The number of undergraduate students studying computer science rose by 8.1 per cent during 2008, and PhD student numbers rose 5.7 per cent. Students are increasingly looking at a career in IT as one of the more recession-proof job options, the report suggested.
"The upward surge of student interest is real and bigger than anyone expected," said Peter Lee, incoming chairman of the CRA.
"The fact that computer science graduates usually find themselves in high-paying jobs accounts for part of the reversal. Increasingly students also are attracted to the intellectual depth and societal benefits of computing technology."
Overall, the number of degrees awarded fell last year by 10 per cent, as it has done since 2002, but this fall was half of the rate in 2007.
"Competitive advantage, driven by innovation, has never been more important, " said Daniel Reed, current chairman of the CRA.
"Computing advances lead to new approaches to solving some of the world's biggest problems. US businesses must continue integrating new computing technologies to remain globally competitive."
However, computer science is still showing a worrying lack of diversity; women make up barely one in 10 of technology graduates, and almost two thirds of degrees are awarded to white men.
Figures released by the US Department of Labor predict that IT jobs will see some of the strongest growth of any profession in the US by 2010. Demand for applications programmers is expected to grow by more than 100 per cent, and overall the IT sector is forecast to expand by over a third.
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