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Education Programming

College Students Are Flocking To Computer Science Majors (ieeeusa.org) 379

Slashdot reader dcblogs writes: Enrollments in Computer Science are on a hockey stick trajectory and show no signs of slowing down. Stanford University declared computer science enrollments, for instance, went from 87 in the 2007-08 academic year to 353 in the recently completed year. It's similar at other schools. Boston University, for instance, had 110 declared undergraduate computer science majors in 2009. This fall it will have more than 550. Professor Mehran Sahami, who is the associate chair for education in the CS department at Stanford, believes the enrollment trend will continue. "As the numbers bear out, the interest in computer science has grown tremendously and shows no signs of crashing." But after the 2000 dot-com bust computer science enrollments fell dramatically and students soured on the degree. Could something like it happen again?
Mark Crovella, the chair of Boston University's CS department, notes that "the overall interest in computer science at B.U. is currently at about twice the level it was at the peak of the dot.com year." But the article points out that salaries for new grads are still rising, "which suggests that demand is real." And Jay Ritter, a professor of finance at the University of Florida's Warrington College of Business Administration, adds "I'm more worried about the job outlook for people without these skills."
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College Students Are Flocking To Computer Science Majors

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  • by Njorthbiatr ( 3776975 ) on Sunday July 23, 2017 @12:10PM (#54862257)

    The idea that having a CS degree makes you a competent programmer is laughable... Those "deep" algorithmic problem solving abilities are what pay so much, and more important, and interest in them. My value to my employer has little do with any degree and mostly due to the fact when I was given a problem, I could identify why the current solutions had failed because I knew how computers work.

    The majority of CS majors I know can't even tell you how a processor works on basic principles. It's just a black box to them, and when things fail like a stack overflow, they don't know what that even means.

    • by dmiller1984 ( 705720 ) on Sunday July 23, 2017 @12:20PM (#54862307) Homepage

      The idea that having a CS degree makes you a competent programmer is laughable... Those "deep" algorithmic problem solving abilities are what pay so much, and more important, and interest in them. My value to my employer has little do with any degree and mostly due to the fact when I was given a problem, I could identify why the current solutions had failed because I knew how computers work.

      The majority of CS majors I know can't even tell you how a processor works on basic principles. It's just a black box to them, and when things fail like a stack overflow, they don't know what that even means.

      I agree that a CS degree on it's own doesn't make someone a competent programmer, but I think you're painting with a broad brush when you say the majority of CS majors can't tell you how a processor works. Every worthwhile CS program has at least one computer architecture course and probably a compiler course as well.

      • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Sunday July 23, 2017 @12:34PM (#54862373) Homepage

        [...] I think you're painting with a broad brush when you say the majority of CS majors can't tell you how a processor works.

        When I worked the Google IT help desk, I had to talk a newly hired CS graduate into turning on his own workstation. He only used the workstations at the university lab and wasn't allowed to touch the workstations there. He was shocked that no one was standing around to turn on his workstation.

        • Sounds more like "surprised that he wouldn't get in trouble for pressing the power button" rather than "shocked that no one was standing around to turn on his workstation".

          quite different.

          • by creimer ( 824291 )

            Sounds more like "surprised that he wouldn't get in trouble for pressing the power button" rather than "shocked that no one was standing around to turn on his workstation".

            No, he wanted someone to turn on his workstation. He was surprised that it was against help desk policy for a help desk tech to remotely turn on or reboot a workstation.

            • Well, OK, but it sounded different when you said this:

              He only used the workstations at the university lab and wasn't allowed to touch the workstations there.

              • by creimer ( 824291 )

                He only used the workstations at the university lab and wasn't allowed to touch the workstations there.

                Most computer labs don't want students touching the workstations, or, God forbid, taking one apart. That kinda made sense when I took Intro to Computers in the early 1990's and the priesthood still existed for the IBM PCs in the computer labs. That it was still the case when I got this particular phone call in 2007 surprised me. I went back to school to learn computer programming after the dot com bust, the priesthood got banished and no one cared if you touched the workstations.

                • When I was in school the computers were very expensive. At the start you just used the terminals, but later we had workstations and if you broke one that was 50K+. BUT the people who were fixing them were students anyway who happened to work for the departments or computer centers. If you did get a workstation for a project then you could open it up certainly.

                  (no PCs for the most part, though we had them in a lab course, IBM PC ATs. After than there was one in grad school because one person kept lobbying

                • That kinda made sense when I took Intro to Computers in the early 1990's and the priesthood still existed for the IBM PCs in the computer labs. That it was still the case when I got this particular phone call in 2007 surprised me. I went back to school to learn computer programming after the dot com bust, the priesthood got banished and no one cared if you touched the workstations.

                  You kinda sound like you have a chip on you shoulder there. The 1990s tech world was very different from the late 00's. When I

            • What give him the idea that an workstation a IPMI? for remote power on?

            • Well clearly, he should have called his mom to ask what to do. If his mom wasn't standing nearby anyway. While I say this as a joke, this sort of thing is actually happening in college, the parents want to stay in helicopter mode and be involved in all of the decisions. This is causing problems for new grads who don't have a lot of basic common sense and decision making skills.

        • I'm not seeing the problem. Google didn't hire him to turn on PCs. There's a reason they hired someone (you) at a much cheaper rate to handle low level stuff like that. So that the PhDs they hired in a specific area could focus on doing PhD level work in their area.

          We always joked that the PhD'd engineers were easy to spot, they were the ones with velcro shoes. Being extremely intelligent and knowledgeable in a very narrow window doesn't make you intelligent or knowledgeable in all other ones.

          An MD could te

          • by creimer ( 824291 )

            Google didn't hire him to turn on PCs.

            No, Google expected people to turn on their own workstations.

            There's a reason they hired someone (you) at a much cheaper rate to handle low level stuff like that.

            Except it was against help desk policy for a help desk tech to remotely turn or or reboot workstations. As a help desk tech, I've never turned on or rebooted a workstation. That wasn't my job.

        • by mikael ( 484 )

          That's quite believable. My university had policies that students weren't to tamper with the power cables or switches of desktop PC's or workstations or even turn them on/off from the GUI. Usually, the network cables were wired into a security system. If the server room lost the "heartbeat" an alarm would go off. Sometimes they being used as servers for lab experiments.

        • and so far it's all been from math wiz's from another country (India/China) who came here to get a CS degree but grew up in a country w/o easy access to PCs. When I went to college they were the only folks who didn't know a PC inside/out (though it was just the Chinese, there weren't a lot of Indians yet).

          What I'm saying is it's not that the schools or the students are bad, it's that they have different backgrounds with odd (by our standards) upbringings.
      • One of my professors from a math background complained that she felt like a fake computer scientist because she didn't know how to build a vax :-)

      • Which goes to show how easy it can sometimes be to pass a course and not truly understand its content. The reality is that 'back in the day' your average business bro wouldn't be able to pass a CS degree. That doesn't seem to be the case and I'm at least of the opinion that business bros haven't gotten an smarter. So that means...
    • by tk77 ( 1774336 )

      > It's just a black box to them, and when things fail like a stack overflow, they don't know what that even means.

      The only stack overflow most of them will experience is the website when they go to copy a bunch of javascript for their node app.

    • ... will usually be the ones without any formal qualifications who picked up [insert trendy language de jour here] on their own and now write cut and paste sphaggetti code because they have no idea of how to structure a program properly and know next to no useful algorithms. Everything they produce is either mickey mouse code or code blocks from a code site glued together lego brick style and hoping it works.

      Just FYI - on my CS course I learnt processor and board architecture, networking (TCP down to ethern

      • Degrees aren't useless, but let's not pretend like they're an indicator of whether someone can program. You should post where you work so that people know to avoid it.

    • The majority of CS majors I know can't even tell you how a processor works on basic principles. It's just a black box to them, and when things fail like a stack overflow, they don't know what that even means.

      A stack overflow [stackoverflow.com] fail is when your question gets 0 responses - duh.

    • A CS degree makes you a coder as much as a Mechanical Engineering degree makes you a Mechanic or HVAC installer and as much as an EE degree makes you an electrician.

      The majority of CS majors I know can't even tell you how a processor works on basic principles.

      Why should they? That's a CompE major's domain.

      The world undergone a mitosis since CS was first founded. I wouldn't expect a CS major with a PhD in one domain to have PhD level knowledge in another CS domain.

      • Knowing how a computer works was CS when I was in school. CE was too new, and also too low level. Ie, VLSI was very much a CS field, because so much of it involves routing and synthesis. But CE dealt with the various types of low level gate technology rather than the gates themselves.

        Things have changed, I see people now with a straight up EE degree doing ASIC programming, and CS grads not knowing anything at all about even high level computer architecture.

    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      By CS degree they often mean "BS in Programming".

    • No degree in anything makes one competent. The tools are there and it is up to the student to use them. College should not be treated like high school where one only has to bide the time to get the degree

      But if it is used well, college will make you better at whatever it is you do. I have a lot of ranchers and farmers in my family. They all got college degrees which made them better at it. They have to balance their books, do business planning, inventory management, long term forecasting, surveying, have ba

    • That's a very elitist thing to say.

      While I completely agree that the level of skill demonstrated by the average developer is not up to par with what it may have been some time ago (I'm fairly new in the sector, with some 5 years experience, but I see the difference in the experienced folks alone), every tech job does not consist of 100% solving hard programming-related issues.

      If you're the technical lead in a software company then yes, you would likely be a good fit for the job. But the juniors working unde

  • Good and bad. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Sunday July 23, 2017 @12:13PM (#54862277)

    While the growth of CS grads will mean a lot in the long term. With more people making new products creating more jobs.... in the short term there will be an influx of kids that we will need to deprogram the strict rules that were taught during the education.
    There is a difference between accedemic theory and real life.
    A lot of showing them when to break the rules and seporate yourself from the religion of OOP. And then when they should embrace the concept of OOP in a non OOP environment.

    Then there is teaching them to work in a team and put their egos aside and do it the way that is said to do it, even if it seems less efficient at first.

    Then I will need to go over all my arguments again.
    Them: Why do it that way?
    Me: I need to keep the code open for new features.
    Them: What features?
    Me: I don't know yet, but they are going to ask for something, and if you keep this section flexible it will prevent us from rewriting everything.
    Them: You are just an old mad who doesn't want to use new technology.
    Then they will do it there way.
    3 months later...
    Them we need to rewrite the code because of this stupid request that wasn't part of the original project spec.

    • by Joviex ( 976416 )

      Since I don't have any bad college curriculum habits, why not hire me and train me how you need the job done?

      Same here. I only have 25 years of practical experience.

      These places need to stop hiring people you want to UNDERPAY and hire experienced people who get the actual job done with less lip and grand design dreams.

      of course, that aint gonna happen

      • hire experienced people who get the actual job done with less lip and grand design dreams.

        Because Slashdotters who hear about schools designed to train people with experience they lose their minds that 'coding' is now a VocTech level position. You can train someone in a specific skillset in a fraction of the time it takes to give them a full theoretical education.

        • by Joviex ( 976416 )

          Because Slashdotters who hear about schools designed to train people with experience they lose their minds that 'coding' is now a VocTech level position. You can train someone in a specific skillset in a fraction of the time it takes to give them a full theoretical education.

          Yeah, if you want them to pick up garbage? Or check items on a conveyor belt? You cant just teach people how to problem solve. You can teach them the tools to use to solve problems, with logic and reasoning, but you cant actually teach and/or give people logic and reasoning.

          Trying to equate what I do to make your life easier, everyday, with technology, to someone who makes your life easier, at the checkout counter, is hilarious and quite most of the problem i.e. perception of how "easy" someone's job is.

          • You cant just teach people how to problem solve.

            Are you saying that there is no problem solving involved in skilled trades?

            HVAC, plumber, electrician, pipefitter, steamfitter, etc all have their own sets of issues and problem solving involved.

            Now a VocTech trained coder may have a limited set of problem solving skills. I wouldn't expect a VocTech Python programmer to be able to solve a VocTech Node programmer's problems anymore than I would expect a plumber to be able to solve an electrician's problems.

            at the checkout counter

            Since when is a cashier a vocational tech / skilled

            • I am totally dismayed by the lack of knowledge most cashiers have these days. They don't even know how to count back change properly. They're 100% dependent upon the numbers displayed on the machine. I counted out change to go with a $10 bill once, and the cashier handed back the coins to me along with additional coins as if I had only given $10.

        • The theoretical education pays off in the long run. You want your software designers to understand algorithms and complexity theory. You want your network designer to understand Markoff chains and queuing theory. You want the people programming on an embedded device to understand time/space tradeoffs. You want the people building the radio to understand RF, electrical engineering, etc. Those may be a minority of the jobs, but remember that the majority of the jobs are grunt level.

          • Theoretical pays off if you need theory.

            You don't need your electrician to understand field theory and RF. You don't need your plumber to know Reynolds number. The "shortage" that we have in industry is too many CS majors and not enough coders.

    • While the growth of CS grads will mean a lot in the long term. With more people making new products creating more jobs.... in the short term there will be an influx of kids that we will need to deprogram the strict rules that were taught during the education.
      There is a difference between accedemic theory and real life.
      A lot of showing them when to break the rules and seporate yourself from the religion of OOP. And then when they should embrace the concept of OOP in a non OOP environment.

      Then there is teaching them to work in a team and put their egos aside and do it the way that is said to do it, even if it seems less efficient at first.

      Then I will need to go over all my arguments again.
      Them: Why do it that way?
      Me: I need to keep the code open for new features.
      Them: What features?
      Me: I don't know yet, but they are going to ask for something, and if you keep this section flexible it will prevent us from rewriting everything.
      Them: You are just an old mad who doesn't want to use new technology.
      Then they will do it there way.
      3 months later...
      Them we need to rewrite the code because of this stupid request that wasn't part of the original project spec.

      That's not the "difference between academic theory and real life", that's inexperience.

      Undergrad is 4*8 months long, and the first 16 months of that is just figuring out the bare basics. A new grad might be smart, and technically competent in a few areas, but they're still extremely inexperienced. They're not going to know everything they need to know to work in an industry setting because there's simply not enough time over their degree. Especially not for whatever slightly specialized corner of industry y

    • There is a difference between accedemic theory and real life.

      And that is where a trade comes it. Trades focus on the 'real life'. You don't hire an Electrical Engineer when you need an Electrician, why would you hire a CS major when you needed a 'programmer'.

      • So some places will be willing to hire programmers as long as they can program and have a degree in something. If they don't have the degree then everywhere is going to want to see a lot more experience on that resume and they're going to be checking with the references.

        When the EE grad is a new hire, they are still doing grunt work. Everyone works their way up. So the CS person may not be doing CS as an entry level person, but they may be doing CS when they're a senior programmer, architect, manager.

  • Another bubble. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudson@NosPAm.gmail.com> on Sunday July 23, 2017 @12:26PM (#54862327) Journal

    Given the rampant ageism in tech nowadays, you'd better have an exit plan. And so should all these new entrants into the field. More and more, tech jobs should be seen as just stepping stones, not a career in its own right. This was predicted 5 years ago, and people lost their shit over it [bloomberg.com]. "Never going to happen!"

    The downside? Well, say you interview as a graduating college senior at Facebook Inc. You may find, to your initial delight, that the place looks just like a fun-loving dorm -- and the adults seem to be missing. But that is a sign of how the profession has devolved in recent years to one lacking in longevity. Many programmers find that their employability starts to decline at about age 35.

    Gone by 40

    Employers dismiss them as either lacking in up-to-date technical skills -- such as the latest programming-language fad -- or “not suitable for entry level.” In other words, either underqualified or overqualified. That doesn’t leave much, does it? Statistics show that most software developers are out of the field by age 40.

    Government data show that H-1B software engineers tend to be much younger than their American counterparts. Basically, when the employers run out of young Americans to hire, they turn to the young H-1Bs, bypassing the older Americans.

    And then there's the widespread discrimination based on sex and ethnicity. Plus having a pool of talent twice as large means you can dispose of them twice as fast, and it's going to put tremendous downward pressure on wages and working conditions.

    • This. Either find a niche where you are the best in your immediate entourage/region and hence needed, or get out.

      Companies want code monkeys that can (and want) to stay coding late, are happy with peanuts and have no family demands.

      By 40, you are spoiled goods because you are married/paired and have kids by then, no longer buy into the need of permanent crunch time and you want more than peanuts.
    • I'm a mid-forties software engineers, got a job recently, had two offers within two months. But I'm not in the Valley, which may make a difference.

      And then there's the widespread discrimination based on sex and ethnicity.

      Yeah, there's that. If they manage to get enough competent people getting a CS major that they can discard some to even out the gender balance, it could get tough for competent white males, even competent ones. Mostly theoretical, though; last time a lot of people went into the major be

  • by volodymyrbiryuk ( 4780959 ) on Sunday July 23, 2017 @12:34PM (#54862371)
    How many will make a run for it as soon as they realise that CS is not about developing fancy websites or iOS apps. Dropout numbers are far more interesting. Most of them probably won't get past second semester.
    • This has always happened, and will happen again. Parents push their children for the job needs of today, regardless of actual aptitude or interest. But in four years those jobs may not be as plentiful, the student may be totally uninterested in it, and so forth. When I started undergrad in early 80s, CS as the new "plastics". A couple years later the department was glutted, and the requirements to get into upper division classes were getting progressively more difficult just to weed out people. When I gra

    • but I expect them to go running when they realize that if you're not a math wiz you can't compete with the Indians and their 70+ hour work weeks and borderline indentured servitude.
  • by timholman ( 71886 ) on Sunday July 23, 2017 @12:36PM (#54862389)

    At my university, we've been watching the explosion of CS majors for the past few years and wondering when the enrollment curve is going to flatten out. So far it shows no signs, with CS already being the largest major in the engineering school.

    We are scrambling to find instructors for the new sections that we need to open, and rooms in which to teach them. We're hardly alone - all of our peer institutions are reporting similar trends.

    One thing that does concern my colleagues is that a significant portion of the students now entering CS show little aptitude or interest in programming concepts. Students who have failed or dropped the freshman "Introduction to Programming" two or three times in a row absolutely refuse to switch majors. They want that six-figure starting salary, and they will do whatever it takes to get the degree. I am guessing the same thing is happening at every other school that isn't taking some measure to push unqualified students out of CS.

    Employers should be prepared to ask a lot of "FizzBuzz" interview questions over the next few years, because quite a few under-qualified CS graduates from prestigious schools are going to be hitting the job market.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Of course, almost none of those that fail that introduction course once and none that fail it several time will ever get those six figures. Looks like "The Non-Programming Programmer" will turn into the same type of classic as "The Mythical Man Month": Describes the problems very well, does so early and gets mostly ignored.

    • At my university, we've been watching the explosion of CS majors for the past few years and wondering when the enrollment curve is going to flatten out. So far it shows no signs, with CS already being the largest major in the engineering school.

      I think it's becoming the new "smart, sciency" male default degree, kind of like nursing is for "smart, sciency" women. Graduate high school with a general disposition, don't know what else to do, so they go with the safe choice.

    • What six figure starting salary? If they have to repeat the class then they're not going to be one of those getting the high paying job straight out of school.

      This is not always the student's fault. I saw students in the past that were highly stressed out in intro classes because they knew they had no aptitude but it was what their parents demanded they do.

    • by shess ( 31691 )

      Employers should be prepared to ask a lot of "FizzBuzz" interview questions over the next few years, because quite a few under-qualified CS graduates from prestigious schools are going to be hitting the job market.

      So the next few years will be pretty much the same as the past couple decades? Good to know.

      [At one point I told recruiting to stop scheduling me for phone screens for new grads because it was so depressing.]

  • Easy B (Score:4, Funny)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday July 23, 2017 @01:09PM (#54862511) Journal

    Students are flocking to CS majors because they're easier than Gender or Ethnic Studies and require less critical thought. Plus, the CS textbooks have the answers at the end.

  • I'm now in college for my second time now, first I studied electrical and computer engineering and now software engineering (under a CS major). Due to the large crossover between computer science and engineering I'll get to talking to some computer science students. I've also got to talk to some job recruiters in some rare moments of honesty.

    One thing is that many computer science majors want to go on to write code. There's nothing wrong with that, but then they have to take the courses that teach software development. Not many do, because those courses are hard and/or not very interesting. Seems to me that either these people were lied to by their CS advisors and recruiters (as I was) or they didn't have the grades to get into the engineering programs.

    I've got to talk to some hiring managers and the like and I've heard them say that they prefer engineering students to computer science. This is because engineering has a more rigorous math requirements, students are required to learn the engineering process, and anyone able to get their engineering degree can pick up a new programming language quickly. These companies are willing to send a new hire to a week long "boot camp" to learn whatever language they are using but not so willing to have to teach someone that learned every language under the sun in their CS coursework how to write good code.

    Now there seems to be something of a glut of software developers, at least where I live. I'll hear hiring recruiters say I need more programming experience. I happened into work doing firmware development but when layoffs happened I had trouble finding work again, so I used my GI Bill to go back to school. Having not learned my lesson yet from my experience studying engineering I went to a local university to look at their CS program that just started offering a software engineering "track".

    The advisors told me that the CS department was the "lead department" on this software engineering program, that was the first lie, and that the advisors would be helpful in choosing the classes I'd need to complete this "track", the second lie I was told. The advisors are worthless because at any university where CS is in the liberal arts college their goal is the "well rounded adult". They know how to get students to take their foreign language, history, and so forth. What they don't know is how to advise students on what courses to take on actually learning how to write code.

    I wasted a year in this stupid CS program because the advisors didn't know what courses actually applied to their own course prerequisites. They pushed me to take courses from the CS department instead of equivalent courses in the engineering school. Then there's the instructors in the CS department that simply cannot help but work political commentary into their lesson plans. A classic CS algorithm called the "stable marriage problem" included a disclaimer from the instructor that it was from a time when same sex marriage was illegal. It's not that 99.9% of the population would rather marry someone of the opposite sex, it's that it was illegal that was the problem, right?

    My advice to people that want to get into software development is to get a major in software engineering from a school that has an actual engineering program. Lacking that go major in some engineering discipline and get a CS minor or just take as much programming coursework you can. I found out a year too late that I could have gone to the engineering college, talked to advisors that know what software engineering actually means, and not taken so much bullshit from the liberal arts instructors. I got screwed because now I've got some bad grades in courses that I was not prepared for, and didn't even apply to my CS major, and I can't just switch to engineering any more. Had I gone to the engineering school for their advice on the software engineering program earlier, or talked to the engineering advisors first, I might not be in this predicament. I should have graduated by now but instead I'm looking to take yet another year of classes before I get the education I wanted and that piece of paper that employers want to see.

    • by shess ( 31691 )

      I got my BA in CS from a school which was in the process of calving their CS program out of the Math program. It wasn't a problem, and I've noticed that a lot of professional programmers would benefit from having had some liberal arts background, because a lot of the work involves communications (between people, not between computers!). It sounds like you maybe were at a school with competing interests who didn't necessarily have the students' best interests in mind.

      Of course, then you get down to more ph

    • by djinn6 ( 1868030 )
      While your experience is interesting, I don't think you can conclude CE or CSE is what people should go for. I got my BS in Computer Science and got a great job offer before I even graduated. I have friends who went for CE and we were in the exact same classes. In the end, they had slightly more trouble finding jobs they liked than me, but it wasn't a huge difference.

      I also want to dispel another misunderstanding you seem to have. College level CS classes don't teach you how to code. Actually, this appli
  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Sunday July 23, 2017 @02:22PM (#54862817)

    Tech employers want to offshore as many jobs as they can. And the jobs that cannot be offshored will be given to visa workers.

    If you can get a top secret clearance, you will probably be alright.

  • For nerd herders. *Someone* has to do it. You'll have to have good soft skills though.

  • I mean I'm still surprised how many people who are professional developers who are considered good literally don't know when they should use a link list, an array, or a map so they always use arrays. (Admittedly that's CS102.)
  • Since I kind of remembered when I took that stuff years ago there was probably around a 100 students in CS101 but by the time I graduated it was maybe 10-20
  • With the big infusion of CS degrees, the market will get far more selective and the big salaries will fade away. The cream of the crop will do fine, if not as well as in the past, but there will be a long tail of people who are really not cut out for the work and never will really be good and will be very disappointed. This has happened to other "glamour" fields in the past, but not to this degree.

    Those who don't have the mindset for the work may get a degree. Maybe some will actually get graduate degrees,

  • by Tony Isaac ( 1301187 ) on Monday July 24, 2017 @12:04AM (#54864777) Homepage

    In the late 80's, there was a rush of students to the then-new Computer Science majors at universities around the nation. EVERYBODY wanted in. There was the promise of good, high-paying jobs for graduates. Sound familiar?

    At my small college, 800 of the 1600 Freshmen at the school enrolled in Computer science. The next year, half of my classmates realized they were in over their heads, and transferred to other majors. This trend continued until graduation, when 25 of us actually completed the major.

    Computer science is like art. You either have it or you don't. In both cases, the intrinsic talent must be developed and polished, but there has to be in-born talent to begin with. You can't force it, no matter how much you might like the salaries being promised.

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie

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