The number of IT students graduating from university has dropped by 50 per over the past decade, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The alarming fall can be attributed to a rise in popularity of humanities-based studies and health.
Graduate rates for students studying degrees classified as ‘people and culture’ has increased 63 per cent, from 32,253 to 50,653 over the last decade.
Health has increased 98 per cent from 18,297 to 35,155, while IT is the only degree type where graduation rates have dropped. Only 4200 Australian students graduated from IT in 2012.
IT graduate rates, although at record lows, are still continuing to fall, with a 2.1 per cent decrease in graduates over the last year, and a 1.8 per cent decrease in students accepting a place in IT degrees over 2013-2014.
The decline can also be partly traced back to secondary education.
The number of students choosing to study IT in secondary schools is decreasing with just 6 per cent of students in Queensland choosing to study OP – IT (IPT) related courses.
Brisbane-based IT secondary teacher of 18 years, Wayne Hellmuth, puts this decline down to a number of factors including the difficulty, and perceived difficulty of IT courses, as well as a lack of targeted professional development for teachers in this constantly evolving subject.
“Over 70 per cent of teachers teach subjects in which they aren’t qualified,” he said.
“IT teachers do not have the training or necessary ongoing professional development in IT to engage students in modern and relevant curriculum.”
“It is a shame because students with an interest in apps and technology should be learning how they can turn a hobby into a career.”
Hellmuth has written a book for secondary schools in an effort to re-invigorate teachers and get teenagers interested in learning the latest types of coding - using games and app development.