A schoolboy has become the world’s youngest qualified computer specialist after passing a Microsoft Windows exam at the age of just five.
Ayan Qureshi has only just started primary school, but passed the test at Birmingham City University to become a Microsoft Certified Professional.
He has set a new world record for the youngest person ever to pass a Microsoft exam – at the age of five years and 11 months, beating the previous record held by six-year-old Mehroz Yawar from Pakistan.
Ayan was first introduced to computers when he was just three, by his father Asim, 43, who soon realised his son’s natural aptitude for technology.
The IT consultant then built his son a computer lab at the family’s home in Coventry, West Midlands and started preparing Ayan for the complex Microsoft test.
After just five months training, Ayan sat the ‘Supporting Windows 8.1’ assessment for IT professionals alongside several adult candidates, even though at five he will not be able to work for another eight years.
Ayan sailed through the two hour exam in September and even finished with time to spare before finding out shortly afterwards he had passed.
“We are just so proud of him,” said Mr Qureshi.
“He has plans to take an advanced test in the future but he has to concentrate on school for now.
“He was very interested in computers from the age of three so I started explaining to him about hardware and software and installing programmes.
“I found that whatever I told him, he was able to remember it the next day, so I built a computer lab in our house for him to use, and he loves it.
“I showed him how to install Windows and then decided to enter him for this exam.
“It wasn’t easy teaching him every day but he picked it all up in the end.”
When Ayan, now six, and his father arrived at the university invigilators were so shocked to see such a young candidate and they said he couldn’t take the exam.
However, a phone call to Microsoft rectified the problem and Ayan took his place at a computer alongside the other adult candidates.
“There was just a room full of adults there when we went to take the test on a Saturday, but I’m not sure if they all passed or not,” said Mr Qureshi.
“He wants to keep on learning so I am sure he will be ready to take more exams quite soon. He’s incredible really.
“He enjoys playing computer games like any kid but now he is more interested about how they work.”
The test is normally taken just before or after university by young adults aiming to be information technology technicians.
Sections of the assessment included multiple choice, fill in the blanks, drag and drop, and several scenario based questions.
The computer based outline test examined the applicants’ knowledge of hardware, software, and their understanding of how Windows works.
And the certificate, which he keeps in his bedroom, shows he can use operating systems created by USA computing giant Microsoft.
Ayan, who has a younger brother Rayn, three, has also undertaken some distance learning lessons from London based computer training company IT Bolts.
He was born in Lahore, Pakistan, but his father and mother Mamoona, 34, who is training to become a GP, moved to London in 2009.
The youngster is yet to decide on a career path but hopes for a job involving his favourite subjects of maths and computing.
Employment laws mean the youngest age a child can work part-time is 13, except children involved in areas such as acting and modelling, who can work as long as they have a performance licence.
Children over 13 can work for 12 hours a week in term time, and 25 during school holidays.