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US CompSci Enrollment Leaps For 5th Straight Year 176

Posted by timothy
from the they-heard-about-the-snacks-and-dancing dept.
dcblogs writes "The number of new undergraduate computing majors in U.S. computer science departments increased more than 29% last year, a pace called 'astonishing' by the Computing Research Association. The increase was the fifth straight annual computer science enrollment gain, according to the CRA's annual survey of computer science departments at Ph.D.-granting institutions. The survey also found that more students are earning a Ph.D., with 1,929 degrees granted — an 8.2% increase over the prior year. The pool of undergraduate students represented in the CRA survey is 67,850. Of that number, 57,500 are in computer science."
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US CompSci Enrollment Leaps For 5th Straight Year

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yes, it is astonishing considering how many jobs are available.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Comments like this absolutely make my day. (That was sarcasm).

      I truly hope this 'sky is falling' mentality in regard to prospects of a career in CS prevalent here is a bit overstated and pessimistic.

      • It is, if you're under 30 there are plenty of jobs. But as soon as your salary reaches a certain point, manage or panhandle.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I...But as soon as your salary reaches a certain point, manage or panhandle.

          There's a difference?

        • It is, if you're under 30 there are plenty of jobs. But as soon as your salary reaches a certain point, manage or panhandle.

          I've been hearing that shit since the early years of my career.

          I'm 43, making an upper-middle class salary (not counting benefits), doing nothing but coding and software engineering. Management is not anywhere in my plans (not in the near future). I have a colleague in his 50's doing a killing as a contractor (over $100/hr, with O/T.) Others in their 40's and 50's are still doing predominantly technical jobs doing a killing in terms of salaries with no shortage of opportunities. And I'm not talking coding

          • You pile a lot of qualifications on your claim that IT jobs are plentiful. "... in systems and/or app development spaces" but not quite so much in infrastructure, and "if you have the technical know-how", and "age is rarely an issue". Granted that skills are essential, and that there are a lot of talkers out there who can get hired but can't do the job, but I hardly think that is a problem specific to IT. More than that, rarely isn't good enough. Age should never be an issue. If age is an issue, then

            • by czth (454384)

              To add to what you said about contracting, which I think is right on (would have modded up if I had points), there are also different ways contractors can be paid (in the US): W2, 1099, or corp-to-corp (c2c). I found this page [biztaxtalk.com] (I am not the author) which has an excellent summary of the three, pros and cons, and the tax implications, including some worked examples. Basically W2 is the easiest for tax purposes (but the rate will usually be lower because the company is paying more taxes), 1099 might draw the a

        • Given that certain chancellors of universities are increasing their salaries by ignoring the children of the parents that built the universities. Given that those same chancellors are actively recruiting nonresident students, everywhere. Given that some of the monies those chancellors earn are coming from unknown sources. Should I be amazed that there is a positive correlation to these 3 Givens?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        US (and most other western nations) unemployment for college graduates is not very good, but if you tease out engineers from arts, you get a pretty decent employment rate out of college. It isn't a safe bet but it is still nowhere near the roughly 50% unemployment for blacks youths for instance. We have it very easy in comparison.

    • by Bhrian (531263)
      A local company hires CS majors with a year of experience for about $30K. They prefer H1B employees when possible.
      • by gstovall (22014)

        I was a hiring manager in the late 90s. Newgrad CS salaries of $70K were common.

        How times have changed.

        Oh, and that $70K? With inflation, it's equivalent to $97K now.

  • Degree Mills (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 08, 2013 @09:33PM (#43123057)

    This is because colleges are increasingly becoming degree mills and focusing on quantity over quality. Previously, only the cream of the crop would go to college, but now everyone is going to college, college degrees are becoming more and more worthless, and colleges are lowering standards to accommodate all the new imbeciles.

    • Re:Degree Mills (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hedwards (940851) on Friday March 08, 2013 @10:10PM (#43123267)

      That's why you go to a college that actually has standards. There are schools where that is the case, then there are schools that demand a bit more, and you'd be nuts to suggest that the people doing hiring haven't figured out which degrees are valuable and which aren't. At least as far as large employers.

      • Re:Degree Mills (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Niris (1443675) on Friday March 08, 2013 @10:36PM (#43123377)
        Depends on your definition of standards. I go to a local State college because, well, it's local and I can afford it. If you're paying your own way, there's not a lot of chances for you to go to a very high end university for computer science. I am looking at alternatives for when (if) I get my masters, but I may just end up staying here because of that same exact reason.

        What's really important for a computer science graduate isn't necessarily the school, but their own independent projects. While my school isn't the best, it does provide enough information to lay down a foundation for further self study, and those of us that are smart enough to take the initiative to learn additional platforms (Android, embedded systems and robotics, etc.) and build portfolios are doing way better than the others who are just in the major because they 'like the Internet' or heard that it pays well. There's a huge degree of separation between myself, who has just been offered an internship as an Android development intern for a large media corporation, and a couple of my friends/drinking buddy classmates who haven't developed their abilities outside of class projects that were required to receive a passing grade.
    • This is where knowing which school someone's degree(s) came from. The top-tier universities in particular are actually harder to get into than ever to the high number of international & American students vying for acceptance. It's the community colleges & generic state/private schools that are being forced to lower their standards, and that's not because the students are stupid -- it's because so many are being pushed through the K-12 system with abilities that wouldn't have gotten them past the t

  • STOP (Score:3, Funny)

    by fazey (2806709) on Friday March 08, 2013 @09:43PM (#43123103)
    You're saturating the market! Go pick something else!
    • Apparently all the advertizing for Visas has high school students confused that there is a shortage of CS people. The side benefit is that having too many graduates will result in the same outcome if the Visa program can not continue to be abused.

      Walmart used to hire people with bad credit (after performing credit checks on applicants) because those employees are the closest to indentured servants. THAT business ethic is not restricted to Walmart management. Indentured servants are the goal. CS graduates

      • by zedrdave (1978512)
        > Walmart used to hire people with bad credit (after performing credit checks on applicants) because those employees are the closest to indentured servants

        [citation needed]

        Not that I can't believe Walmart would do absolutely anything to help their bottom line: they do have plenty of well-documented horrendous employment practices. But: 1) this makes little sense (people with large debt are objectively less responsible and less likely to feel any sense of responsibility toward their employer, not to
        • You do your homework. I do mine and remember the conclusions. I don't mind doing research because I've done so much of it already but I don't keep sources for everything I read on hand in a database in case I just happen to bring up something I've learned over the course of my life. I don't remember seeing clear cut data on this, but then there wasn't "clear" proof they were purposely discriminating against women - but reasonably looking at it, Walmart does it. You on the other hand are going totally off

          • by zedrdave (1978512)
            Right. It's a well-known fact that the burden of proof is on the reader, not the poster of unsourced claims (claims that even superficial research would tend to disprove). We all know that this is the way good debates are made. Hell, I wonder why Wikipedia does not have a '[find your own goddamn citation]' tag: it would make things so much easier.

            Then again, instead of trying to engage and present whatever evidence you may have, you'd rather successively engage in passing anecdotes for universal truth an
    • Maybe they will dilute the CS talent pool enough that recruiters will start recognizing where the real talent is -- dropouts =).

  • Pretty soon they'll be posting jaded comments from their laptop, laying in bed in their parents basement, just like me! Oh, if only times were better...

    ::Stares dreamily of poster of Bill Gates in his stunning 80's sweater, posing on his desk::
  • Perhaps a degree in Medieval Russian Poetry isn't looking as 'employable' as it used to.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Thanks to all the foreign competition filling up our schools, we can finally say we're becoming competitive!

    Hey China, look at all our new grads! Oh, wait...

  • Great News! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully they'll be smart and move to India so they can get a job in the U.S. on an H1B1.

    • or be smarter and avoid drugs & the fuzz so they can qualify for a clearance. Talent not required, just an immaculate permanent record. Sad, but true.

  • "Computer Science" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by degeneratemonkey (1405019) on Friday March 08, 2013 @10:04PM (#43123241)
    It seems that an increasing proportion of Computer Science resumes I receive are from recent graduates who don't know much at all about computer science. They've done a little Java or C++ or VB programming, they've explored such in-depth topics as linked lists and arrays, and they've heard of quicksort.

    Anything from complexity analysis, language classification, (heaven forbid) Turing machines, to operating systems, memory management, distributed systems, or synchronization? Hell, hell no.
    • by tyrione (134248)

      It seems that an increasing proportion of Computer Science resumes I receive are from recent graduates who don't know much at all about computer science. They've done a little Java or C++ or VB programming, they've explored such in-depth topics as linked lists and arrays, and they've heard of quicksort. Anything from complexity analysis, language classification, (heaven forbid) Turing machines, to operating systems, memory management, distributed systems, or synchronization? Hell, hell no.

      You can't graduate from a Pac 12 conference CS program without having exposure to what you hoped to find in your resumes.

      I know it is still true at WSU, UofW, Stanford, OSU, Cal, and UCLA/USC

    • There are still plenty of schools with respectable CS curricula that would meet these standards. I was only saying that the pool of CS grads is increasingly diluted by folks coming out of lesser programs.

      As a very basic heuristic filter: If there are no course requirements for discrete mathematics or computational theory, then it's not a real CS program.
  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Friday March 08, 2013 @10:06PM (#43123249)
    who in their right mind would go into CS? Or are these foreign students? I did hear that we've got a lot of them encouraged to come here because they pay a lot more than their local counterparts.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Let's see, I love computers, I love programming, I love everything associated with how computers do what they do. I love solving problems using a computer, I love building information systems from scratch. I love databases and cryptography. What do you suggest I pick my major to be mr asshat? Are you saying I should pick English as my major? Or should I study what I like and what get's the recruiters at career fair jizzing when they see my resume? I know people who graduated years ago. A Finance major t

      • by helobugz (2849599)

        What do you suggest I pick my major to be mr asshat?

        Mathematics, assclown.

      • but why spend 4 years in school and walk out with a worthless piece of paper? At least get a business degree. A business degree lets you apply for any job out there. A CS degree gets you replaced by an H1B. And no, I don't suggest an English Major. Yes, there are worse majors for employment than CS, but you work damn hard for that CS degree...
        • by Pro777 (90089)

          Reality begs to differ.

          http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report-2013/majors-that-pay-you-back

          As a holder of a BS in computer science, if I need someone to move columns in Excel, I will do it myself.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I can't speak for you but my 4 years in university were anything but useless. I was forced to learn to think in different ways and approach problems from different perspectives. Also, that piece of paper opened doors, even if they were as simple as being able to check the "has CS degree" box on the employment application. Co-op/internship was very helpful as well; I got to work on a high profile project and rub elbows with some rather important people while doing interesting work.

          Could I have gotten the

      • Let's see, I love computers, I love programming, I love everything associated with how computers do what they do. I love solving problems using a computer, I love building information systems from scratch. I love databases and cryptography. Guess what I will do when I graduate?

        Collect a welfare check.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You have it backwards: the fact that companies can't find enough qualified Americans and that they have to look overseas to fill their positions means that going into CS is an *excellent* idea.

      • by toddestan (632714)

        Yeah, but all those positions they can't fill are senior-level positions which are kind of irrelevant for a recent graduate. A lot of the junior level stuff has been sent overseas, and there's lots of competition for what's left.

      • by hemp (36945)

        By "qualified" they mean willing to work for the low wages they are offering.

        There is a reason why the biggest users of H1-B visas are contacting shops from India.

        Top 5 H1-B users for 2012:

        Infosys Limited 18844
        Tata Consultancy Services Limited 8461
        Wipro Limited 8086
        Deloitte Consulting Lp 5628
        Ibm India Private Limited

    • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @05:32AM (#43124667)

      I managed to retire from the field this year after about 27 years in it.

      The path I've seen is bad.

      Brutal hours, work holidays and weekends, low status, decent pay.
      Actual early death, lots of divorce (if you can manage to get married).

      Last job worked us 70+ hours for 2 years. 3 deaths, multiple non-fatal heart attacks. The free lunch and dinner at our desks was a nice perk tho it dropped in quality and healthiness as time went on. The pay was good (about $100 to $125k) in the south.

      Now I hear the people who were not laid off are basically being worked even harder and they don't even have the benefits of being laid off.

      If you go into CS, do what i did. Live on half of what you made and save the rest.

      Because the age discrimination is blatant and fierce.

  • CS is not IT / desktop / severs / networking / ect.

  • by ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) on Friday March 08, 2013 @10:48PM (#43123423)

    You just need a little bit more physics, able to deal with circuits, microcontroller and so on. Looks much better than CS at least on paper.

    • I agree, but don't minimize the engineering core. 1 semester each from the major engineering disciplines. Statics, thermo, circuits for all engineers. It was joy IIRC.

      Also Engineers need more core math then CS, to go with the physics.

      If you flunk out of engineering you can always go back to CS. That's a very typical path.

    • by tyrione (134248)

      You just need a little bit more physics, able to deal with circuits, microcontroller and so on. Looks much better than CS at least on paper.

      A little more Physics? I'm sorry, but having both CS and a Mechanical Engineering, CS might as well be an Art Degree by comparison. I'll take an EE degree holder over a CS major every day of the week to hire.

    • I only know one EE that is satisfied with being an EE. All of the others are trying to get CS jobs and wishing they actually had some CS training. The only EE knowledge I have heard of being widely useful is basic circuit analysis which you can get in just a few classes. Granted, there are going to be some jobs where in depth EE knowledge is actually useful but those jobs are few and far between. What you really want is a CPE degree where you become a competent programmer combined with a basic knowledge
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Well, I was EE. Favorite was logic circuits and assembly language, and FPGA's. Making digital and analog circuits in lab was rewarding. That led to more and more circuit building, and eventually to higher level programming, and embedded work. And now applying logic to backend and frontend web work. Basically, if you're good, software and hardware are similar. A different medium. You're solving a problem with logic. Anyway, EE is a great, well rounded degree, leads to great opportunities, overlapping

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In my experience, after getting a comp sci degree, I had few job opportunities. After completing my computer engineering degree, i got a excellent job before my final exams had even started. I guess the comp sci helped, but engineering is where its at.

    doesnt hurt that I got a applied math degree tacked onto the eng either...8 years for 3 degrees...and I have a job where I help people with phDs and masters. I would say go for breadth, not depth. It makes you more employable. I can design circuits, make

  • They seem to be a like a bunch of 5th graders learning to dribble with their non-dominant hand with their present inability to make caching efficient of stored states inside a max/min windowing environment. Hint: Talk to Apple. NeXT did it back in '89.
    • Go help the Wayland Project

      No, don't. The solution is to modernise the parts of X that need it, not throw out the best GUI in existence in a quixhotic quest for shiny things.

      I think half the reason that it's stalled is because the authors call X "legacy" and therefore old and bad and complicated so replacing it is obviously easy. Of course, it's not, and X wasn't written by idiots. Replacing it is really hard because it does a really hard job. Most of the reason its complex is because the world is not simpl

  • I graduated right after the dotcom bust, when everyone was looking for jobs and had lots of experience. Even with a degree from Carnegie Mellon, programming since I could press buttons, and my main hobby at home programming, I couldn't start my career. I thought of hiding in academia myself, but the major problem was I couldn't get student aid. Having student loans I can't ever pay off now is a pain as is.

    Anyone want a Flash(AS3)/C/C++ programmer with over ten thousand hours coding? I'm a guy who's
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Anyone want a Flash(AS3)/C/C++ programmer with over ten thousand hours coding? I'm a guy who's been told he works better than teams of 4 in 1/4 the time. I'll work for $15/hr, negotiable.

      Learn JavaScript, jQuery, JSON, AJAX, PHP. No, I am not joking. I am probably 1/10th the programmer you are and I'm earning $25/hr.

      Or, just pray to your god to deliver a fat salary into your lap.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by aztracker1 (702135)
      Just a couple suggestions... most people in IT aren't very religious... I don't mind (lean deist myself), but some might... you may want to do some work on your personal website, assuming your name matches the site... It doesn't need to be perfect.. just a little nicer (there are templates to work with like bootstrap, even platforms like wordpress)... If you have personal projects to show off, etc.. throw them up on github (assuming you have the rights).

      On your personal site, have an html copy of you
    • If you are as good as you think you are, find a way to show it. Seriously, there is a major disconnect between your situation and the skill set you claim to have. What's missing? A degree from CMU and 10 thousand hours of coding don't amount to anything if, for example, you just suck at problem-solving.

      There are plenty of relevant positions to fill and you remain unemployed.

      So here's a test of your problem-solving skills: Figure out what you're doing wrong.
  • Somewhat lame report (Score:5, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @01:40AM (#43124109) Homepage

    The "Computing Research Association" is a lobbying group. It's not on K Street NW in DC like most lobbyists. It's on L street, one block over. It's a lobby for federal funding for college CS departments.

    Here's the actual report. [cra.org] Two charts are upside down. The focus is on race and gender. There's little discussion of CS vs IT vs EE vs CE degrees, although there are some separate table columns. Employment statistics are provided only for PhD graduates.

    The data seems to be self-reported by the institutions involved.

  • If you examine Figure 1 in the report, there was a downward slide from 2001-2007 and an increase from 2007-now. That mostly matches what is seen for all majors in Figure 2. The real story here seems to be the overall education trend, not CS specifically.
  • by tlambert (566799) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @04:10AM (#43124481)

    Three questions:

    (1) Has the graduation rate gone up correspondingly?

    (2) How many actually complete their degree without running in "year stretching" by the University choosing not to offer required classes?

    (3) How many are at prestigious Universities in the right programs, rather than at Flash Game Programmer/JavaScript diploma mills?

  • I think there are a good number of kids staying in college (ore returning to college) because of poor job prospects. It may be that they have no degree, or their degree is in a less commercial field.

    They are racking up massive college debt hoping to ride out the bad economy and land on their feet on the other side - but mere posession of a CS degree may not be the "golden ticket" it once was to a high-paying career...

  • US CompSci Enrollment Leaps For 5th Straight Year

    So???? Call me when CompSci requirements across the board are on par (or attempt to be on par) with top-notch universities, like Stanford. We have been seeing a continuously increasing enrollment in CompSci since the dot-com era. And that has gone hand-in-hand with a watering down of CompSci curricula (seriously, how can someone graduate with a CompSci degree without ever knowing what a pointer is, or what an assembly instruction looks like *)

    Most of the IT/Enterprise software development work does not re

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