The UK's 350-year-old The Royal Society believes school ICT curriculums are so poor that students are being driven away from studying the subject.
ICT student levels in the UK have fallen dramatically over the past three years, according to a study by the UK's Joint Council for Qualifications, which found that secondary school ICT enrolments had fallen by a third between 2006 and 2009, with the same fall reported for enrolling in post-secondary level studies.
"We are now watching the enthusiasm of the next generation waste away through poorly conceived courses and syllabuses," Professor Steve Furber, Fellow of the Royal Society said.
Fearing that the decline in numbers will leave the UK with an ICT worker deficit, The Royal Society will embark on a study to discover how to re-engage students with the profession.
The 18-month study has the backing of Google, Microsoft and several training institutes, and will look at the need for specialist teachers and qualifications that will inspire students.
"Somehow the enthusiasm and excitement young people have for their personal technology such as mobile phones and games consoles is not translating across into the classroom," said Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK.