Climate Change Education is the study of climate change and its impacts, including topics such as climate science, sustainability, and environmental policy.
Many believe that this will become much more important – and popular – over the next few years, reflecting increased student interest and societal concern about climate change.
Climate Change Education as a subject is more important than ever because it helps students understand the science behind climate change, as well as the social, economic, and political dimensions of the issue. This knowledge can help students become responsible global citizens and work towards a sustainable future.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is the study of intelligent systems that can perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence. This includes topics such as machine learning algorithms, computer vision, and natural language processing.
With these technologies becoming increasingly widespread, there is a growing demand for workers with skills in artificial intelligence and machine learning. This has now permeated most industries, from healthcare to transportation. Similar to how coding was considered such a valuable skill to have years ago, studying this would help people adapt to the future in the same way.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Mental Health and Wellbeing is the study of topics such as stress management, resilience, and positive psychology.
According to multiple surveys, mental health and wellbeing is a top concern for teachers in the UK, reflecting the growing need to support students’ mental health in schools.
It is important to teach this because it helps students develop the skills and knowledge to support themselves, as well as their peers. It also prepares students to be empathetic and supportive members of society, while reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
There will still be a core focus on the traditional subjects within the education sector with Maths, English & Sciences forming the majority of teaching specialties. However, with the changing landscape of business worldwide, there will soon be a shift in the subjects taught.
Technology is becoming a massive part of the work environment so it is natural that the teaching world is following suit, with an increased need for programmers and technology professionals. Whilst this is the natural evolution of teaching, there has also been a shift back to more traditional values with History and Design & Technology included in the list.
Overall, the demand for teaching professionals is continuing to grow, so the development of new subjects will continue increasing right alongside them.