IT degree take-up halved

The take-up of IT-related degrees has almost halved over a five year period, according to new research from IT training and education body e-skills UK.

Despite the UK's IT industry growing five to eight times faster than the rest of the economy, only three out of ten graduates choose to enter the sector. The research by e-skills looked at data from 2001-2005. The number of students taking up IT-related degrees fell from 27,000 in 2001 to 14,700 in 2005, e-skills said.

Karen Price, the chief executive of e-skills, called on employers to make the IT industry a more attractive career prospect.

"Attracting new talent into the IT and telecoms workforce is vital for the UK's global competitiveness," she said in a statement. "Employers of IT professionals often recruit from non-IT disciplines to obtain skills which are now essential for the IT workforce."

The organisation has developed a new degree, Information Technology Management for Business, along with BT, Fujitsu and HP, which will be running in 13 universities by the end of the year.