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Education Programming

Computer Science Enrollments Rocketed Last Year, Up 22% 137

alphadogg writes "A sneak peek at the annual Computing Research Association's (CRA) report on computer science enrollments at colleges shows that strong demand for technically-savvy workers is luring students in a big way. The full 2013 Taulbee Report will be published in May, but the CRA revealed a few tidbits this week in its Computer Research News publication. Among the findings: Among 123 departments responding last year and the year before, there was a 22% increase in enrollment for computer science bachelor's degree programs at U.S. schools. Degrees awarded increased 0.9% and new enrollments rose 13.7%"
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Computer Science Enrollments Rocketed Last Year, Up 22%

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  • It's easy money (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ItUsedToBeBroken ( 2794719 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:01PM (#46456173)
    The kids see $220,000,000 spent on a website that doesn't work (ie: CoverOregon) and think "Hell, that looks like easy work for the compensation" and they're right.
  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:13PM (#46456253)

    I remember CS enrollment shot way up in the late 90s as the dotcom bubble was inflating. Now that we're in the late stages of the social media/apps bubble, and people are getting interested in computer science again, I'm guessing that's the reason for the spike.

    Bubble or no bubble, there's always going to be demand for good, talented people in software development and IT. The H-1B and offshoring trends have cut salaries significantly, and have made employment less stable, but there are still jobs out there. If students are going into CS that have a genuine interest in computers, that's good. Chasing the money like they were doing in the 90s without the desire will lead to the same problem we had when 2001 rolled around -- tons of "IT professionals" who had no aptitude for the work and were just employed because of the frothy market.

    I've managed to stay employed for almost 20 years now and I still really enjoy what I do. It's not as wildly lucrative as it was in the 90s when you could get 20+% salary increases by changing jobs every six months. The only things I've done consistently over this time are:
    - Keeping my skills current (and yes, it is a tough commitment especially when you employer doesn't care.)
    - Not begging for higher and higher raises every single time salary review time comes around (which requires saving and living within one's means...)
    - Choosing employers who don't treat their employees like they're disposable.

    I've heard lots of older IT people that they're actively discouraging their kids from following in their footsteps. I don't think that's necessarily good advice. Sure, there are crappy employers out there, and it's not a guaranteed ticket to wealth anymore. But if you're flexible and want interesting work that lets you use your brain and get paid for it, it's still a good move IMO. Look at the legal profession right now - the ABA sold out their members by allowing basic legal work to be offshored. Law degrees were previously an absolute guarantee of a respected, high-salary job, and now that profession is starting to see what we're seeing. My opinion is that as computers get more and more involved in our daily lives, a professional framework will eventually develop when things really start getting safety-sensitive and people stop treating computers like magic boxes and IT/developers like magicians.

  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:35PM (#46456421) Journal

    My starting coding job paid $18k. And that was awesome, because it was a real, full-time coding job.

    Your apprenticeship will likely not pay well. That's fine, it's just for a couple of years.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972