Interest in A-levels in information and communications technology (ICT) and computing has dropped more than in any other subject, according to figures from the exams' administrative body.
The Joint Council for Qualifications said that the number of candidates taking computing was down 16.3 per cent on 2003, with just 8,488 entries this year.
The number taking ICT fell by 11 per cent to 16,106. ICT also showed the biggest drop of any subject in terms of pure number of entries, with almost 2,000 fewer candidates than last year.
Karen Price, chief executive of Sector Skills Council e-skills UK, blamed the decrease on the recent decline in the IT jobs market.
"I think children and parents pick that up very quickly, which causes a problem because we're trying to produce a skills pool for the future. That is evidently what employers need, and already we can see the market is beginning to turn upwards again," she said.
Price added that schools should be doing more to promote IT in partnership with employers. "I'm hoping that's something we can get to grips with in the future, particularly with the promise from government of more opportunities for employers to engage with students in schools," she said.
After computing and ICT, the next largest percentage decrease in entries was for German, which showed a fall of 8.1 per cent.
Science subjects and physics also fared badly, with 6.5 per cent and 6.2 per cent fewer entries than in 2003 respectively.
The subjects showing the biggest percentage increases in number of entries were religious studies (up 13.8 per cent), law (12.5 per cent), psychology (11.9 per cent) and media/film/TV studies (11.2 per cent).
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