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Computer Science Major Is Cool Again

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the on-average-we-all-have-jobs dept.

Education 328

netbuzz sends along a piece from Network World reporting that the number of computer science majors enrolled at US universities increased for the first time in six years, according to new survey data out this morning. The Taulbee Study found that the number of undergraduates signed up as computer science majors rose 8% last year. The survey was conducted last fall, just as the economic downturn started to bite. The article notes the daunting competition for positions at top universities: Carnegie Mellon University received 2,600 applications for 130 undergrad spots, and 1,400 for 26 PhD slots. "...the popularity of computer science majors among college freshmen and sophomores is because IT has better job prospects than other specialties, especially in light of the global economic downturn. ... The latest unemployment numbers for 2008 for computer software engineers is 1.6%... That's beyond full employment. ... The demand for tech jobs may rise further thanks to the Obama Administration's stimulus package, which could create nearly 1 million new tech jobs."

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328 comments

Single digit drops followed by single-digit rises (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27228939)

Guess you gotta spin a story to stay in the dead tree business.

CS majors were always cool.

Uh, no it's not. Never was. Never will be. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27229623)

Geeks, always so righteous. You are not cool. You never were. You never will be.

Cool? (4, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 5 years ago | (#27228951)

From TFS:

the popularity of computer science majors among college freshmen and sophomores is because IT has better job prospects than other specialties

How does that make it cool? It sounds more like desperation.

Re:Cool? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27229327)

Cool in as much as KDawson wants to repair the injustices leveled upon him.

Re:Cool? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27229817)

From TFS:

the popularity of computer science majors among college freshmen and sophomores is because IT has better job prospects than other specialties

How does that make it cool? It sounds more like desperation.

Exactly.

What's worse, is that computer science is not relevant for most IT positions. Unless you are programming, but those jobs are the smallest slice of the IT pie.
Those kids would be better off at a trade school or VoTech learning networking, systems administration, etc.

Next winter you can expect to see an article alerting us to a sudden surge in CS majors who are switching or dropping out & going to IT tech schools.

It's a fairly predictable cycle.

Re:Cool? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 5 years ago | (#27230181)

What's worse, is that computer science is not relevant for most IT positions. Unless you are programming, but those jobs are the smallest slice of the IT pie.

Agreed. What's more, computer science focuses on math, so even if you are programming, there are worlds of difference between business software programming and scientific programming. Not that programmers don't benefit from comp-sci, but for most coders doing business apps, a few programming classes are all that is needed.

RTFA (3, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 5 years ago | (#27228971)

These ain't programmers, nor are they REAL "Software Engineers", the article writers are throwing Project Managers and Software Architects into the mix to get their numbers:
 
 

"The latest unemployment numbers for 2008 for computer software engineers is 1.6%...That's beyond full employment," says Josh James, Director of Research and Industry Analysis with TechAmerica. "Computer programmers' unemployment rate has gone up from 2.5% in 2007 to 3.7% in 2008. That's a sign that programming skills are easier to do from anywhere in the world. But the high-growth jobs include skills that are hard to send abroad such as systems integration and IT managers."

 
In other words, for the type of *real programmer* who isn't on a team and does everything from Requirements Gathering to QA (and everything in between) your job is STILL threatened by outsourcing. But the schools have finally figured that out, so instead of teaching basic concepts like data mining and programming, they're teaching people to be managers right out of the box. Dilbert Principle, here we come.

Re:RTFA (5, Insightful)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | about 5 years ago | (#27229099)

Data mining is not a basic principle, and programming is to computer science what algebra is to mathematics.

Re:RTFA (0)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 5 years ago | (#27229393)

Data mining (and good database design) absolutely SHOULD be a basic principle in this day and age. A good DB design is the underlying data layer below your classes, you should have a minimum 1:1 ratio between classes and tables in the next layer up. And 99.99% of the applications anybody will PAY you to write, will be data mining applications at this point (as office software and the gaming industry are basically at market saturation level).

Re:RTFA (4, Informative)

Metasquares (555685) | about 5 years ago | (#27229665)

Data mining and databases aren't really the same thing (although mining is often performed on databases). Data mining is actually pretty similar to AI: it involves tasks such as classification, clustering, and feature extraction that require constructing statistical models and learning about the dataset in question. The techniques involve more linear algebra and statistics than many CS undergrads will take. Moreover, mining isn't explicitly demanded in industry (certainly not at the level that programming is, at least). I suspect most people are unaware of it.

Re:RTFA (2, Interesting)

KeithJM (1024071) | about 5 years ago | (#27229745)

And 99.99% of the applications anybody will PAY you to write, will be data mining applications at this point

I think data mining will increase in the future, and I definitely agree that database design needs to be taught to new developers. But data mining is still FAR from 99% of new development.

Traditional reporting and traditional OLTP apps are still going to be the majority of development. If you disagree on my OLTP statement, who do you think is going to be GENERATING all of the data that 99.99% of these new grads are going to be mining? It takes multiple OLTP apps to generate one data warehouse worth mining, after all.

office software and the gaming industry are basically at market saturation level

So you think from here on out no new games are going to be developed? We'll just keep porting Tetris to new environments?

Re:RTFA (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 5 years ago | (#27230205)

Traditional reporting and traditional OLTP apps are still going to be the majority of development. If you disagree on my OLTP statement, who do you think is going to be GENERATING all of the data that 99.99% of these new grads are going to be mining? It takes multiple OLTP apps to generate one data warehouse worth mining, after all.
 
I don't necessarily disagree that reporting and OLTP are big. I do disagree that these require *development*. Instead, to a large extent, OLTP and traditional reporting are just reinventing the wheel- one can just slightly modify an open source program, change the UI and port to a new platform, and whammo, you've got your OLTP and traditional reporting.

So you think from here on out no new games are going to be developed? We'll just keep porting Tetris to new environments?
 
More like Doom to new environments. Or rather, it seems that most of the video games that sell these days fit into narrow categories- FPS, Role Playing, Sims, or Puzzles. And Puzzles- like tetris and it's millions of clones- the one area of video games which requires NEW development- is losing big time in the market to the other three. You can only get so complex and still have something playable.

Re:RTFA (1)

bubbha (61990) | about 5 years ago | (#27230371)

OLTP and traditional reporting are just reinventing the wheel- one can just slightly modify an open source program, change the UI and port to a new platform, and whammo, you've got your OLTP and traditional reporting.

whammo is the operative term here....jeeze

Re:RTFA (5, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | about 5 years ago | (#27229137)

"In other words, for the type of *real programmer* who isn't on a team and does everything from Requirements Gathering to QA (and everything in between) your job is STILL threatened by outsourcing."

What sort of a real programmer isn't on a team these days?

Any serious sized project has a team. And believe me, good software engineers are still very sought after.

Re:RTFA (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 5 years ago | (#27229337)

Anybody working as the only developer in a company of less than 40 people.

That's getting a bit rare, since contract programming is getting so cheap, but it's the situation I'm best in. Luckily, it's what I landed in this last round- after my contract with Intel went tits up in the last round of 90% decrease in net profit, my contracting company, which usually does only internationalization jobs, suddenly realized that they had a bunch of back-office proprietary software that needed updating, and nobody to do it.
 
From the requirements I gathered in January, I've got a good year to a year and a half's work if I'm not stupid and don't delagate to a team.

Re:RTFA (1)

intrico (100334) | about 5 years ago | (#27230177)

You're essentially telling us you have a negative opinion of team-based projects. It behooves you to at least have a neutral opinion. Being able to work as effectively on a team as you do independently is an asset that would make you less likely to be replaced by outsourcing. The reality is, depending on the size and scope of the individual project, many projects do require contribution from an entire team in order to be successful.

engineering (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 5 years ago | (#27229047)

Now that the financial industry is in shambles (what do they produce, again?) the only way to make bank without sacrificing the 8 to 12 years of your youth to med school or law school is engineering. And since most people are now familiar with computers, software engineering seems more accessible.

This makes perfect sense. Engineers make more money than any other Bachelors degrees can get you. Many students don't realize that it is damn hard to get an engineering degree compared to other degrees, though. At least, that's true of good colleges.

To nitpick (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | about 5 years ago | (#27229379)

You'd do a bit better with Accounting - if you get your CPA and you'd blow the doors off with an actuarial degree and pass all 10 exams - well into the six figures.

Re:To nitpick (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 5 years ago | (#27229583)

True, but long term, if someone were to simplify the tax code (as has been proposed a few times in the past), all those CPA jobs vanish in a puff of logic.

And honestly, even with today's insane tax code, accounting seems like the sort of thing that will be increasingly automated by computer technology.

Re:engineering (4, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#27229799)

Software engineering != using software to solve engineering problems!

All of the "Software Engineering" coursework around here is training in more of the abstract and organizational aspects of programming such as development methodologies and teamwork, buzzwords, fancy colored charts, and consulting.

All of the classes I know of which use programming to solve math problems are under the umbrella of the math departments. YMMV.

Re:engineering (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 5 years ago | (#27229937)

Who said anything about math? Scientific computing, including math-related stuff, is not what's driving software engineering employment. It's the ability to produce software which helps business that's driving the hiring. This means "pure" programming, yes, but also HCI, communication, design, testing methodology... there's a lot more to producing software than just programming.

Re:engineering (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#27230331)

I may have misunderstood your juxtaposition of engineering and software engineering. Engineering is applied math, Software Engineering is the business aspects of software development.

That juxtaposition frequently causes misunderstandings about what comprises software engineering. Every angry nitpicker on Slashdot who bitches and moans about "software engineer" being a misleading(at best, bullshit at worst) title if the engineer isn't a P.E. [wikipedia.org] makes my point.

Re:engineering (1, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | about 5 years ago | (#27230005)

Software Engineering is actually more of a Business Study then a Technical Study. That said it is pritty darn useful. While a lot of people know how to program very few are able to make an application.

Re:engineering (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | about 5 years ago | (#27230099)

That's what Software Engineering is. It's akin to System's Engineering. It requires a diverse set of technical and managerial skills and it's not easy to do well.

Steve Jobs is gay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27229059)

there you go. RECAPTCHA is used to break other people's captchas.

Beyond full employment? (1)

wealthychef (584778) | about 5 years ago | (#27229091)

.
Um, if 1.6% or more of all CS people are unemployed, I think it's weird to say that's "beyond full employment." How is it that you can even be beyond full employment? Weird! LOL

Re:Beyond full employment? (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 5 years ago | (#27229311)

Typically there are a few people in between jobs for one reason or another. General full employment is somewhere around 4% unemployed. White and Asian college grads thats more like 2%'ish.

Re:Beyond full employment? (2, Informative)

tverbeek (457094) | about 5 years ago | (#27229341)

That's because economist-bureaucrats have defined a certain level of unemployment as "full employment". They figure you're always going to have some people who are out of work... so they don't count that many of them.

Re:Beyond full employment? (4, Informative)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | about 5 years ago | (#27229533)

Full employment is defined as around 5% unemployment. This is made up of frictional unemployment, people between jobs or looking for their first one, structural unemployment, people whose skills are obsolete, and cyclical unemployment, unemployment due to the ebb and flow of the business cycle.

Re:Beyond full employment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27230167)

Full employment does NOT include cyclical unemployment.

Re:Beyond full employment? (1)

creimer (824291) | about 5 years ago | (#27229891)

The reason I went back to school in 2002 to study IT (when everyone told me I was crazy) was for three future trends: baby boomers will be retiring, India and China will eventually keep their IT workers at home for their own economies, and the U.S. won't have enough college graduates to meet the demand. In short, there will be crunch for skilled IT workers (i.e., "beyond full employment").

Virginity Study Seems to Support This Story (1)

longacre (1090157) | about 5 years ago | (#27229095)

According to a recent poll of Wellesley College students, Computer Science majors have the fourth LOWEST virginity rate! Either the linked study is right, or CS's have become better liars. http://www.forwardon.com/view.php?e=Id1200c8f6b7f5f813 [forwardon.com]

Re:Virginity Study Seems to Support This Story (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | about 5 years ago | (#27229159)

Wellesley College is an all-female liberal-arts college. Given that roughly 90% of computer science majors are male, that link has no relevance or impact on the real world that the rest of us live in.

And yes, if my girlfriend were not hundreds of miles away on Spring Break, I would not be posting on Slashdot.

Re:Virginity Study Seems to Support This Story (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 5 years ago | (#27229301)

And yes, if my girlfriend were not hundreds of miles away on Spring Break, I would not be posting on Slashdot.

You mean you'd be doing what she is, in all liklihood, getting done to her thrice over?

I kid, I kid.

Re:Virginity Study Seems to Support This Story (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | about 5 years ago | (#27229333)

Yeah, actually when I say "hundreds of miles away" I mean "at home". Both our homes are equidistant from our university, and the distances add up to a three-digit number.

nearly 1 million new tech jobs? (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | about 5 years ago | (#27229105)

WTF? Really? Where?

All you damned programmers are gonna need some network support too...sign me up.

Where. (2, Funny)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 5 years ago | (#27229445)

WTF? Really? Where?

McDonalds. To save money, they are no longer purchasing specialized cash registers with individual buttons per item. Going forward, a new generation of tech-savvy employees will have to "program" the register to display the order price.

Oy! (5, Insightful)

Samschnooks (1415697) | about 5 years ago | (#27229127)

Harsha says computer science majors are critical for the U.S. economy because their training provides them with computational thinking and problem solving skills that they can deploy in any industry.

So does: physics, chemistry, engineering, math, accounting....

"The primary reason for the downturn in computer science majors was the erroneous fear that everything was being outsourced to India, which we know is not true," says Prof. Jerry Luftman, executive director of the School of Technology Management at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.

Really? Tell that to IBM. [businessinsider.com]

The lobbying group TechAmerica says computer software engineering and computer systems design are the fastest-growing high tech jobs, even in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Who is this "TechAmerica"? The lobbying group TechAmerica says computer software engineering and computer systems design are the fastest-growing high tech jobs, even in the fourth quarter of 2008. Oh, I see. So, corps want more H1-Bs, I take it and they're setting up the public opinion to be more open to it in these troubling times.

The whole article keeps mentioning "IT","IT","IT" and only once did they say something mobile devices. I wish they would say exactly what area of IT is booming.

This article is nothing but fluff.

Re:Oy! (1)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | about 5 years ago | (#27229689)

"The primary reason for the downturn in computer science majors was the erroneous fear that everything was being outsourced to India, which we know is not true," says Prof. Jerry Luftman, executive director of the School of Technology Management at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.

Really? Tell that to IBM.

How does the fact that IBM is telling some of their workers to move to India to keep their jobs means everything is being outsourced to India?

Isn't Everybody Going Back to School? (2, Interesting)

Paul Slocum (598127) | about 5 years ago | (#27229135)

I only skimmed the article, but I never saw any mention what's happening to CS enrollment relative to *other* departments. It was my understanding that there is a general increase in college/grad enrollment in most departments when the economy dips.

Re:Isn't Everybody Going Back to School? (3, Informative)

tverbeek (457094) | about 5 years ago | (#27229701)

You can't get through a single news item or political speech on the subject of the current job market without the reporter/politician saying something about how people need to be retrained for jobs in "health care" or "high tech", because that's where the jobs will be. Of course this doesn't mean that we'll have a surplus of job openings in IT... only that most other fields (especially manufacturing and farming) are contracting like an old red supergiant.

(The only field that really looks good for the foreseeable future is nursing. With the Boomers already starting into their 60s and lifespans reaching into the medically-dependent 90s, there is going to be a persistent need for lots of nurses in the decades to come, and that's something that simply cannot be "off-shored". How we'll pay them all a living wage is a good question, but at least they'll have jobs.)

iPhone related? (-1, Offtopic)

peter303 (12292) | about 5 years ago | (#27229165)

I've been watching the iPhone 3.0 introduction this morning. This device resembles the excitement of the Apple 2: it puts the "personal" back into the PC. Its a nearly full-featured computer you can carry around with your media anywhere. And almost anyone can write and sell software for it. And its fun.

Re:iPhone related? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27229269)

Microsoft = fucking boring business-style computing. Nobody wants to do that.
Apple = fucking awesome home-style computing. Everybody wants to do that (everything that's not a fucking word processor or spreadsheet program).

CS major population had nowhere to go but up. (2, Informative)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 5 years ago | (#27229193)

What a spin piece.

CS majors had plummeted to near extinction over the past decade.

Given the market is still there, the stats had nowhere to go but up out of sheer law of averages.

Additionally, major does not necessarily mean field. People might be going into the major to gain greater understanding of the tools used by even the burger flippers today.

The fact that it's math and logic heavy makes it look better on a resume than east asian studies.

Re:CS major population had nowhere to go but up. (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 5 years ago | (#27229703)

I don't understand why a kid WOULDN'T want to be a CS major--at least here in Austin, TX. When I was 22, fresh with my useless Liberal Arts degree, the best job (in today's dollars) I could have hoped for would have been around $30k a year. We hire kids that are near graduation from the University of Texas and Texas State University to do monkey-code, starting at around $60k with full benefits (and they still have a hard time making it to work on time or taking direction...get off my lawn!)

Hell, CS jobs are so disproportionately high paying in this economy that I'm thinking of FORCING my child to study CS, even if he hates it.

Re:CS major population had nowhere to go but up. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 5 years ago | (#27229945)

Hire me then, my school is ranked pretty high, and i'm willing to re-locate. give me a website to app assuming you don't have a hiring freeze.

Re:CS major population had nowhere to go but up. (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 5 years ago | (#27230195)

Most companies really don't care about college rankings, but I'll take your word for it. Unfortunately, I'd rather retain my modicum of anonymity than tell you where I work. But if you are willing to relocate for a tech-savvy area, give Austin a look (just watchout for layoffs at Dell, AMD and Freescale Semiconductor). Great quality of life, low cost of living, no income tax, nice weather, college town...

Re:CS major population had nowhere to go but up. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 5 years ago | (#27230247)

Most companies really don't care about college rankings, but I'll take your word for it. Unfortunately, I'd rather retain my modicum of anonymity than tell you where I work. But if you are willing to relocate for a tech-savvy area, give Austin a look (just watchout for layoffs at Dell, AMD and Freescale Semiconductor). Great quality of life, low cost of living, no income tax, nice weather, college town...

It's unfortunate you're not willing to give me a company name. Remember I risk my anonymity too as a sudden out of state applicant.

Good luck with that. (3, Insightful)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 5 years ago | (#27229199)

Picking a major, especially an intensive one like CS, based on current employment statistics, that is.

Re:Good luck with that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27229577)

Picking a major, especially an intensive one like CS, based on current employment statistics, that is.

Don't most schools in the US require taking a couple of English courses regardless of your major?

Re:Good luck with that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27229789)

For engineering, not past the first year.

Most majors require a steady input of humanities, however, after the first year engineers are free to take entirely science-related classes.

Poor kids... (4, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | about 5 years ago | (#27229241)

I feel for the hotshot larval geek that's been programming since he was in the single digits, knows 3-4 operating systems, and can put together a computer in 15 minutes while getting a blowjob and having a gun pointed at his head, who is going to enroll in a CS program and find out he knows fuckall about "computer science."

Lest I get modded down for being an elitist prick, I'm not bashing those kids. I *am* one (although too old to be a kid). It's all downhill from Discrete Math...

Re:Poor kids... (1)

wed128 (722152) | about 5 years ago | (#27229985)

Those kids can go to a tech school and become electrical technicians. Plugging a damn PCI card in has nothing to do with computer science. Knowing your way around the start menu has nothing to do with computer science.

Computer science is a mathematical discipline that has little to do with computers at all. If only more high school kids knew that, the drop-rate of Computer Science/Engineering degrees wouldn't be so high.

Re:Poor kids... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 5 years ago | (#27230153)

That was my point.

Hell, coupled with the fact that I waited until I already had a job as a programmer to finish school (because now I can afford it), the workload is insaaaane. Theory of Computation is a bitch.

I've been tempted to drop a few times. Fortunately, I'm too stubborn and manage to sacrifice a few months of sleep/life at a time to pull out a B. Glad too, because the stuff is damn interesting. Complicated as all getout, but interesting.

Re:Poor kids... (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | about 5 years ago | (#27230187)

"Computer science is a mathematical discipline that has little to do with computers at all."

Sure, otherwise they'd call it Computer ... oh wait.

Re:Poor kids... (1)

Kozz (7764) | about 5 years ago | (#27230353)

I feel for the hotshot larval geek that's been programming since he was in the single digits, knows 3-4 operating systems, and can put together a computer in 15 minutes while getting a blowjob and having a gun pointed at his head...

Although I am grateful to be gainfully employed, could you please tell me where you interviewed?

Okay, you got me. I'm married. But you're not reading this, are you honey?

Obama's stimulus package? (-1, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | about 5 years ago | (#27229253)

Stimulus package, IT jobs? Barf!

The fact, is, once Obama goes and cuts missile defense, cuts the aircraft carrier, submarine and F-22 fighter, as is rumored, the last bastion of genuine engineering jobs in the USA will be wiped out and we will be able to manufacture as much as the British.

Please... don't try and link some positive news about C/S grads with this administration. Not everyone glows in their loins like you do, at this commy bast... I mean, your wonderful president!

Re:Obama's stimulus package? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27229711)

"once Obama goes and cuts missile defense, cuts the aircraft carrier, submarine and F-22 fighter"

We should be so lucky.

Re:Obama's stimulus package? (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | about 5 years ago | (#27229747)

Obama had better cut all those programs. Carriers are archaic, we can reach around the globe w/ an R/C plane powered by the electricity generated by mom's farts. Submarines, well, I'm w/ you on that one. The f-22 is outdated now.

Just cause we are going to cut some millitary programs doesn't mean we won't invest in others. Sharks w/ Lazors coming soon!

Re:Obama's stimulus package? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 5 years ago | (#27229801)

You forgot Future Combat Systems (FCS). There's something like 200,000 of us on that program (I'm not an engineer, but I work for a bunch of them) and when they cut FCS, that's a whole lot of engineers looking for work.

Re:Obama's stimulus package? (1)

CookieOfFortune (955407) | about 5 years ago | (#27229831)

Because funding in alternative energy, scientific research, and infrastructure does not create "genuine" engineering jobs at all.

Re:Obama's stimulus package? (1)

tjstork (137384) | about 5 years ago | (#27229965)

Because funding in alternative energy, scientific research, and infrastructure does not create "genuine" engineering jobs at all.

SO like, can you name me one product the stimulus actually creates then? I think it doesn't do anything or make anything.

Not women though (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 5 years ago | (#27229257)

One area that didn't show improvement in the latest Taulbee Survey is the number of women pursuing computer science degrees, which held steady at 11.8%

Times are rough perhaps, but they aren't rough enough yet that women are eager to sign up for the disrespect we have to put up with. Perhaps being a Lawyer or a Doctor isn't as sure a thing anymore, but at least they still make more money and get more respect, for roughly the same mental outlay.

Re:Not women though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27229477)

That's because there is always a demand for strippers and whores.

And by cool you mean.... (4, Funny)

dmomo (256005) | about 5 years ago | (#27229305)

We on Slashdot think so?

Me: "I'm sorry Miss, but there will be no cutting."

She: "But Dmomo, I don't just want to be with your CS Degree, I love you for you. Let me push your stack."

Me: "Typical story. Get to the end of the Lady Queue... I'm a FIFO man"

She: "Swoon"

How many engineers does it take... (1)

castironpigeon (1056188) | about 5 years ago | (#27229359)

No, really, how many engineers does it take to get the job done? Not too many. Undergrads need to remember that a piece of paper that declares you an engineer isn't going to get you a job. If you like to program, then program. If you want an excuse to screw around for 4 years without having to pay your bills, then go to school. But the only thing that's going to earn you a job (and keep you from getting outsourced) is good networking.

Re:How many engineers does it take... (1)

Metasquares (555685) | about 5 years ago | (#27229865)

Undergrads need to remember that a piece of paper that declares you an engineer isn't going to get you a job.

But lack thereof may prevent you...

This is retarded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27229371)

"Global economic downturn" will be over with a year or two, and we'll end up with a lot of people in the industry who are in it solely for the paycheck. If the industry doesn't get outsourced to China completely, that is.

Re:This is retarded (1)

wed128 (722152) | about 5 years ago | (#27230031)

In my experience anyone in any job 'for the paycheck' isn't very good at it anyway. i'm not threatened.

Dead Cats (3, Funny)

travdaddy (527149) | about 5 years ago | (#27229377)

the number of computer science majors enrolled at US universities increased for the first time in six years

Well, I guess it HAD to increase sometime. There's a financial saying that applies here, "Even a dead cat will bounce if you drop it from a great height."

Re:Dead Cats (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 5 years ago | (#27229459)

There's a financial saying that applies here, "Even a dead cat will bounce if you drop it from a great height."

These days, the financial saying of the zeitgeist seems to be "Thank you sir! May I have another!?"

Re:Dead Cats (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 5 years ago | (#27229567)

There's a financial saying that applies here, "Even a dead cat will bounce if you drop it from a great height."

in how many pieces?

time for my rant again (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 5 years ago | (#27229555)

I love learning but am sick of institutionalized education. The problem is the right way to do education is incredibly expensive, incredibly time-consuming, but if we had proper priorities as a society, would be seen as completely worth it. At this point, only idiots or saints would go into a career in education. There's no money in it, and I'm not talking about enough money to become a rich bastard, I'm talking about enough money to avoid poverty.

I'm not quite sure what the right solution is yet but I'm wondering if it might not be a good idea to start on the Young Lady's Primer. We've certainly made some advancements on the sort of technology that would be required.

Students should still think carefully about CS (4, Interesting)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about 5 years ago | (#27229575)

While interest in the field is good, there are still some major barriers to entry that need to be considered.

1. Unlike previous downturns, we currently have tons of IT/CS people out of work. I'm very lucky to have work; according to all my colleagues, hiring is extremely limited, especially in large public companies. In addition, competition for these jobs is incredibly tough.

2. Outsourcing has not gone away. IBM's a perfect example, as are many of the other professional services firms. India is rapidly moving up the food chain, and even advanced dev jobs are moving elsewhere very quickly. The best strategy is to get involved with a small company who doesn't have the resources to manage an outsourcing engagement.

3. A corollary to #2 - Lots of companies are "discovering" they don't need an IT department anymore. Most of the programming jobs will be for vendors, if the whole "cloud computing" fad turns out to be more than a fad.

4. Don't assume you can choose where you work, if that's important to you. Companies are shifting their support functions to cheaper locations within the US, so keep that in mind unless you don't care about living in Boston vs. Omaha.

So, as always IT and programming are fun fields to be in, but just keep in mind that the employment prospects are still unstable. If you're the kind who doesn't mind bouncing from one 6-month contract to another, you'll do fine. Full time work might be harder to come by.

Re:Students should still think carefully about CS (1)

Revotron (1115029) | about 5 years ago | (#27230217)

What's wrong with Omaha?

We have ConAgra, First National, Mutual of Omaha, CoSentry, Google just across the bridge, UNO's Peter Kiewit Institute and so on. People need to realize that Omaha isn't some backwater town with banjo players and cowboy hats. (Okay, well, no banjo players at least.)

Wrong presentation (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 years ago | (#27229613)

time for my rant again

I love learning but am sick of institutionalized education.

The proper beginning is, "You know what really grinds my gears?"

Where's the Lehman Bros Recruiter? (1)

thebian (1218280) | about 5 years ago | (#27229697)

Wait till they find out that it was the financial industry hiring CS grads in droves, and that it was the quants who figured out that mortgage-backed securities couldn't go south.

For The Corporation By The Corporation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27229749)

Wwwwoooohhhhoooo !

Java , C++, LateX, and Your Choice of WWW Browser.

Yours In Communism,
Kilgore Trout [youtube.com]

A metric of how cool a profession is (1)

arugulatarsus (1167251) | about 5 years ago | (#27229837)

How many movies in recent memory have had a CS major as a hero? Also, self taught is not a plus.

I can think of

The matrix

Tron

That movie with ryan philippe that was a programmer and bill gates ate chips.

Can I have some help completing the list please?

NOT IMPRESSED (1)

avandesande (143899) | about 5 years ago | (#27229947)

These are kids that have learned that MBAs aren't in demand any more since the financial collapse and are going into computers because it is the only decent paying job left that doesn't require an advanced degree.

It's like 1999 all over again.

Unemployment? (0, Flamebait)

minion (162631) | about 5 years ago | (#27230145)

The demand for tech jobs may rise further thanks to the Obama Administration's stimulus package, which could create nearly 1 million new tech jobs."
 
You want to create tech jobs, Mr. Government? Send back the H1B Visas to their home countries, and stop letting more in here for big corporations to hire cheaper than Americans.

Do we know the age of these "freshmen" (1)

east coast (590680) | about 5 years ago | (#27230275)

No, I didn't RTFA.

I'm thinking that a great number of these may well be current IT people who never had a degree who, seeing the ax starting to fall, are trying to finally hustle to get some validation for their position or at least secure more power in their search for a new position. I would think that when people start to worry about their job they look for a way to make themselves more marketable. I wonder if there is a way to see if the numbers of 'students' trying to pass entry and mid level certs is going up too? I wouldn't be surprised to see this happening.
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