IT enrollment soars in Philippines

More students in the Philippines are flocking to information technology (IT) courses amid the rising demand for computer-literate workers both here and abroad. This was borne out by data provided by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), which projects that enrollment in IT and related programs for the school year 2000-2001 will reach 336,642, up 47.6 percent from the estimated figure for SY 1999-2000.

The bulk of these enrollees, 89.30 percent, are enrolled in private institutions, while the rest are in public schools.

The figures mean that out of the total tertiary population of about 2.4 million in SY 2000-2001, one out of every seven college students is taking up an IT course. In the previous school year, the ratio was one for every 10 college students.

GROWTH RATE

A five-year period covering SY 1996-1997 to SY 2000-2001 shows that enrollment in IT courses and other related programs has been growing at an average rate of 31.23 percent every year.

The National Capital Region (NCR), where a total of 121 higher educational institutions are located, registered the most enrollees taking up IT courses. For SY 2000-2001, NCR had a total IT enrollment of 109,313, accounting for almost one-third of the total IT student population nationwide. Of the total IT student population, 97,781 or 89.45 percent are enrolled in private schools, while the remaining 10.55 percent are registered in public schools.

The Southern Tagalog Region (Region IV) reported the second biggest enrollment, at 59,655. Central Luzon, or Region III, had 42,029 IT enrollees while Region I (Ilocos Region) took in 20,839 students.

There were 643 higher education institutions that offered IT and related programs as of March 2000. Of these, 554 were privately owned while 89 were government-run. NCR has 121 institutions that offer IT courses, Southern Tagalog has 99 schools and Central Luzon, 89.

GRADUATES

The number of graduates in IT and related programs for SY 1999- 2000 was estimated at 21,245, 11.59 percent more than the 19,038 graduates in SY1998-99. This brings to 94,364 the total number of graduates in IT courses since SY 1994-95.

Of the total graduates in SY1999-2000, more than half, or 11,621, held a baccalaureate degree; 8,374 completed an associate-level program; 541 finished with a masters degree, and 690 graduated with a doctorate degree.

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