Get ready for an increase in IT job candidates

After some significant declines in the past decade, more college students are choosing to study computer science.

The total number of undergraduates enrolled in computer science programs increased by 5.5% in 2008-2009 compared to the previous school year, according to a report by the Computing Research Association.

That’s the second straight increase —  over a two-year period, the number’s gone up by 14%.

What’s driving students toward IT degrees? One factor could be the decline of the finance industry, says the Computing Research Association. Mathematically inclined students who may have pursued finance degrees before the economic downturn may be seeing computer science as a safer choice.

It’s good news for IT managers looking to hire the best and brightest. Working with local colleges and using internship programs can help IT departments tap into this talent pool early on.