Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

US College Students Still Aren't All That Interested In Computer Science

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the you-fail-it dept.

Education 306

itwbennett (1594911) writes "Despite the hot job market and competitive salaries, the share of Computer Science degrees as a percentage of BA degrees has remained essentially unchanged since 1981, according to data from the National Center for Educational Statistics' Digest of Educational Statistics. If history is any indication, it will take a cultural phenomenon to shift the percentage higher: Blogger Phil Johnson point out that there were 'two distinct peaks, one in 1985 (4.4% of U.S. college degrees) and one in 2002 (4.42%). These would represent big increases for the classes entering school in 1981 and 1998 respectively. The former year corresponds to the beginning of computers coming into the home and the release of things like MS-DOS 1.0, all of which may have increased interest in programming. The latter year was during the dot com bubble, which, no doubt, also boosted interest.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Computer Science is not IT and at times not code (5, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 5 months ago | (#47005671)

Computer Science is not IT and at some time / schools not even coding, web site work and more.

Re:Computer Science is not IT and at times not cod (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005711)

What?

Re:Computer Science is not IT and at times not cod (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005773)

If you want to be a coder, you don't study computer science. You study medical coding and billing. It's all coding, and wait there's more, there's billing.

Re:Computer Science is not IT and at times not cod (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005931)

Computer Science is not IT and at some time / schools not even coding, web site work and more.

Upon reading this comment, I suddenly understood why my university required me to take all those painful semesters of writing courses.

Re:Computer Science is not IT and at times not cod (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005943)

Yes computer science is not website building.

Re:Computer Science is not IT and at times not cod (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 months ago | (#47005977)

This is very similar to what I was going to say.

Computer Science and Programming Job are often related, but also often not. And Computer Science and IT often don't even very much resemble one another. And I've done all 3.

Re:Computer Science is not IT and at times not cod (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about 5 months ago | (#47006153)

All I've got to say is I hope they aren't interested in either. Less competition, less supply, equilibrium settles on me with more pay :).

Re:Computer Science is not IT and at times not cod (4, Interesting)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 5 months ago | (#47006197)

Try telling that to HR departments around the world. All too often I've seen jobs posted looking for LAN technicians saying they want you to have a Computer Science or related degree; a few of them pass on my resume when they see my degree is in Network Systems Administration (I'm not entirely sure if a person is doing it, because in these cases I get an email saying I don't meet the minimum requirement even though I meet ALL of their requirements listed, including their bonus/preferred requirements, just I don't have a CS degree, nor am I interested in getting one.)

Re:Computer Science is not IT and at times not cod (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 5 months ago | (#47006385)

Try telling that to HR departments around the world. All too often I've seen jobs posted looking for LAN technicians saying they want you to have a Computer Science or related degree; a few of them pass on my resume when they see my degree is in Network Systems Administration (I'm not entirely sure if a person is doing it, because in these cases I get an email saying I don't meet the minimum requirement even though I meet ALL of their requirements listed, including their bonus/preferred requirements, just I don't have a CS degree, nor am I interested in getting one.)

All the more jobs for the rest of us who realize that having a CS degree opens doors...

Personally, I'll never understand this attitude. Why would you not want to get a degree if it will open doors? It doesn't have to be expensive (most companies just check for the degree and the school rarely matters), you can do it online, and, if you investigate it, your employer may even pay for it.

Re:Computer Science is not IT and at times not cod (1)

Jstlook (1193309) | about 5 months ago | (#47006519)

Reading comprehension please. He says he *has* a degree; this degree is in Network Systems Administration. Last I checked, this degree is *related* to Computers, right? The issue that employers have is that the title of the degree is not "Computer Science", despite it being a computer science degree. This is an issue of reading comprehension, and the lack thereof in the HR department.

Re:Computer Science is not IT and at times not cod (0)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 5 months ago | (#47006269)

Computer Science is not IT and at some time / schools not even coding, web site work and more.

My Computer Science class:
We didn't do much, the instructor had been there for 35 years and had it down; sitting in his office all day. We would go to class in hopes he might take that day to give a lecture. I had an appointment elsewhere and missed the one lecture in two weeks.

We were meant to teach ourselves, doing the current big things networking, and building web pages. Networking was well used playing Doom.

Oh ya, many were just flat screwed, one friend of mine graduated after that class, then called me to ask how to install a video card, I really mad at that point, and made some uneventful calls.

When it was over my saving grace was I knew enough to know I was good, as were two others. One other mentioned he was taking Computer Science and Dell hired him out of class.

One of my jobs in that class was to grab all of the old IBM 5150 PC computers, doing so I found the class used to teach programing chips, that would been very nice to train in. Had to of been taught in Assembly Language to even start. The IBM 5150 PC were given out to whoever wanted them, I got two.

This happened at Columbia Basin College http://www.columbiabasin.edu/a... [columbiabasin.edu]

Hot job market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005691)

More like fake job market.

Re:Hot job market? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006105)

More like fake job market.

No it is great if your from India and can qualify for a h1b1 visa then the market is full of opportunity. If you are causasian, east asian, or jewish, the big three racial subculture groups in the US most interested compsci than your going to be told "you don't fit their corporate culture" translated from HR bullshit speak "you won't work 80 hours a week for minimum wages and shit benifits".
----posting ac to avoid overly politically correct mods.----

Fantastic news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005693)

More jobs for me!

I have tried (5, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#47005695)

I have tried to teach a handful of people how to program. Generally it either takes or it doesn't. Some people would lose their minds at how hard it can be to get some new library to compile and I think they could see that coming. The whole concept that a single wrong letter could mean the difference between success and 200 error messages just made them ask, "You do this all day?"

I don't think that it is that these people can't learn but it is simply something that is completely not part of their brain's make-up. Many people like things like writing reports where you are making a generalize persuasive argument which will be backed up with meeting and maybe even some time on a golf course; things that generally drive most programmers insane.

Re:I have tried (4, Insightful)

InsultsByThePound (3603437) | about 5 months ago | (#47005823)

Many people like things like writing reports where you are making a generalize persuasive argument which will be backed up with meeting and maybe even some time on a golf course; things that generally drive most programmers insane.

Most antisocial programmers I have seen are stuck on bullshit jobs after 40 because they can't take shove their OCD aside but at the same time aren't smart enough to realize "No, I'm not a genius like Carmack who can afford to act 100x as OCD as me without repercussion."

Then they steam and stew while less able programmers get promoted, because they can hob nob with a bunch of managers on the back nine without missing a beat.

Re:I have tried (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005949)

So your advice is to suck knob. Go fuck yourself. Fuck you and the jock closet you crawled out of, MBA faggot.

Re:I have tried (1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#47006041)

Just be friendly to non-programmers. That's good enough.

Re:I have tried (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006069)

So your advice is to suck knob. Go fuck yourself. Fuck you and the jock closet you crawled out of, MBA faggot.

Good job on proving his point.

Part, but not the whole (4, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about 5 months ago | (#47006461)

Please don't take this as an argument against you, it's meant to argue against this chronic message that we see every month or so that everyone in the US needs to be a programmer. I agree that it takes a certain mindset to be a programmer, just like it takes a certain mindset to be a Fireman, or Soldier, or Doctor, or Plumber, etc... I'm not a programmer for a living for the same reason I'm not a graphics designer. Doing either of those things for a living requires the ability to remain in abstract thought for long periods of time, very much like an artist.

Honestly though, I don't see the big deal. If everyone in the US was a programmer we'd be naked and starve to death in short order. Our houses would burn down and our country would be invaded and taken over. The Allegory of the Artisan is very fitting here, and as with most things Socrates explains this dilemma very well.

A secondary issue is that the a large portion of the population does not want to work any more than necessary to survive. It's not laziness for most, this is a normal and rational way of thinking. I have food on the table and a roof is over my head, life is good. It's takes exceptions to move beyond that, thankfully we have always had those types of people to spare.

I agree with your points, and am more disagreeing with this latest "everyone needs to be a programmer" message. Society needs all kinds of people thinking all kinds of ways in order to function. I'm just fine with that.

If society really wanted to change things then there would be incentives to do so. Who does society compensate better, a Lawyer or a Lead Developer? Lead Graphic Artist or Politician? Technical writer or Paralegal? I could go on and on with that one all day, so will get to the point. People that are above average tend to try and get the most compensation for their abilities. If being a Lawyer has better compensation than being a Lead Developer, guess where most people will gravitate? Society does not want change, or at least executives in companies don't. If they did, they would be paying programmers with 6 years experience more money than their latest marketing "Rock Start" who just got his MBA. They don't! If you want to make the big bucks you go into the business side of the house, period.

Re:I have tried (3, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#47006509)

Some people would lose their minds at how hard it can be to get some new library to compile and I think they could see that coming.

Alan Kay and John McCarthy would lose their minds had they tried to compile C libraries. Fortunately, they were also very fond of removing accidental complexity from programming. The one of the crappy tool kind for sure, but not only that.

Laziness and self-entitlement (and dumbness) (-1, Troll)

Chas (5144) | about 5 months ago | (#47005727)

All the lazy ones who think they're owed something are waiting for the $15/hr minimum wage to come through so they can work a window job at McDonald's Drive-Thru.

The rest simply don't have the mindset (or intellect) to grasp even the simple stuff.

Laziness and self-entitlement (and dumbness) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005827)

Fuck off you worthless boomer. Back in the '60s, minimum wage buying power WAS equal to $15 today. Now you dickheads think millennials are 'lazy' and 'entitled' for expecting the same thing you experienced?

Re:Laziness and self-entitlement (and dumbness) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006325)

Fuck off you worthless boomer. Back in the '60s, minimum wage buying power WAS equal to $15 today.

Not quite. [wikipedia.org]

"The minimum wage had its highest purchasing value ever in 1968, when it was $1.60 per hour ($10.79 in 2014 dollars[94])."

Re:Laziness and self-entitlement (and dumbness) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005833)

Have you ever even tried to get a McDonald's job? "Sorry, I'm the manager and you failed the application, go away."

The application includes such questions as "Do you enjoy lying to customers?" The correct answer is "YES."

If you have an ethical mindset and intellect with which to grasp anything, you're not getting a McJob, ever.

Re:Laziness and self-entitlement (and dumbness) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006413)

You're lying. I just downloaded the application pdf. That question is not present.

Re:Laziness and self-entitlement (and dumbness) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006477)

Stop the presses! The trolls are lying! Holy Fuck! How Could This HAPPEN?

Re:Laziness and self-entitlement (and dumbness) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005859)

All the lazy ones who think they're owed something are waiting for the $15/hr minimum wage to come through so they can work a window job at McDonald's Drive-Thru.

The rest simply don't have the mindset (or intellect) to grasp even the simple stuff.

As harsh as the latter comment may sound, the truth hurts. The statistics would seem to back up my belief after 25 years in IT. You're either cut out for this job, or you aren't. External forces can only affect demand or comprehension so much.

Re:Laziness and self-entitlement (and dumbness) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005933)

What you wrote doesn't seem specific to the topic, just generic Republican talking points. So while you're at it you may as well prescribe lower taxes on the "job creators" and corporations, and cutting regulations.

Why would the smartest students pursue CS when so many CS / IT career fields have artificially low wages due to the glut of H-1B visas that large corporations insist are absolutely necessary? So much for letting the free market work out the supply & demand issues. Government bows to the will of corporations yet again. And that's why many of the brightest students go to Wall Street rather than Silicon Valley.

Not terribly surprising (3, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 5 months ago | (#47005739)

CS degrees aren't the only game in town. Lots of programmers come from C.E., E.E., or Math degrees. I would say the number of programmers, in total, are going up, just that CS degrees are less prestigious or desirable.

Re:Not terribly surprising (4, Insightful)

Thantik (1207112) | about 5 months ago | (#47005817)

Well, given that CS degrees lately consist of having students reimplement all the sorting methods learned since the 1970s, I can certainly understand why CS degrees are less desirable. I know many college kids who took up CS classes, who thought they were going to learn to code, learn awesome things, and it turned out to have much less to do with computers, and much more to do with general math/logic.

Re: Not terribly surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005845)

Computers ARE math and logic.

Re: Not terribly surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005865)

Whut, i thought it was magic and logic.

Re:Not terribly surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005905)

THIS.
You do not learn *computer* science there. If you ignore the core class requirements forcing classes outside your major, CS programs are about 40% math. That is huge. And nobody really imagines or *desires* they must put up with theoretical math when they are highschool Math wizzes (pre-academia).

So learning abstract calculus for 3 semesters, linear algebra, analysis / topology is not going to give you coding ability. The shock is that all of that is coming out of left field and has little day-to-day benefit in coding. Citing those courses will not in any way even sweeten your talks with HR folks if lack formal education (I presume, given I did take the degree after all --HR wants the degree paper even if it is a black box to them). To HR, CS is nowhere near those impractical subjects, but they should know better.

Re:Not terribly surprising (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 5 months ago | (#47005997)

So learning abstract calculus for 3 semesters, linear algebra, analysis / topology is not going to give you coding ability.

I don't normally respond to ACs, but you have it so wrong, I couldn't resist.

Linear algebra quite possibly counts as the single most useful pure-math course I took as part of my CS degree - With statistics as a close second. And of course, I don't even mention boolean algebra because it counts as just too obvious (protip: fully parenthesize everything, because no, that line doesn't do what you meant, and I have to fix it after they can your ass).

No, HR doesn't understand that. HR doesn't understand a single goddamned word on your resume, so don't bother - Just make sure your cover letter mentions every buzzword in the job listing, and HR will pass you along to the actual hiring manager.

And he will appreciate the difference between someone who did a static webpage as their capstone project vs someone who can chat about the meaning of the various ways to measure the average of a set of values (free hint: mean/median/mode ain't even a weak start to that conversation).

Math isn't CS. But CS is math.

Re:Not terribly surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006023)

You care. Hiring managers with the actual ability to pay money don't.

Re:Not terribly surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006373)

Have to agree with you that the math is incredibly useful. I was a BME undergrad, and now I do data analysis work all day everyday for a living. Linear and boolean algebra is used on a daily basis. Multivariable calculus is also used, but in my defense, Mathematica makes it way easier. Knowing signal transormation into k-space via Fourier transforms, though never really used in work, still taught me how to manipulate data in a useful way.

Can't overlook the math part of an engineering education.

Re:Not terribly surprising (1)

mlyle (148697) | about 5 months ago | (#47006419)

> (protip: fully parenthesize everything, because no, that line doesn't do what you meant, and I have to fix it after they can your ass).

Heh. I more often have to deal with the opposite-- people who know the order of operations and use it to write really complicated expressions that are correct but not obvious, and confuse the fuck out of people trying to read the code... that then I have to go break into the actual expressions and describe to people.

Re:Not terribly surprising (2)

stalky14 (574130) | about 5 months ago | (#47006213)

I'd upvote you if I could. Calculus (and to a lesser extent, C) was what got me booted out of CS. I was dumbfounded at the time because I was a programming and electronics fiend my whole teenagerhood and figured I could take on the major, no-sweat. After failing Calc-2 no less than 5 times, I should have gotten the hint. Fortunately, I had a friend who was a major in Computer Engineering Technology -- basically embedded controls design and programming. Hardware design and programming the hardware in (mostly) assembly. And best of all, NO full-on Calc! There was a special sequence of applied math courses specifically for majors in the *ET family. I did well there. If only I had swallowed my pride earlier and admitted that there were things I just sucked at.

I learned later in life that my affinity for programming came from an aptitude for the synthesis of logic and _language_, not symbolism or numbers. My brain's just wired for one set of abstractions and not another. So be it.

Computer technology is a commonplace enough realm now for there to be a whole array of majors catering to all aptitudes and interests. Using generic CS as a metric has lost its accuracy. In fact, I think it's a major best reserved for purists who will eventually seek a more specific graduate degree or those who are knowingly undecided and will change to something more specific midway.

Re:Not terribly surprising (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 5 months ago | (#47005963)

CS has always been about math and logic.

Re:Not terribly surprising (3, Insightful)

DutchUncle (826473) | about 5 months ago | (#47005971)

That's part of the problem. Architecture is not piling bricks and nailing boards, it's physics and math. Automotive engineering isn't driving cool cars, it's *designing* cool cars. And most of the crap software around is precisely because people slapped some code together without design and engineering and planning and logic.

Re:Not terribly surprising (4, Interesting)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 5 months ago | (#47006117)

And I find that a lack of understanding of mathematics and logic (this is college level mathematics for CS we're talking about, so rather basic in the grand scheme of things) quite heavily correlates with an inability to structure code in a logical and mathematically sound way. Funny how that works, right?

It's not that CS is less desirable and especially not less prestigious, it's that we had grossly inflated head counts in CS for a long time because degrees like software engineering didn't exist. Now that they do, the people who want to program and engineer code can go there, and they'll find that what they do is much more in line with what they expected to be doing. CS is reserved for a much more theoretical perspective, and I don't see that as making it the lesser discipline, quite the contrary in fact. It does however mean that a CS degree won't automatically net you a job at a big software company, since the skills learned in CS are at best parallel to what they require.

A good CS student will however be able to adapt quite easily and can even outperform a comparable SE student because of their better theoretical knowledge.

Re:Not terribly surprising (1)

CDPS (1106089) | about 5 months ago | (#47006165)

By "learn to code, learn awsome things" I presume you mean they thought they were going to be building commercial-level games after a single programming course. Yeah, I have known a number of such kids too. Had no clue about the amount of knowledge and effort building any significant software system takes. Thought that playing computer games is almost the same as building them. Gave up as soon as they found programming required some work and thinking.

Re:Not terribly surprising (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 5 months ago | (#47006177)

Well, that is why it is called Computer Science. If they want to learn to code, they should go to a vocation institute. If they want to be a well rounded, well educated person that understands the theory of how algorithms and computation work, then they should get a Computer Science degree, if they want to learn how computers function, they should get a Computer Engineering degree. If they want to manage computer people, they should get a MIS degree.
Two steps to getting the right people in the right jobs is: 1) Students understanding what the degrees mean and 2) HR understanding what the degrees mean.

Re:Not terribly surprising (2)

m00sh (2538182) | about 5 months ago | (#47006499)

CS degrees aren't the only game in town. Lots of programmers come from C.E., E.E., or Math degrees. I would say the number of programmers, in total, are going up, just that CS degrees are less prestigious or desirable.

I think getting a CS degree to become programmer is overkill. It is like getting a Mechnical Engineering degree to be a mechanic.

Anyway computer science degrees as it is right now is disappointing. There simply isn't four years worth of material to be learned. There is a lot of fluff that is half outdated and half not used anymore. There are courses on compiler design, OS design, computer graphics that is difficult it is more of using tools rather than learning some CS fundamental. Since a lot of programmers want to get the CS degree, most departments water down the degree and it is the middle of being a science degree and a technical degree. I would think that automata theory, information theory, machine learning would be essential CS but they are mostly relegated to graduate courses.

One option that our local university does is to make computer science and electrical engineering into one single degree. There are lots of jobs out there that aren't pure software development but need to work closely with hardware.

The other option is to let students get a minor in computer programming so they can study engineering, math, psychology, biology etc and still get lots of programming experience. Someone with a minor in computer programming or maybe a two year degree in computer programming should be looked as viable for working as a programmer.

doesn't seem super informational (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | about 5 months ago | (#47005757)

Is a CIT degree counted in the numbers? The list of degrees by subject seems to be Computer Science and Technology...

BA Degrees? (3, Informative)

Jmstuckman (561420) | about 5 months ago | (#47005763)

I would expect Computer Science degrees as a percentage of BA degrees to be low, as almost all Computer Science degrees are of the BS (or Bachelors of Science, if you will) variety.

The original article doesn't even have "BA" anywhere in it, though, so I have no idea where the submitter got that detail.

Re:BA Degrees? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#47006261)

They used to be B.A. degrees when I was in school, but I took Computer Engineering instead which was a B.S. degree. Later they combined it, still two degrees but you chose whether to get B.A. or B.S. (with many more math/science requirements and electives for B.S. of course).

Re:BA Degrees? (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about 5 months ago | (#47006271)

The point they were making was CS degrees vs other degrees like BA's (philosophy, art, fashion design, communications, history, english literature, music, etc).

It's all about the bits... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005775)

Wooohooo let it ride!!!!!!!!!!! Either you get it or you don't. Move on.

Follow the money (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47005787)

Let's be honest here, CS is not the easiest kind of degree you can get. And you also need to understand the crap you learn, sponge learning (soak up the crap, squeeze it out for the test, rinse with alcohol afterwards to get rid of the residue) doesn't cut it, this ain't law or business administration.

And since it ain't law or BA, it's also not the prestige and/or money that could possibly make it attractive. What's left is these people who study it because they WANT to. It's not where you go when you don't know what to study but your parents want you to go to the university, and neither is it what you study when money is your only reason why you want a degree. CS is what you study when you want to study CS.

And the number of people who're interested in computers, who have the mindset AND who have the required brains to make it doesn't change. Why should it?

Re:Follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006375)

Business admin degrees have a lot of formula based work in them in economics, finance, accounting, even logistics work (where you do shortest part and other things applied in CS) as well as comp. sci. courses (yes you take a programming languages sequence too). They're not as hard as CS but they aren't some 'legal mouthpiece remember a story for court case precedent and apply to test answers' law 'degree' either. You even take Business Law I/II for contract law and other areas related to business as well so I know what their 'courseload' is. Reading and creative application of those ideas to court cases. No real math or algorithm work whatsoever. Now you have a clearer picture.

4 years of college to sell bugwear on commission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005795)

we are thick? using POT (Personal Open Terminal) the real time line is open 24/7 we cannot help but learn some things about our original equipment spirit of honor & compassion? what year was that? http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cs+degree+scams

Computer Science is the Humanities of Engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005801)

Fascinating theories, ultimately useless.

Re:Computer Science is the Humanities of Engineeri (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 5 months ago | (#47006263)

Fascinating theories, ultimately useless.

what are you typing on? a computer, running a OS, running a browser, delivered to you by multiple routers and servers all running various servers(http. dns, dhcp), guess who wrote them, the protocols they use, and the maintain the infrastructure. That is all computer science.

Self preservation. (0)

drainbramage (588291) | about 5 months ago | (#47005805)

And I thought this generation was dumb.
Nope.
All they need to do is look at how the current generation (the subset in IT) is being treated.
Come on, it's hard enough getting these kids to get up before noon let alone answer a pager at 01:00.

Where do you live? (4, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 5 months ago | (#47005847)

my kid works like a dog. Christ, she works harder than I do. And her classmates are working even harder. 4 to 6 hours of homework a night isn't unheard of. It's fsckin' nuts.

But you're right about them not being dumb. Just about everyone in IT except a few rock stars at google is here on an H1-B. Why in God's good name would anyone go into computer science?

Re:Where do you live? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005973)

Because "Medieval Literature" doesn't pay squat, and your parents don't want to fund another four years of you eating pizza and porking your students while you "tutor" them.

Meh, it's not that bad (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 5 months ago | (#47006103)

Could be worse [brazencareerist.com] . And at least it's a little harder to offshore since there are cultural differences.

Re:Where do you live? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006157)

I get paid more than god to work from home. I love my job. Almost $1,000/day for a stress free job, how can anyone beat that?

Re:Where do you live? (2)

Kagato (116051) | about 5 months ago | (#47006201)

If you have the programming chops you won't have a problem getting a job. Most of us are making enough money to put ourselves in the top 3% in terms of wages and benefits. The dumbest thing so-called globalization experts did was convince students that going into programming was worth while. Fact is we have such a deficit in programming that the H1-B shops now charge $100/hr for a developer (don't worry, the Indian guy working the gig only gets a pittance) because that's what supply and demand warrants. That's a high enough rate that a college graduate is fairly compelling.

The problem is large companies have largely abandoned their college recruiting programs in the 2000s. I haven't worked in a shop that has had a programming intern in at least 8 years. The pipeline for programming talent has shifted to small and mid sized companies. The biggest issue is they lack the resources and will to invest in college hires.

So to answer the question, getting into computer programming, dev ops, database administration are skills that pay very very well. I actually make most of my money off shops that got burned with offshore and H1B and want experienced developers. When they complain about cost I tell them to start up a college recruiting program.

Re: Where do you live? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006319)

I'm not sure where you've been working, but plenty of companies (of all sizes) are hiring interns/recent grads.

Around here (Stanford/Silicon Valley), I have never talked with a company who wasn't willing to have an intern -- even if the job didn't already exist.

Re:Where do you live? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006265)

That's IT though which is not the same as CS. And no one in IT is a rock star.

Some of the reasons I think.. (2)

Redbehrend (3654433) | about 5 months ago | (#47005815)

When I went to college I changed from Computer Science to Business. I feel there are a couple reasons of this and why it hasn't changed... First off it takes a certain person to program, as stated above some people will take it in like a sponge and some people will just never get it right. (I had that part down)
Secondly the poor funding and options in this area for colleges, I think sports teams get more funding than Computer Science. (That's how it was at my school.) I learned more off the interweb than I ever did from the classes.
Third Computer Science was very restricted on what schools, jobs, internships that I could get. It was so restrictive that I and others changed to business, math, etc... which opened up our opportunities tenfold.

In my experience I had more opportunities going ANY other path other than CS. If it happened with me than I am sure it happened to 1,000 of other college kids.

What do you want to be when you grow up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005839)

America, the land of follow your dreams of working in a technical field! Otherwise, sucks to be you, cause we don't value anything else!

I don't blame them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005841)

If I knew what my life would be like doing software dev year after year, I wouldn't want to make this choice either.

Give me a job that involves normal, nice people - sunshine, and physical activity any day.

Re:I don't blame them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005883)

Give me a job that involves normal, nice people - sunshine, and physical activity any day.

So you want to be an expensive prostitute.

Re:I don't blame them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005907)

I always thought that would be a great job. I just don't have the second X chromosome for it...
Socially awkward nerd for me.

Re:I don't blame them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005967)

Prostitution is a woman's job? Well aren't you a sexist asshole.

Re:I don't blame them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006061)

No, I just believe that it would be easier to be an "expensive prostitute" if there were more clients. And more clients happen to be men.

Re:I don't blame them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006075)

Give me a job that involves normal, nice people - sunshine, and physical activity any day.

So you want to be an expensive prostitute.

If I had been born female, yes, yes an expensive prostitute with an exclusive clientele.

Most software dev jobs do not need CompSci (3, Informative)

Rinikusu (28164) | about 5 months ago | (#47005885)

And with the ever present threat of off-shoring (to hire non-computer science degree holding Indians), why saddle yourself with mountains of debt just to get a degree that's basically worthless for the "real world," and getting in on the bubble2.0 money? I don't mean this to say that Computer Science is worthless, but that for the vast majority of monkey work out there, it can and is being done by folks who wouldn't know a design pattern from their bosses' assholes. This is mainly because the smart guys doing the real CompSci are building the tools that make it possible for that fucking idiot in the next office over to look like a real fucking genius because he could modify a report someone else wrote to change the text a different color.

Yes yes, devs could potentially benefit from a real CompSci education. Sadly, most universities don't even teach that anymore; they've become vocational schools for the java/.net sweatshops out there. So, if you're going to be an easily replaceable cog, might as well go ahead and get in the workforce and get paid before the bubble bursts again.

Re:Most software dev jobs do not need CompSci (1)

pla (258480) | about 5 months ago | (#47006037)

why saddle yourself with mountains of debt just to get a degree that's basically worthless for the "real world,"

Mountains of debt? Worthless?

I went to a state school (admittedly one with a good rep for engineering), finished with a few $K in student loans that I paid off in my first year after graduating. I made double what my highschool and college friends did just in my internship. I had a job offer the day I graduated, as well as a non-stop stream of recruiter calls.

And today as a seasoned professional, I make 3x the median educated professional income in my area.

If you want to call that worthless - Hey, sorry you couldn't make it, but thanks for contributing to the dropouts that keep me well paid! ;)

1981 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47005911)

Has more to do with Pac Man being released in Oct 1980 and the start of the Golden Age of Video Games.

Re:1981 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006019)

Has more to do with Pac Man being released in Oct 1980 and the start of the Golden Age of Video Games.

Sometimes correlation is causation. When a top-of-the-line 8-bit microprocessor-based embedded system with dedicated graphics hardware cost about $5000, it became possible to make those games, and that same phenomenon is what made it possible for a consumer-oriented 8-bit microprocessor based system and a floppy disk for storage to break the $1000 price point, which is what drove tens of millions of kids into programming, and millions into CS.

Re:1981 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006095)

Yep. There's no money to be made in computers. Not anymore.

Why learn CS only to train your H1B replacement? (4, Interesting)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 5 months ago | (#47006021)

There is just no way to compete with 3rd world wages. If a job can't be offshored, it will be filled by a visa worker - unless the job requires a top secret clearance.

I am doing contract work for IBM. There are barely any Americans left. And IBM is doing everything they can to eliminate what few US jobs still exist.

I am amazed any Americans want to study CS.

Re:Why learn CS only to train your H1B replacement (1)

Kagato (116051) | about 5 months ago | (#47006209)

H1B consultants are now reaching the $100+/hr rate for developers. Supply and demand at work as the result of companies not investing in college hires. The pendulum is shifting that hiring from college is actually economical again.

I make a crap ton of money off shops that got burned with H1B and offshore and need experts to fix the systems.

Re:Why learn CS only to train your H1B replacement (0)

Kenja (541830) | about 5 months ago | (#47006259)

Let me check... nope, I seem to still have a job, so you're not quite correct.

Re:Why learn CS only to train your H1B replacement (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#47006283)

Because technically, the visa workers are supposed to be paid the same as citizens. Ok, I'll wait until people stop laughing... The other thing is that when employers try to find the cheapest employees they end up with bad employees. Offshored programmers or engineers are the worst of the worst, often because you go through a broker or large IT house so that you have no opportunity to interview the actual workers, and the foreign companies have zero incentive to provide quality (especially since American companies are stupid enough to keep paying no matter how poor the quality of the work).

You can stand out if you're better than average, only that is a hard thing to do as a fresh graduate in anything. You can also find companies that are not as dysfunctional as IBM (which was never a highly desirable employer even 25 years ago).

I call BS on the summary, and the article! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006043)

First: the statistic that is presented in the summary, "the share of Computer Science degrees as a percentage of BA degrees" is NOT what is presented in the article, which is the percentage of CS degrees of ALL US College degrees.

Second: I was working in a University doing CS in 1981. Nobody was going into CS because of the availability of home computers (or MS-DOS 1.0) -- that didn't happen until quite a few years later.

Why should any American kid bother? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006087)

All the big computer-related firms in the US (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, etc) are working VERY hard to end the limits on importing high-tech workers from abroad and several of them are currently involved in a court battle that includes the tactics they were using to suppress the wages and benefits of all the computer-related workers in the US (As the "big guys" in the industry, THEY set the "industry standards" for wages and benefits, so their collusion to rip-off thier own workers actually hurt ALL computer people in the US).

The Democrat party is full-on in support of the "immigration reform" these big businesses want (the Democrats currently control the White House and the Senate) and the so-called "Establishment" Republicans (the party bosses in D.C., many of their wealthy funders, the "money is EVERYTHING" people from the north-eastern region, and most of the long-time office holders) are also on-board for these "reforms" and are promising/threatening to do them late this year (the Republicans currently control the House) so, without regard to what the American people may or may not want, the "fix" is pretty-much in; sooner or later the wages of high-tech workers are going to plunge further downward. Government clearly DOES NOT WANT AMERICANS DOING HIGH-TECH WORK. This is a fact, no matter what they SAY. Government TAXES and REGULATES the things it wants to reduce. Government SUBSIDIZES and DE-REGULATES (removing limits is a form of de-regulation) the things it wants to increase.

Any young American who wants a career it's impossible to be fired from, with a good salary and benefits, and with an absurdly unrealistic retirement package that will never be reduced, should major in some nebulous "public policy" field and get a job in the federal government regulating all the people who were stupid enough to try to be productive citizens. You don't have to KNOW anything or have any experience doing anything productive to be well-paid stopping other people from being productive... AND you'll be swimming WITH the currents (doing what government wants)

Re:Why should any American kid bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006149)

Isn't restricting immigration just a form of protectionism? I've been told protectionism is a horrible thing.

Re:Why should any American kid bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006309)

Indeed. But why even bother with immigration. Let's export all the computer related jobs overseas. That worked out awesome for manufacturing. Now we have all sorts of cheap quality merchandise rolling in from China...no jobs....but vast amounts of credit.

Re:Why should any American kid bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006179)

Major in CS minor in public policy...prevent the next Edward Snowden...

You mean I'll be dead at 40? (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 5 months ago | (#47006099)

Wow, I can't wait to be dead at 40, right around family having age. Sign me up!

Re:You mean I'll be dead at 40? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006169)

Pretty much. You have no idea how quickly it goes bad after about 35. I don't know anyone my age who is happy, still married or likes their job.

We've created a society that benefits a tiny minority while the rest of us just slog along.

moD dowN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006113)

privat3 5ex party

Useful comparisons would be nice. (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 5 months ago | (#47006123)

Here's the general (paraphrased) statistics from the article:

Percentage of degrees that year being "Computer Science"
1981: 2.2%
1985: 4.4% (noted as a peak)
2002 4.42% (noted as a peak)
2011: 2.76%

Number of graduates in a particular field during 2011:
Computer Science: 47K degrees
included Art & Performance: 96K
Communications and Journalism: 83K
psychology: 101K

The article make no mention of how many different "categories" of degrees there are, so a percentage means absolutely nothing. The article also compares the number of "Computer Science" graduates (a very specialized field) to categories like "Communication and Journalism" which include everything from newspaper reporters and tv anchors to video streaming technicians and cameramen.

These statistics actually look pretty good when you consider how many bullshit degrees are awarded in the "Art and Performance" department. Maybe we should start pushing out graduates in flash animation to try and bolster our numbers so these reporters will be impressed.

computer science degree is useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006141)

why take a computer science degree when you can just take some math classes that would apply not only to CS but other fields as well?

If you need to major your degree in CS to learn it, then it isn't for you. A computer science degree is crap, its been proven... using science.

Just ask JohnC who dropped out of getting a CS degree because it wasn't teaching him anything.

Re:computer science degree is useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006341)

This.

Undergrad CS is easy enough to be picked up on your own while studying anything else.

Is that a bad thing? (3, Informative)

Brulath (2765381) | about 5 months ago | (#47006211)

Why is it a problem that the percentage of computer science graduates, as a fraction of all graduates, isn't increasing? The number of students is increasing, so there are more graduates now than previously, but it's a problem because the proportion of those graduates completing computer science isn't higher? There are more degrees now than there were 30 years ago, that it hasn't decreased could be evidence of growth.

<capitalism>We should all panic if <our field> doesn't reach <arbitrary metric> within <arbitrary time period></capitalism>

Today's grad you would have to teach (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006231)

How to use DOS. Seat one at a OS 390 console and they would really be befuddled.

So what? (2)

GrahamCox (741991) | about 5 months ago | (#47006253)

So people aren't flocking to become programmers?Good. It's not like the current rate has held technology back in any way - there are plenty of programmers - certainly enough to keep up with the rate that technology itself demands. More programmers wouldn't increase that, it would only make salaries lower. And that's probably why there seems to be a push from industry to get more people interested: more programmers = cheaper wages.

You could get a 4 yr. degree in 2 almost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006279)

If you weren't forced to waste money on liberal arts, english, even sciences (possibly math too in a mis or databasing focused concentration). Grad school and masters during the last 2 bachelors degree years too, easily. If you're going for CS then why the hell would you need things you already qualified for on your entrance exams? To steal your money imo.

When I went to college I changed from Com (1)

Lan Anh Nguyen (3652669) | about 5 months ago | (#47006285)

When I went to college I changed from Computer Science to Business. I feel there are a couple reasons of this and why it hasn't changed... First off it takes a certain person to program, as stated above some people will take it in like a sponge and some people will just never get it right. (I had that part down) Secondly the poor funding and options in this area for colleges, I think sports teams get more funding than Computer Science. (That's how it was at my school.) I learned more off the interweb than I ever did from the classes.

Computer related is glutted it's Medical field now (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 5 months ago | (#47006307)

The words floating around /. and elsewhere there's going to be/is a glut of these with Computer Related degrees. If they listen to all these helpful hints, most should be looking at the Medical career, (where I started); as it's going to be big.

The way the hospitals are growing here (Three cities, three Hospitals) I tend to agree, never saw those with medical background buy land like they are now.

Also with or without obamacare there is no more single physician clinics anymore, they've had to be brought into the fold by the Hospital support clinics, just to survive.

Yep, getting ready for us baby boomer's :}

Because if they were smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006331)

They would much rather be challenged by their major and study Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, or even Physics. CS is where you go when you fail out of real STEM areas but are too stubborn to just head to business school.

To attract more people to CS, they should tell the average business major the truth that CS is just as trivial but with a much better job outlook.

Re:Because if they were smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006525)

If you're so fucking smart prove P != NP. Or just kill yourself.

Star Wars, Hackers, and high school freshman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47006381)

These years would also roughly correspond to high school freshman who watched Star Wars (1977) and Hackers (1995) in theaters.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?