The number of students graduating from California’s high-tech colleges with bachelor’s degrees in computer science or information technology has fallen to its lowest level in more than a decade, according to a new report from the state Department of Education.
The department found that more than 1,400 California high-school students enrolled in computer-related undergraduate and graduate degrees fell from 6,600 in 2016 to 5,500 this year.
The number of California high school students enrolled has dropped from nearly 6,000 in 2016 when the state was preparing for the 2020 Olympics, to fewer than 4,200 this year, according the report.
It said that the number of computer-science and information-technology students in California was projected to grow at a slower rate than in other states, especially in the Southern California region.
“The overall trend for the number and quality of computer science and computer information technology (C&IT) students has declined significantly,” the report said.
“Although some students may be gaining from the recession, the overall decline in the number, quality and quantity of students entering California’s C&IT programs has been more pronounced.”
The department said that as a result of the slowdown in the growth in the California population and in the overall population, the number is projected to decline again by 20 percent in the coming decades.
While the department said the percentage of California students who are computer science majors has declined to 9 percent from about 10 percent in 2016, the percentage that are information technology majors has remained relatively stable at about 6 percent.
The report said that many California high schools are now offering a computer-assessment course and are making computer-engineering and information systems more appealing to the public, particularly among those students who have already completed the program.
The Department of Computer Science and Information Technology said that computer-industry jobs in the state are expected to grow from more than 7,000 to more than 8,400 jobs by 2040.
The state Department for Education said that this year’s high school graduation rate was 6.4 percent, the lowest rate since the state began keeping track of such statistics in the 1980s.
California is the nation’s largest state with more than 6.2 million people enrolled in the nation-leading schools of computer, information and information technologies.
The data comes from the latest year for which data is available.
It is based on data collected by the California Department of Higher Education from the California Higher Education Coordinating Council.