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Wall Street's Collapse Is Computer Science's Gain

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the portable-skills dept.

Education 435

dcblogs writes "Thanks to Wall Street's implosion, the chairman of Stanford University's Computer Science Department says he is seeing more interest from students in computer science. Ditto at Boston College. Computer science enrollments crashed after the dot-com bust as students turned to hedge fund majors. And are computer science grads getting jobs? The professor at one university program that graduates about 45 students a year with CS degrees, wrote in a comment: 'Last year 87% of our seniors were employed before graduation. The median starting salary was $58,500. A majority of CIS students had multiple job offers. From where I sit, there is a huge demand for entry level IT professionals in IS and in CS.'"

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435 comments

bust (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186255)

Computer science enrollments crashed after the dot-com bust

Busts can spoil a career in any field, really.

Re:bust (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186285)

Busts can really help make a career in porn.

Damnit!!! (5, Funny)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186257)

Here I was finally thinking I'd get a raise this year because of labor shortage!

Listen kids, there is no future in IT. Plumbers and lawyers is where it is at.

Re:Damnit!!! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186289)

... and hookers!

Re:Damnit!!! (5, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186373)

Mod parent insightful:

If the US legalized prostitution and drugs but heavily regulated and taxed them, then our country would have so damn much money that a war here or a housing bust there wouldn't matter! :)

Re:Damnit!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186445)

Looks like the Christian mod-bitches just got back from church.

Representin' Allah for life!

Re:Damnit!!! (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186929)

...a war here or a housing bust there

Too high to go to war, and excess housing converted to hookerterias?
I nominate Ethanol-fueled as the Happy Fun Time party presidential candidate.

A vote for HFT is a vote for fiscal responsibility.

Re:Damnit!!! (5, Interesting)

nem75 (952737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186933)

I don't know if you intended to, but you more or less quoted Frank Zappa.

I'll give you a simple formula for straightening out the problems of the United States. First, you tax the churches. You take the tax off of capital gains and the tax off of savings. You decriminalize all drugs and tax them same way as you do alcohol. You decriminalize prostitution. You make gambling legal. That will put the budget back on the road to recovery, and you'll have plenty of tax revenue coming in for all of your social programs, and to run the army.

Re:Damnit!!! (0)

TheGoodSteven (1178459) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186959)

I don't see how legalizing these two things would bring more money into the country. Aside from marijuana and LSD, most drugs are smuggled into the country, and money leaves the country. Prostitution is a service and we as Americans cannot get rich by screwing each other. The only plausible way to make money from legalizing drugs and prostitution would be if the U.S. manufactured and exported the drugs, or if foreign travelers came into The States to spend their money on prostitutes. Additionally, legalizing all drugs (if doing so increased the demand) and not producing them in The States would stimulate the economies of major drug exporting nations; Columbia, Mexico, Myanmar, Afghanistan, not that of the U.S.

I understand that not waging the war on drugs would provide some savings, but I fail to see how we would be swimming in cash as a result.

Re:Damnit!!! (4, Insightful)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186987)

The economy, I do not think you realize just how big it is. Realize that we could end up triggering a global depression in the next couple months if the politicians in power right now fuck it up.

Bushism: "This sucker could go down."

This time he's right. We've had bank runs in H.K., U.K., Tokyo, the U.S.A., and a complete market shutdown in Russia. We managed to fuck up the world, and we managed it not through wars for oil or failure to legalize and tax certain things, but with the best intentions in the world, to make sure everyone could have a goddam house.

On the bright side, now that a deal has been made in Washington, we just might be able to hold of global total systemic economic failure.

But do us and everyone you know a favor: If you live in the USA, vote every current politician in your area out of office.

Republican, Democrat, or random, they all fucked up on this watch. Get some untainted blood into power, that at least for a short time, people might focus on doing the right thing rather than re-election.

Re:Damnit!!! (5, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#25187031)

Not really. The numbers I've seen from legalizing drugs would only boost US Revenue by about 20-30 billion per year.

That's 1/10th our peacetime defense budget. Not really a ton of money.

When is it no longer my problem? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25187039)

I was sitting in Mass last Sunday listening to this priest drone on about helping the poor. The social Gospel - I get it. Here was this guy that went from the comfort of his middle class home, into the comfort of the seminary and then onto the comfort of parish life. His needs have always been met. He has never experienced scratching out a living, hustling or cutting corners to get by. Like many educated middle class white people he assumes that all others that look like him shared the same gilded upbringing. The fact is that most people haven't experienced this Leave it to Beaver sort of existence. Most of us took some knocks just to put together a decent existence. And for this it seems all we get asked is to give more and more.

I want to know one thing. At what point is it no longer my fucking problem? Is there some point where I'm off the hook? If I write a check for $5,000 am I done? I look at my check every two weeks and gasp at the deductions. And let's not forget about the yearly tribute to the IRS. It never seems to end. Someone always seems to have their hand out with some hard luck story. At what point is it no longer my fucking problem?

I was back in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio last week for my 25th class reunion. It was a great event and it was fun to talk old times. Being in Cleveland was apropos with all this $700 billion bailout talk as a result financial institutions giving out bad loans to the underclass. Cleveland is a textbook example of what happens when you give home loans to a class of people that are fiscally irresponsible and not deserving of a home loan. Furthermore Cleveland is also a text book example of rampant dependency of social welfare programs. If you want to know how we made out on LBJ's War on Poverty go to Cleveland. Poverty won..

It's not for lack of trying that poverty won out. The intentions were good but the notion that you can give a layabout a check for nothing and expect him to run out and get a job in short order is simply delusional. We have been proving this on a daily basis since about 1965. These are more misguided middle class assumptions like I hear every Sunday from Fr. Social Justice. If we just help out poor DeShawn to get back on his feet again he will surely find himself a job and start providing for those 16 bastards he has fathered in his 20 years of pathetic existence. Excuse me while I sarcastically snort.

I was standing on the street that I grew up on and I counted about 40 houses with for sale signs, most of which were abandoned and boarded up. In the 20 years that I grew up on that street I don't ever remember more than 2 housed being for sale at once and none where ever abandoned. Shit, if a cigarette butt was dropped some old DP would be out there cleaning up. The street was a mix of people of Irish and various Eastern European extractions. Everyone was blue collar. No one was rich and most came from a dirt poor existence.

The neighbors to the right of us emigrated from Lithuania shortly after WWII. In Lithuania they were considered intellectuals. Stalin's thugs killed everyone they knew. They escaped to Brazil and then eventually came to America where they became factory workers. They never picked the language very well and stuck with their own kind but they were good neighbors. She's still alive and alone on that street. Now she's surrounded by a different kind of thug that has zero appreciation for what she endured. Her house has been broken into several times. She's afraid but does not want to move into a nursing home and she cannot sell her house in this market. She's 94 years old.

The sad part of it is that this was a good neighborhood up until about the mid 90's. It was around this time that lending institutions were being coerced or willing participating in high risk loans targeted at poor minorities and when we say minorities here it does not included Asians. Really in Cleveland when we say minorities we are talking about blacks of Southern extraction that initially came here for the industrial work but stayed for the generous welfare benefits. This is not a high achieving demographic and despite the white middle class penchant for living in denial of these sorts of realities, these people are losers in the game of life. No one in their right mind wants to live within shot gun distance of these jokers and the proliferation of exclusive all white suburban developments is a testimony to this. You can castigate me a racist but look around in your own neighborhood before you start judging me.

In case you haven't figure it out yet I'm opposed to bailing out these lending institutions and the people who defaulted on their loans. They fucked up and should no longer be in business. The government needs to wake up and realize that this was simply another failed social welfare experiment. You won't hear much on this angle. Its poor form to point out the obvious irresponsibility of minorities and /or the poor these days. It's much easier and softer to chalk it up to bad loans on the part of Wall Street. While this is true it fails to take into account that outfits like Fannie Mae were obligated to consider welfare payments and disability checks as "income" by law. They were also encouraged to discard "outdate indicators" of credit worthiness like having a fucking job and paying your bills. Jobs...bills...how passé!

So now once again guys like me are being asked to foot the bill. There goes my economic incentive check that was my fucking money to begin with. I can't wait to see how they bust my balls next time want to refinance or buy a new home. "Hey whitey weren't you a day late paying that electric bill in 1988? No loan for you!" Yet a guy who wears shower cap as a fashion accessory gets a no money down loan based on his food stamp allotment. This nation is fucked and has been for some time now. If you think it's bad now you just wait and see what happens when that light skinned, Whole Foods shopping mook gets into the White House. On the bright side I can solace in the fact that in another 30 or 40 years or so it will all be over for me. Maybe then it will no longer be my fucking problem.

Re:Damnit!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25187057)

If the US legalized prostitution and drugs but heavily regulated and taxed them, then our country would have so damn much money that a war here or a housing bust there wouldn't matter! :)

Trust me, we wouldn't have too "damn much money". We wouldn't care because we would be to fucking high to care.

Little History Lesson for ya. For every dollar that the Government obtains from "creative taxing", they'll spend two dollars on "creative funding".

At that rate, the hole gets about as big and deep as the whore working overtime to pay for her CS degree.

Re:Damnit!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186411)

Damn I got into the right business then. I'm a combo hooker-lawyer-plumer. I come over, you stuff my holes (with money perv), I look for legal loopholes, and then I unclog your plumbatic holes.

wont' work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186495)

That's an overcrowded field. Everybody on craigslist is trying it already.

Re:Damnit!!! (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186383)

"Listen kids, there is no future in IT. Plumbers and lawyers is where it is at."

A couple of Hurricanes will do that. The plumber for obvious reasons and the lawyer to litigate because your insurance wouldn't pay up.

Re:Damnit!!! (2, Funny)

TuaAmin13 (1359435) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186457)

Or you can get your MBA, become a C level executive, hopelessly **** up a company, and then get a large compensation package for leaving.

Re:Damnit!!! (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25187021)

Or you can get your MBA, become a C level executive, hopelessly **** up a company, and then get a large compensation package for leaving.

... don't forget to rinse and repeat with a nice "sabbatical" for book writing in between screwing up people's lives by being their bosses bosses idiot boss.

passionless technician (5, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186263)

It always depresses me to see how many college students have no idea who they are, and just float about on the breeze of the moment, going for the buck instead of what they already see a passion for doing. They weren't reflecting upon their lives as a teenager, they weren't deciding what makes their hearts go faster, they were just assuming that someday their Fairy Career Mother would pop out of a cloud to tell them what they should do for the next forty years.

Re:passionless technician (5, Insightful)

areusche (1297613) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186333)

I have an intense passion in classical music. Yet I want the ability to travel the world and support a life style that is atypical to that of a musician.

Passion vs lifestyle. It isn't as easy as it sounds

.

Re:passionless technician (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186577)

I have an intense passion in classical music. Yet I want the ability to travel the world and support a life style that is atypical to that of a musician.

True, but there are other areas within the field of music besides musician.

Re:passionless technician (0)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186861)

there are other areas within the field of music besides musician

Sure there are. Why, you could be an exploiter, or a sycophant, or -- well, that's it, really. Or just do what many musicians do, which is make your music on the side while doing other things for money/insurance/security/stability. Yes, it sucks to work twice as hard as nearly everyone else I've know for the last 38 years, but I got to do the music I wanted to do and still maintain a "normal" standard of living.

Re:passionless technician (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 5 years ago | (#25187009)

True, but his passion might be narrow enough not to encompass such other areas.

Re:passionless technician (5, Interesting)

ericlondaits (32714) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186899)

I make a living as a programmer... and do acting, singing, and cooking as well but not professionaly.

I don't want to live as an actor, struggling to pay the rent by doing bit pieces and commercials, nor the equivalent work as a musician, nor busting my ass in 14 hour days in a commercial kitchen... yet I somewhat enjoy a good programmer's grunt work. But certainly, I'd love to be able to have my same lifestyle by acting, singing or cooking and just program as a hobby.

I'm thankful that my ability to program allows me to partake in other activities without the pressure of making money out of them.

Re:passionless technician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186349)

The job market is crap right now, in case you hadn't noticed.

Re:passionless technician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186355)

That is not the fault of the teenagers. There are no 40 year careers anymore. IBM is not the last job you'll ever have. The average man has 7 careers in completely separate fields over his life, with 3-4 jobs in each career. What is studied in college now is little more than the justification for the first career, after that the degrees are negligible so long as you've got one.

That is the failing point people can not get past yet, that not every job requires a master degree, etc. 90% of the jobs Juan your gardener could do as well as anybody with these fancy degrees.

Re:passionless technician (4, Funny)

SoapBox17 (1020345) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186397)

[citation needed]

You put a whole lot of numbers in there, I'm betting there's a 77% chance you pulled at least 42% of them right out of your ass.

Re:passionless technician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186771)

How is that train wreak of an attempt at humor working out for ya ?

Re:passionless technician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186409)

Sex is my passion. No, really. I don't care about anything else that much.

Yet I don't exactly want to become a pornstar nor am I equipped for it.

I guess I need to get a real job, huh?

Re:passionless technician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186425)

Guess I should change to psychiatry instead.

Re:passionless technician (4, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186431)

I completely agree! When I was a kid, I knew I'd be a scientist one day - I just couldn't imagine otherwise. I am lucky I found my passion early on, and it never let me go, never. Being a scientist sucks bigtime if we look at salary, job security or social standing. But it's what I enjoy, and wouldn't want it any other way.

Re:passionless technician (5, Insightful)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186547)

Yeah, but as a life long geek and software development major, I find that these kids are the best kind of competition. Seriously, I know a bunch of kids that just don't have a passion for CS, and I can run circles around them just from experiences I've had messing around as a kid. When it gets to the harder subject matter (SPARC ASM, anyone?), they just can't compete unless they've got a passion for the subject. Passion will get you further than talent any day of the week.

We'd all be nuts to be in this line of business if we didn't love it... software bugs, technologies that change every few weeks, drinking from the firehose, late night server rebuilds, weekend bug hunts, the expectation to show up at 9am when our brains don't start working until noon, and chasing vendors away from the PHB before they give him any bright ideas... for me, personally, it's all worth it when I have a day or two when I can just dominate some code; when it flows off my fingers with poetic form. Everything else sucks, but it's the price for getting paid to write some awesome code, or design a new network, or whatever part of IT that you do and have passion for.

Re:passionless technician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186643)

We'd all be nuts to be in this line of business if we didn't love it... software bugs, technologies that change every few weeks, drinking from the firehose, late night server rebuilds, weekend bug hunts, the expectation to show up at 9am when our brains don't start working until noon, and chasing vendors away from the PHB before they give him any bright ideas...

Exactly why I hate this all this shite. But lacking any discernible talents otherwise, it was either this or pump gas.

Re:passionless technician (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186937)

Yeah, but as a life long geek and software development major, I find that these kids are the best kind of competition. Seriously, I know a bunch of kids that just don't have a passion for CS, and I can run circles around them just from experiences I've had messing around as a kid.

Would you rather have easy competition, or a sure thing and increased pay?

Re:passionless technician (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186611)

Before you get all too depressive remember that a lot of people know what they would like to do, just not what they'd like to do to make a living. Maybe they're an ok musician but not good enough to become a professional, maybe they like sports but not on a pro level, maybe they like arts and crafts but not trying to sell them. Then you get a job that gets you as much cash as possible in the least amount of time, do your job and enjoy life outside work. I think that if you take a general poll very few people really love their jobs. Sometimes a hobby just ceases to be fun when you make it work. You must understand that some people can go home from their IT job and do an OSS application for fun at night, while others are just fed up and don't want to touch a computer. Don't take it as not knowing what we want to do, it's that I'd like a huge pile of cash to enjoy what I want to do.

Re:passionless technician (3, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186615)

And as someone who left college post-bomb I'd like to add that all these people who flock to a new field every few years because they're hoping for Big Bux(tm) really screw up the job market for the rest of us. It's not easy getting a job when 1) All the employers are scared shitless of anyone who doesn't have an "official" paper trail for every skill they claim to have because they themselves were dumb enough to hire lots of idiots that said "I know computarwebs an' junk", and 2) Lots of the idiots hired in point no. 1 are still working in the industry and competing for the jobs, and we all know that experience beats skills any day (even if your "experience" amount to replacing keyboards and sabotaged CD-ROM drives at some high school and maybe occasionally rebooting the Netware server).

Unfortunately I developed a passion for geeky things, especially computers, as a kid in the days when Amigas and Ataris still roamed the earth so it's not like I can just find something else that's interesting (my other hobbies/interests are things that can't easily be made profitable unless you're very very very good, and I'm not).

/Mikael

Re:passionless technician (4, Insightful)

timholman (71886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186617)

It always depresses me to see how many college students have no idea who they are, and just float about on the breeze of the moment, going for the buck instead of what they already see a passion for doing. They weren't reflecting upon their lives as a teenager, they weren't deciding what makes their hearts go faster, they were just assuming that someday their Fairy Career Mother would pop out of a cloud to tell them what they should do for the next forty years.

You're seeing the consequences of the modern philosophy that "every child should go to college", and the resulting dismantling of high school vocational education programs throughout the U.S. Based on my personal observations, I'd say that about half the freshmen entering college every year have no business being there. They have no clue why they're on campus (beyond the fact that everyone said they should be), they have no idea what they want to do after they graduate, and if they don't drop out they eventually switch to the easiest major they can find, even if that major has zero job prospects and doesn't interest them in the least. The college experience becomes just a four year extension of high school, but with more sex, drugs, and alcohol.

I would much prefer re-establishing strong vocational education programs that would take those directionless 18-year olds and give them a job. Let them grow up a little and decide what they want to do with their lives, and then (if they find a professional career passion) let them enroll in university programs designed for older students.

Re:passionless technician (1)

techmuse (160085) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186781)

Yeah. We need more people to fix cars, and construct buildings. It's because we lack enough car fixers that we are losing our ability to compete internationally. Certainly, it has nothing to do with the low number and percentage of engineers and scientists that we have been training of late. And certainly, it has nothing to do with the lack of support and funding for basic research that drives the development of new technologies and industries.

Re:passionless technician (3, Insightful)

HoboCop (987492) | more than 5 years ago | (#25187005)

I think you are missing the point. The car fixers won't become scientists anyway. They are just using the resources of the ones who would become engineers, and being cheated out of skills that would do them more good than a B.A. in basket weaving and keg stands.

Re:passionless technician (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186679)

It always depresses me to see how many college students have no idea who they are, and just float about on the breeze of the moment, going for the buck instead of what they already see a passion for doing.

And this is different from before in what particular way? It's always been like this - the few, the proud, the vast majority of largely clueless. The best "we" (the few, the proud, the idiots who sit on slashdot on Sunday) can do is to support anybody that doesn't fall into the big trap of life.

Kill your television.

Re:passionless technician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186687)

It always depresses me to see how many college students have no idea who they are, and just float about on the breeze of the moment, going for the buck instead of what they already see a passion for doing. They weren't reflecting upon their lives as a teenager, they weren't deciding what makes their hearts go faster, they were just assuming that someday their Fairy Career Mother would pop out of a cloud to tell them what they should do for the next forty years.

How long have you contemplated this decision before you decided to sit in front of a computer to jerk off to porn someone else had the pleasure of creating? Perhaps that, or writing code makes your heart goes faster, but only you will know whether or not you're deluding yourself when you're on your death bed. You should be less concerned with what other people are doing with their lives -- or not doing. If other people's lifestyles make you depressed, you're probably a jealous cynical old fart. You remind me of a tool who sits at a restaurant and criticizes other people's meal selections, and then doesn't enjoy his own. And lastly, this initial posting about CS is just a pathetic attempt at a compliment directed by the people of a particular field for themselves -- nauseating.

Re:passionless technician (4, Interesting)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186729)

I don't mean to sound like a hippie, but I'd blame it as a side effect of consumerism. What I mean by that is that as an effect of consumerism, people's goal in life is to become rich, rather than have a great career or reach any other sort of goal. Personal achievements are replaced by monetary and material gain, and what you have supersedes what you do or who you are. You are only as successful a person as how much money you make. People would do the dumbest job in the world if it paid well.

I think it has to do with the fact that people genuinely believe that their goal in life is to become rich, have fun, good sex, then a wife, kids, all of which are supposed to make you a happy and accomplished man, or so they think. The Los Angeles mentality prevails, satisfy your basest instincts, make money, use it as a leverage to satisfy your basest instincts more, produce offsprings, die.

In this context, genuinely caring about anything else makes you a "nerd" or "geek", which, seen under that angle, is actually a great thing to be. It's just a shame that our culture raises people to produce as much wealth as possible and nothing else. Actually I'm pretty sure you can interpret the movie Matrix as a critique of consumerism, in which people, being in the movie used as batteries, are in our real life money-making "batteries".

Re:passionless technician (1)

hamvil (1186283) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186817)

This sounds like BS. Money IS an objective evaluation of people's success. People don't want just to be rich they want to be successful and large incomes are the best proof.

Re:passionless technician (1)

pomegranatesix (809489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186777)

Think about the role parents play in this. A lot of parents, especially Asian ones, push their children into a particular field. If Comp Sci is what's hot right now... well, guess what, kiddo? You're gonna be a Comp Sci major!

This happened to my older brother, who wanted to be a History major, and this happened to me too. My brother did well; he graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a dual degree in Comp Sci and Electrical Engineering, and got a Masters in Comp Sci. My parents are happy with him.

I, on the other hand, got pushed into a Biochemistry degree, because I did well in those subjects in high school. I flunked out of a college I had a full ride to, twice (technically, it was academic suspension); moonlighted as a stripper for a year and a half, and it wasn't until this year, after all my high school buddies had graduated, that I went back to school. No, I had no freakin' clue what I wanted to do in life, and it's only now that I'm starting to. (I enjoy my physics and engineering classes, a lot). However, I'm still being forced to finish my biochemistry degree because I'm "halfway done with it anyway." I hate it.

My parents push biochemistry on me because it's a stable industry where I can find a job and make a living. I figure Comp Sci isn't much different, and my parents would be pushing me towards that too, if I was even slightly more computer-inclined.

Re:passionless technician (3, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186785)

But that's not their fault. How many vocations can your average teenager try before being asked to choose a degree? Probably zero, unless you count sportsman as a profession. The education system just isn't set up to let people try different things and find out what makes them tick. If you aren't turned on by pure math or poetry or French or geography, then you leave none the wiser never knowing that perhaps architecture is your thing, or software development, or hell perhaps you'd enjoy public transit planning. I think letting high school students try a variety of different jobs would be a good step forward, but don't anticipate it happening anytime soon.

Anyway. Don't get too uppity. Getting a job doing your passion is great, don't get me wrong, I get paid to play with high performance clusters all day and it's fun. But there's a downside to that. It's been two years last week since I started full time work in the software business, and it's been two years last week since I lost my main hobby. When I've been fixing or programming computers all day I just don't feel like doing more of it when I get home, or at the weekends.

I got lucky in finding I enjoyed computers at an early age, but now finding a replacement passion for my spare time turned out to be not so easy. It's not a bad life - I go out a lot in the evenings, and the times I'm not partying or hanging out with friends I waste playing video games or reading Slashdot :) But it's missing something that I'd still have, if I worked in an area that wasn't my passion.

Re:passionless technician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186833)

Exactly. If possible, do what you love as a career, not just what will make you the most money.
I'm also a strong believer that I.T. requires talent, not just learning. The best techs and engineers I've worked with have a real aptitude for what they do, the sort that can't be taught. Yes, you do need to train and to learn but it is not the be all and end all.

Re:passionless technician (1)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186957)

I believe the technical term is "gold-diggers". When I was at high-school around 99.5% of all the final year students wanted to take Accounting as their university course, simple because it had the least contact hours and the highest starting salaries. Consequently, the competition was so fierce that students needed five A-levels or SYS's at AAAAA just to get considered for an interview to the course. For other courses, like Computer Science you only needed grades at BBCCC to get on. Other courses requiring the highest grades were Law, Medicine, Dentistry, and Veterinary Practice.

The unfortunate part is that the entire job market could change in the three or more years that their course takes. This happened to the Nursing market - it was anticipated that there was going to be a shortage of nurses, so the government ran a campaign to encourage people to consider nursing as a career. So many people applied, that the starting wage fell through the floor and the only people that were still interested came from abroad.

Re:passionless technician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186985)

It always depresses me to see how many college students have no idea who they are, and just float about on the breeze of the moment, going for the buck instead of what they already see a passion for doing. They weren't reflecting upon their lives as a teenager, they weren't deciding what makes their hearts go faster, they were just assuming that someday their Fairy Career Mother would pop out of a cloud to tell them what they should do for the next forty years.

Hey I'm not going to get laid anyway so I might as well go after som money to compensate the grief of eternal celibacy.

Pennyless technician (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186989)

"It always depresses me to see how many college students have no idea who they are, and just float about on the breeze of the moment, going for the buck instead of what they already see a passion for doing."

Considering the high cost of education. Can you really blame them for chasing dollars?

Re:passionless technician (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25187041)

ahem [amazon.com]

You're new here, aren't you? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186269)

"From where I sit, there is a huge demand for entry level IT professionals in IS and in CS.'"

Where have you been sitting lately?

Re:You're new here, aren't you? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186751)

I'm not sure why the parent is modded flamebait. I have a BSc (1st class), an MMath (1st class) and nearly-an-MSc (graduating December) in computing, mathematics and mathematics respectively from a top-twenty University in the United Kingdom, and random other supposedly good pre-Uni things going for me such as one year's top UK A-level mark in Stats, yet I'm having trouble getting interviews, let alone "multiple offers". As for $56,000/year starting salary? Maybe I'll make three fifths that.

I've discovered that the job market in the UK is extremely narrow-minded. Two disadvantages:

(1) I only started trying to look for a job at graduation. I assumed the market was fair and open, going on ability, but it seems most employers have agreements of sorts with Universities and pick people during their undergrad years. I had a great chat with a representative of News Corp once who explained to me that since everyone's getting a degree these days, they pretty much instantly dismiss anyone who's not from Oxbridge or one of the top London unis unless they have something outstanding to show. When I asked what he thought of my history (he was sponsoring me for some prize), he said I might come in the latter category; but I don't fit the standard mould that prevents first level HR from inserting CV into shredder.

(2) I'm a "mature" student, meaning I'm now 28 rather than 21-24. Since 18 I've had one office job lasting a year or so, but spent most of it co-building a small business, the majority part of which we sold off to our main supplier, who dismantled it and began selling direct. So my best reference can be written by.. me.

I'm thinking of going back to build another business, or perhaps going for a PhD. I might even move back to my parents so I can work on a long-term project I've had in mind; it'd become profitable long after my savings have run out otherwise.

Bah, I really can't get to grips with the regular 9-to-5 world. This isn't 30 years ago, I'm not going to get all excited about working for a firm that's not really interested in making a long-term investment in me. Only I can make that investment for myself.

Post Hoc (3, Interesting)

areusche (1297613) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186273)

This can be logically stated as Post Hoc.

A occurs before B.

Therefor A is the cause of B.

Just because the markets are hurting right now doesn't make students more likely to apply for a career in CS or IT. Heck you can do far more broader things with a business degree or an MBA than you can with a degree in CS.

Re:Post Hoc (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186313)

Heck you can do far more broader things with a business degree or an MBA than you can with a degree in CS.

If I'm going to have to shoot myself (http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/susan/joke/foot.htm), I want to know how to do it in various coding languages, and know the reasons behind it. I'd rather not do it out of sheer boredom.

Re:Post Hoc (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186707)

Heck you can do far more broader things with a business degree or an MBA than you can with a degree in CS.

I'm curious as to the subject of your degree. It obviously wasn't English.

Problems... (1, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186283)

The problem is, there aren't a ton of jobs for CS grads. Proprietary software is failing, and most companies now have a good senior sysadmin, and computer repair is clogged up with high school students. Not to mention that a lot of "code monkey" jobs can easily be shipped to where labor is cheap. So, where exactly do these people think they will be employed when most, if not all proprietary software companies have failed?

Just curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186319)

Is discouraging competition a part of your career strategy? Do you calculate a return-on-investment from this?

Re:Problems... (2, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186363)

Maybe they would take Non-proprietary software jobs?
Do you think all those big name opensource projects are written by volunteers?

Do you think redhat and novell do nothing?
Does the name SUN ring a bell?

Even if proprietary software companies were failing left and right they could work for whoever is replacing the failing vendors.

Re:Problems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186583)

"Even if proprietary software companies were failing left and right they could work for whoever is replacing the failing vendors."

WiPro? Satyam? Tata? InfoSys?

Oh, you thought Red Hat, Sun and IBM didn't do development in India?

Re:Problems... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186393)

maybe on slashdot proprietary software is dying but in the real world? far from true.

Re:Problems... (0, Troll)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186407)

Personally, I'm studying Open Source Computer Science. Proprietary software is failing? Open solutions are taking over? Jay, I say!

Re:Problems... (5, Insightful)

hackus (159037) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186461)

Well,

      Everything isn't that bad. Really. I think the assumption of either a senior admin position or a entry level stuff is too simplistic of a analysis of our industry.

      There are lots of in betweens. Right now being 42, and about the middle of my career I am going back to school to finish all my degree work. I accomplished everything I wanted to do and now have on my resume the entire ball of wax, from admin to CIO.

I just do not have the degree work which I want.

      On the weekends I put in VoIP systems for lawyers and doctors offices using sipxpbx. (That includes all of the nuances of reprogramming the network routers or installing routers that can do QoS). I can do a lot more, including coding middleware (apache axis), and also write backends for a lot of websites (servlets).

      But the point is, I am sure an industrious college grad could figure out to do these things and the point there is to be flexible.

      I started my career and built upon becomming an expert in:

1) Software Engineering (C++ and Java)
2) Relational Databases
3) Networking

    Set your sights on these areas, and try to study them and become competent so that you are flexible to address most opportunities that come your way.

If you cannot find a job, hit the pavement and cold call companies. I do it all the time, and it works!

So if a old 42 year old geezer can do it, so can you.

Finally, I think most people who enter the computer field think that it is like any other job, where you can just graduate and then start a job and just treat it like any other invocation.

You have to continually learn, which means interrupting your career like I am doing to go back to school.

If that prospect is daunting, you might not like CS as a career (I.T.). If you do not continually improve yourself you become fairly useless fairly quickly.

So instead of playing games all evening or watching TV when you get home, start cracking the books guy. :-)

-Hack

Re:Problems... (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#25187023)

Let me provide a counter-example: I'm young, and I didn't have the good fortune to enter IT before the dotcom bust (I entered college in 2000). Finding work - reliable work in any guise - has been largely an exercise in futility.

Non-programming IT work seems to fall into two categories: you've used and maintained common desktops for a year or two and/or have an associates degree in a computer related field, or you're a seasoned professional of 5+ years, having performed system administration or higher for a medium sized company or larger. If you fall between those tracks, you're both over-qualified and under-qualified for 90%+ of the positions out there.

I was fortunate in that I had a couple admin type positions coming out of college, but at the same time, I also got shafted by an economic downturn and reorganization in my first two positions, losing them both withing 5 months of being hired. That's pretty much damned me, and I've been (essentially) unemployed/self-employed since the loss of the last job. I still don't have much more actual work experience than I did when I graduated, but I've also got the crutch of short-term employment keeping me back.

Now, had I done as a classmate of mine had done - dropped out of high school after his sophomore year and getting an IT mid-level administrator job with a larger company - as I was able to do, things would likely be different. The guy worked until he was 21 (2003) and advanced through his career, then went to school. His skills weren't all that intense, but he still made major bank. He now owns and runs a small computer/business supply store in a small town and enjoys life at a pretty slow clip, with a fairly sizeble income.

Re:Problems... (1)

KPU (118762) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186529)

When is the last time you went to a university career fair? The first question most recruiters ask is "computer science?" In fact, the school newspaper ran an editorial "Career fair? More like CS fair."

that's not what I'm seeing (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186731)

Google alone has hired 10,000 new employees over the past year. Microsoft has added 11,000 [nwsource.com] . I know people who have no CS degrees at all, but who have managed to get some relevant experience on their resumes (usually something web 2.0-ish) being fought over in signing-bonus bidding wars, because everyone who isn't Microsoft or Google is desperate to find some good talent out of the pool that's left.

Great. so now we can look forward to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186323)

Great. so now we can look forward to these same imbeciles doing software and hardware that brings the world down a few notches, as if that helps the current state of affairs, what with nothing but cheap, crap software and die-young-stay-pretty hardware.

hoax (4, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186357)

Employment rates at graduation are often incredibly skewed. Frequently only those with jobs will report the fact; a lot of people who still haven't found one won't. I picked the law school I went to partially based on its "percentage employed 6 months after graduation" number, plus it's median salary number. It wasn't until I graduated that I realized how fake the number was.

If I had to do it all over again I'd probably major in pharmacy. Good money, good job security, good hours.

Re:hoax (2, Interesting)

SoapBox17 (1020345) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186441)

A bit off topic, but I have a friend who is a pharmacist. The hours are decent, the money is good, but the employers all suck. Chances are you will be working for a chain store... they can only afford to pay 2-3 pharmacists so you get minimal vacation and have to plan it 6+ months in advance.

So I guess, the grass is always greener, as they say.

EECS career fair "busier than ever before" (2, Insightful)

compumike (454538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186359)

We just had a career fair for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science students, and the organizers mentioned to me that it was the busiest they've ever seen. Not that there are any more students in the department.

My theory is that all the students originally planning to go into finance/consulting realized they might actually have to get jobs in the real economy, doing more than Excel and Powerpoint (investment banking). This was during the week of the Lehman/AIG collapse.

--
Learn electronics! Powerful microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

Re:EECS career fair "busier than ever before" (1)

KPU (118762) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186541)

Not to mention the recruiters from Lehman passing their resumes around.

Re:EECS career fair "busier than ever before" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186709)

Woah, are you at Berkeley? I think they had one here recently for EECS but I was too busy and since I'm a freshman I figured it's not really that important for me right now, versus keeping my grades up.
Posting AC because I modded in this article.

H1B (0, Flamebait)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186367)

well on the plus side, if more people take it up then there might be a reduction in these....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H1B_visa [wikipedia.org]

yeah, riiight.

Re:H1B (2, Interesting)

adpowers (153922) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186587)

What's wrong with H1B visas? A bunch of folks at my work are here on that (or equivalents). They aren't competing with Americans because we still have lots of open heads we can't fill across the company.

Re:H1B (1)

jfern (115937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186743)

Slave labor, they can be forced to work more hours than a US citizen, because if they're fired, they have to go back to India. H1Bs are used to drive down salaries. There's clearly no need for them in this crappy job market.

Re:H1B (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 5 years ago | (#25187053)

Yeah, well, fuck you too, buddy.

Hedge fund majors? (3, Interesting)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186387)

I thought golf studies was a ridiculous degree, but hedge fund studies? Financial mathematics, sure; economics, likewise; and a degree which combines the two is perfectly reasonable, if liable to drive the mathematically inclined nuts and the mathematically disinclined to drink. But "hedge funds" sounds awfully specific for a major.

Do to Computer Science, what they did to Wall St. (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186419)

Look on the bright side, we'll get a bailout in a couple of years

Yee-Haw!

Skillz! (2, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186483)

From the article:

Technical skills are still important, but businesses also want to hire students with management and industry training, strong communications abilities, marketing and negotiation skills

Yeah, and businesses also want people with 10+ years J2EE experience. What they want isn't necessarily what they can get. And if you have ALL of the above, technical skills, marketing skills, negotiation skills, and management and industry training, the only positions you should be considering are CEO and CTO. With those negotiation skills, you should get them.

Say What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186549)

From where I sit, there is a huge demand for entry level IT professionals . . . in CS.'"

Damn, looks like I should keep playing!

CS's gain? (3, Insightful)

Bocconcini (1057516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186555)

How the heck is CS as a science supposed to gain anything from the flock of people who select their subject of study based on which gives the best money/effort ratio at the moment?

These are just the kind of people who spend the minimum possible amount of work to get a grade. I wouldn't think they would be interested in CS. Instead, I would imagine that they would be interested in software engineering (management) so they can land a low level manager job straight out of school.

Re:CS's gain? (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186665)

Like it or not, computer science is a programming degree in most places, it's not a "science." Whining about it is silly.

Re:CS's gain? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186971)

Speaking as a CS professor, the dynamics are subtler than that. Yes, a large number of those new students are not the students we enjoy teaching and they won't add much to the field as a whole. However, as others have pointed out, many students when choosing a major don't really know what they want to do. Low level classes are like sales pitches, we are trying to get students interested in the field - the more bums on seats, the more likely it is that "undecideds" will find a real passion for the field. You don't think that the only people who are passionate about a field have been passionate about it since birth, do you?

In addition to that, more CS students means more funding which translates to more professors and better resources, which will certainly have an impact on CS as a science.

Re:CS's gain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186991)

CS gains by taking their money to fund operations. Since these parasites will probably not show up for class or turn in a complete homework assignment, less time is spent on their education. Less time=less money on losers; more money for real CS work.

I see this every semester. Curently, the first real exam these bozos see in EE/CS, the grades group with 50% of the students getting 80%+; and the other half scores 50%-. Most of the lower scoring group just quietly disappear into less strenuous degree plans.

Re:CS's gain? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#25187047)

How the heck is CS as a science supposed to gain anything from the flock of people who select their subject of study based on which gives the best money/effort ratio at the moment?

Is computer science such a noble and hallowed field that it should escape what other lucrative fields do?

Do you honestly believe that accounting is full of people who got into the field because they just love double entry bookkeeping? If someone gets into CS just for the money, but is capable of doing the job, why should they be hounded out of it?

Lucky me (1)

therpham (953844) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186585)

At my school, there are more companies coming to the career fair looking for CS/SE employees than we have graduates from the program. Too bad being a professor is the only job I can think of where I possibly wouldn't want to kill myself and every single person I've ever had to work with.

You forgot something (3, Insightful)

pkbarbiedoll (851110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186635)

From where I sit, there is a huge demand for entry level IT professionals in IS and in CS in India.

Re:You forgot something (4, Interesting)

British (51765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186947)

Sadly, you are right. I'm on sqaforums.com, and 99% of the threads posted there are n00bs from India asking people to do their job for them. It seems a high percentage of people there don't want to learn on their own and figure out things. A lot of them just grasp on to buzzwords and ask vague questions about various qa test tools. Guess I should find a different forum. :)

What I wonder is.. (1)

Lord MuffloN (1310101) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186649)

..How many of these guys actually will be in it because they like it, not because of the cash, because in my experience those in it for the cash are most often clueless useless persons while those with enthusiasm and passion, even with having no formal education at all, are by far the absolutely best IT folks.

Computer science needs it... (2, Informative)

Aeron65432 (805385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186657)

I worked at a recruiting firm that specializes in IT for the last two years, and let me tell you, we could not find enough programmers, specifically in Java. The firms we were working with constantly were upping the pay to try and attract workers to our city but in general, the demand for labor was much, much higher than the supply.

Re:Computer science needs it... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186973)

WTF. I work Java and I started in 2000 at 52kpy my salary has increased an average of 1kpy. WTF? Bull shit. You're recruiting firm is full of the morons who stand up at my JUG and ask: "We are looking for developers with the JAVA. We need the JAVA at junior or senior. If you have the JAVA and know a J2EE please talk to us." You recruiting firms are all effing useless. You can't find talent because you can't identify talent. You can't identify talent because you have no talent.

Programmers are the only people qualified to evaluate other programmers.

Compromise (1)

halsver (885120) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186659)

You can work in finance and have a CS degree. There is work to do when it comes to managing risk and tons of information to track and analyze. If you are math or CS oriented and you like playing the stock market, it is an interesting area to be in.

Now this probably isn't the best time to find one of these jobs, but assuming the economy doesn't collapse completely, hedge funds and others are still hiring.

I Doubt It (5, Interesting)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186669)

Finance is one of the biggest consumers of IT and development resources. My first job out of college was at a hedge fund as a IT developer. Many people don't realize that finance is heavily computer and information driven these days. The days of people working on gut feeling is dying out. At the hedge fund, there was only two traders who actually traded in financial instruments. The rest of the non-support people were analysts who came up with strategies based on models and information provided to them by quants and programmed into their infrastructure by CS people. Their infrastructure was maintained by IT people.

My point is that finance going downhill is bad for IT and CS because that's one of the most information driven sectors outside of software and hire a lot of CS people out of college.

Your gain, others' pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186691)

I think this is very partial and out of touch. You can't generalize from the *top* school situation.
Also, I suspect the surge on enrollment is due to massive lay-off from IT corps serving Financial corps.

Pre-financial-apocalpse data is meaningless, no? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25186705)

"Last year 87% of our seniors were employed before graduation"

Since this data was collected before the Global Financial Apocalypse, how is it any indication of the industry's resilience to a Wall Street Collapse? Let's wait and see what happens to next year's students...

Do You Really Want Those People? (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186841)

2007: "IT? That's sooo 2000! They all lost their jobs in the dot-com bust! Finance is where it's at!"

2008: "Finance? That's sooo 2007! They all lost their jobs in the Wall Street bust! IT is where it's at!"

Do you really want those people?

'entry level' (4, Insightful)

sohp (22984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186859)

Since at least the dot-com era and maybe before, there's been a demand for entry-level software developers. It's the subject of Steve McConnell's essay Orphans Preferred [gamasutra.com] . Companies like pulling cheap labor from colleges and grinding the people down until they either burn out or get wise and fight back at the bullshit, at which point the company replaces the burnouts and malcontents with the next wave of suckers.

I don't think so. (4, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186913)

A gain in college CS programs is not a net gain for the field of CS.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but most of the actual beneficial gains in CS have not been made due to substantially increased student CS populations, or even as a corollary. Yes, it's had it's part in small breakthroughs, but in my eyes a lot of those small breakthroughs haven't brought on strictly by academia, and a lot of the big breakthroughs have been pushed by corporations - again, not academia. Seems academia has been largely "me too, let's do what's hot in business" when it comes to CS for the past decade+.

And it certainly can not help the CS graduates themselves. More CS graduates means lower wages. There's already a hardly any "computer science" related jobs out there, even in academia. Sure, there's business programming out in the corporate world, but those wages would also decrease

There are already too many people who want to work in IT/CS and have the degree, but are unable to do so due to the glut of IT workers. This is just going ot make it worse for recent grads.

A bit premature (3, Insightful)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25186939)

Isn't it a bit premature to be talking about the fallout of the Wall Street debacle, as it relates to college enrollment?

I mean, what does he have to base it off? A two week to 30 day trend?

Attributing last semesters enrollment to something that hadn't even happened yet (at least, it hadn't been properly attributed to Wall Street) is kind of .... Umm..... I dunno HOW to put it.

--Toll_Free

This is stupid (4, Insightful)

elnyka (803306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25187003)

Actually, this is fucking disgusting.

We do not need more tards in Computer Science. Even after the down-turn after the dot.com bust, we got these people who can't for their fucking life understand what a pointer is, writing the crappiest code everywhere they go.

We need quality, not quantity. The more we get tards who just go and graduate into something because it's "the next thing in getting $$$", the lesser the quality of work being performed.

Ugh.

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