CHENNAI: While Computer Science has been considered the most preferred stream over the years, it is all set to lose the coveted spot this year. Several schools have witnessed a dip in demand for the course, while Commerce is now steadily marching ahead as the most favoured stream.
“This is the first time that we are seeing a decline in the number of students applying for Computer Science. Since 2000, when this school was established, the number of applicants for Computer Science has been more than any other stream. Usually the applications for Computer Science would be double the number of Biology. But this year, it has declined,” says G Pandian, principal of Sir Siva Swami Kalalaya Higher Secondary School.
Kalalaya is not the only one to witness the trend.
“It is only this year that we are seeing this phenomenon — the number of students opting for Computer Science going down. The process of issuing the applications is still going on, but the trend is evident,” says M Kalaiarasi, principal, Everwin Vidyashram. The reasons for the shift are many, including the fact that the demand for Engineering has been witnessing a decline.
Schools point out that the fluctuations in the IT industry could be a possible cause. “Over the last one year, the IT industry has been witnessing uncertainty. This could be a reason. But, it is unclear why there is a sudden dip,” adds Pandian.
Meanwhile, Commerce is now moving up the list of sought-after courses.
“These days, there is more awareness among students about the scope for Commerce. About seven years ago, having a topper in the Commerce stream was an exception. Now, the proportion of top ranking students in Science and Commerce is the same, even though the actual number of students in Science is more,” says Stella Pauline Punitha, principal of Chennai Public School.
She adds that there is an increase in the number of schools offering Commerce in the city.
Vaishnavi B, a student of Sethu Bhaskara Matriculation School, scored a centum in Science and Mathematics in the SSLC examinations this year. But that has not stopped her from choosing Commerce.
“Many of my relatives discouraged me from opting for Commerce. They said that students who score high marks do not take Commerce, and that there is no scope. But that is not true. Many students who opted for Engineering have not been able to secure jobs. Commerce gives you many options like CA, ICW that have immense scope,” she says.