Business leaders have voiced concern over a massive increase in the number of pupils doing media studies at the expense of traditional subjects.
Entries for media, film and TV studies have jumped by 250 per cent over the past decade and fallen for subjects like maths, science and languages.
Employers fear the rise in popularity of media courses - dubbed "Mickey Mouse" by critics - is contributing to a lack of youngsters with the necessary skills for business and industry.
Kasia Kurowfka, policy adviser at the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said: "Businesses are crying out for students who really show skills in numeracy. That is a skill that they are saying is declining. If fewer students are doing subjects like maths and sciences that is a worry."
Figures from the Centre for Education and Employment Research show that in 1996 there were 8,863 A-level entries in media studies.
Since then, the figure has risen steadily to 30,964 entries this year - a 249.4 per cent increase while science entries have fallen by 18 per cent, maths by 17 per cent and economics by 29 per cent.
Ian Smith, chief executive of the Engineers Employers Federation, said: "Because manufacturing is seen as declining and because there is a prejudice against manufacturing in education, young people are discouraged from going down that route. Part of that is the choice of subjects they will take for their courses. I have a suspicion that the sort of subjects you need for manufacturing, like physics, maths and chemistry, are more challenging."
But Philip Thickett, coordinator for the University of Central England's department of media, defended the subject.
"If someone picks up a media graduate from our course they would be getting someone with practical production skills but also we put in a lot of transferable skills which employers outside the media would find useful."