The number of students sitting a GCSE in IT rose by 14.2% to 111,890 in 2001. However, the numbers opting for the GCSE short course in Religious Education rose by 20%.
Tim Conway, a policy director at the Computer Software and Services Association (CSSA), said: "We welcome the increase in interest at [IT] GCSE level. Despite the current [industry] downturn, there is now and will be in the future many interesting careers relying on an IT skills base."
IT pass rates were high, with almost 60% of students earning a C grade or above, a 3% increase compared to last year.
Some 60% of the IT candidates were male, and there was no narrowing of the gender gap from last year. However, a higher proportion of female students sat the IT GCSE compared to the AS-level exam, where only 29% were female.
"There is still more that needs to be done to attract female students to IT. At A-level the environment can become a little female-hostile in schools," said Conway.