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The Continuing American Decline in CS

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the computer-science-not-counter-strike dept.

Education 727

abb_road writes "America's recent dismal showing in the ACM Programming finals may be more than just a bad year; a BusinessWeek article suggests that the loss is indicative of the US's continuing decline in producing computer scientists. Despite the Labor Dept's forecast of a 40% increase in 'computer/math scientist' jobs, planned CS enrollments have plummeted from 3.7% in 2000 to just 1.1% last year. Other countries, particularly China, India and Eastern Europe, are working hard to pick up the slack, with potentially serious long-term effects for the US economy. From the article: 'If our talent base weakens, our lead in technology, business, and economics will fade faster than any of us can imagine.'"

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Good (4, Funny)

jaypifer (64463) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196234)

More demand for me! I'm raising my rates!

Re:Good (1)

dknj (441802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196253)

i'm getting offers for $90/hr, so its almost back to the pre-dotcom days! :D

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196257)

More demand for me! I'm raising my rates!

This is your boss, I demand that you lower your rates or I'll hire less-expensive overseas developers.

Re:Good (2, Funny)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196413)

This is your boss, I demand that you lower your rates or I'll hire less-expensive overseas developers.

I am an overseas developer you insensitive clod.

Re:Good -- or not (3, Insightful)

artgeeq (969931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196318)

As a long-time computer professional and contractor, when I went to grad school to get a masters in computer science, the tax law gave me no break whatsoever. I cannot deduct my tuition as a business expense. On the other hand, if I took some vendor-specific courses from Cisco or Microsoft, I could take a business deduction. How messed up is that?

It also seems that there are not very many Americans in my CS courses either, but there are many students from China and India. Does anyone have any comments on the fact that China and India sponsor education in their countries, whereas we in the US barely support it?

Re:Good -- or not (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196443)

'cause here, schools figured out that they can make a VERY GOOD living from milking students---and almost literally making them work for them a few years of their lives.

Education isn't supposed to be amount $$$, but often times, it seems that's the -only- thing it's about. Schools want tuition dollars... students just want the damn diploma (worthless paper in itself)...and that's how you end up with lots of seemingly educated folks who cannot do anything... yet still have to work for 5 years to pay off their diploma.

Note that the countries mentioned as `progressive' have relatively cheap education that's mostly based on merrit and not on financial standing... Also places where a `diploma' itself has very little meaning.

Re:Good (4, Funny)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196396)

Maybe us old fuckkers (30+) will have a chance.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196414)

More demand for me! I'm raising my rates!
Haven't you been following the illegal immigration issue? The fact is, market forces yeild to firm preconceptions about what different jobs are inherently worth. If the going rate for a job is more than The Man thinks he should have to pay, then he simply changes the rules, either by promoting outsourcing or allowing illegal immigration to drive down the cost to fill a job.

If a CEO makes $147,000 per day, well that's market forces. If technical people start to break into 6 figures annually, well that's a threat to our global competitiveness which must be remedied.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196492)

I don't want to argue about whether the perception is true or not, but rather how the preception affects the issue. From what I have heard (anecdotal eveidence, but we all have it) many people in th US are shunning CS because the perception is that you won't be able to get a job. As I said, I am not arguing reality, just perception. A lot of people assume that you will maybe get a job for a couple years before you have to train your replacement in a third world country who will make $2 an hour.
I would solve this by making companies show that there are NO Americans at all who can do the job before getting an H1B. Also, I would love to see companies that are shipping jobs away boycotted.

My rates have already risen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196518)

My rates are back to where they were in 2000, before the dot-com bust. Not the insane levels of 2000/2001; but the more normal levels. Hopefully we'll not see the insane levels again for some time.

What is there to say... (5, Funny)

shredthrashgrind (960700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196247)

Counterstrike is old.

please, please shut up (1)

hildi (868839) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196260)

we heard this all before in 2000. drastic shortage! everyone get a CS degree!

its a pathetic, and this time 'rah rah america' xenophobic attempt for industry to get cheap labor.

An American in CS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196262)

What is America coming to when we can't even win @ Counter Strike?!

For shame, for shame...

Blame it on the .com bust and hype (4, Insightful)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196263)

I graduated in 2000 when life was sweet for Computer Science majors. When the bubble burst, there was a false impression that computer related fields were doomed. I always found that amusing because our whole society is based on technology and will always need people to run it. Media reports and articles on websites like this didn't help either. They gave the impression that Computer Science wasgoing the way of the dinosaur when it truly was healthy.

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Re:Blame it on the .com bust and hype (0)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196336)

That begs the question, "Is programming still high-tech?" I would say no.

Re:Blame it on the .com bust and hype (1)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196431)

Not all programming is high-tech, but there are many industries where the level of required coding and design is quite sophisticated. Now I agree that many programming jobs are akin to factory work, but there is an enormous demand for talented designers/programmers in industries such as the medical field, military, Google, MS, Oracle, and the list goes on.

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Re:Blame it on the .com bust and hype (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196509)

What does "high tech" mean...?

Programming is the design and implementation of a software system, but the nature of software systems can vary a tremendous amount. Some are basic and don't require a lot of precision, while others might be critical to the successful operation of a single device, an entire group of people, or even an entire company.

It's hard to paint the entire "programming" experience with a single brush.

Re:Blame it on the .com bust and hype (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196349)

I graduated in 2002 just when there were no jobs left :) But I wonder if this drop is due to that fact. IT was hard going there for a bit and maybe this is just the aftermath hopefully it will pick up.

On the other hand maybe it is due to the large amount of tech colleges poping up like ITT and the guaranteed technical training schools. Why get a CS or engineering degree when you can do half the work at a vo-tech :)

Re:Blame it on the .com bust and hype (1)

SeeMyNuts! (955740) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196394)

"I always found that amusing because our whole society is based on technology and will always need people to run it."

This does not require university CS degrees. It requires technical training through technical colleges. At least, that's what companies are willing to pay for, and it's about what management expects.

In hindsight, I do wish I went the community college route. It would have given me more flexibility to re-train, if needed, without the burden of being "overqualified" for some of the decent-paying jobs out there. There actually are downsides to having good degrees from prestigious universities.

Understandable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196268)

Nobody smart in their mind would go for a CS/engineering career path. So, obviously, the smart people are doing other things.

Re:Understandable (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196359)

hmmm [power-of-attorneys.com]

Re:Understandable (1)

Jerim (872022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196423)

Please elaborate on how you arrived to this conclusion.

I am a junior in CS. That means I am not smart, right?

Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (1, Insightful)

silver4 (303609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196271)


In the US, we are motivated by one thing - Money.
If CS Majors made as much as doctors or lawyers, more people would take math and Computer science courses.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (2, Insightful)

ptomblin (1378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196303)

Money, but also the prospect that the job you've trained for will still be around for your whole career. I told my kids not to bother with computer science, because more and more of those jobs are being sent overseas. Sure, right now every outsourcing situation I've ever seen has been a total clusterfuck, but one of these days those $60 a month Asians are going to produce stuff as good as us $60 an hour North Americans, and then we're totally screwed. I just hope I'm dead by the time that happens.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (1)

duckpoopy (585203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196406)

Greed may be one motivation, but laziness is the other. Of the kids who I have seen drop out of CS, most go into something "easier": liberal arts, advertising, MBA. I haven't seen any opt for a professional program which entail smuch more work and takes longer to earn a degree. Also, let's not confuse code monkey jobs which are getting outsourced to CS. You can outsource an implementation, but not the design.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (1)

Mabonus (185893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196514)

Something easier!? Liberal arts?? I've got a B.A. in Computer Science, and after reading the posts on here about how computer science == code monkey and what really gets you ahead is the ability to think and problem solve I feel pretty good about that. There's a guy a few comments back who said that he'd take the British Lit grad who programs as a hobby over a CS grad, and I'll tell you I'm not too far off. Okay, more like Roman studies, but ease up on the liberal arts kiddos, just because it says art doesn't mean its easy.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196464)

I think times have changed. Applications are not going to go out of date so quickly and the need to mothball them will not be there. I think as the industry matures there will be a continuing demand for people to maintain and update existing systems instead of creating new.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (1)

russellh (547685) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196516)

Obviously you should move to Bangalore. You'll make a killing managing all these developers doing outsourced jobs. American companies need you.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196305)

Good god man, have you ever SEEN the pay rates for Defense sector jobs? Rest assured, the opportunity for great pay is there!

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (1)

Thundercleets (942968) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196352)

It's not just that.

It is true that the temptation is there to take some other major there may still be employment opprotunities rather than the struggle that working in IT has become.

For those that love the various kinds of IT the choice is hard because they have to eat too.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (2, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196364)

What do you think motivates those Chinese, Indian, and Eastern European CS students, who, according to the summary "pick up the slack"? Love of humanity? Yes, it is money -- and the hope to be able to earn and spend it in America some day.

You can't really train abroad for a job as a doctor or a lawyer in the US. So a Computer Scientist it is for many people.

Yeah, I'd like to be paid more too, but why does an American deserve a better pay than an Indian or a Filippino?

FGovernment does not directly control the pay in a free market economy. What US can do is try to "spice up" the CS image. Make geeks cool. This is not easy too, because it does not directly control the media either, but ought to be simpler (and less invasive), than the labor market distortion.

That said, I think, the next "big wave" is in bio- and nano-tech. May as well let less developed countries work on office software.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196379)

"If CS Majors made as much as doctors or lawyers, more people would take math and Computer science courses."

And more companies would avoid that increased cost through outsourcing.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196380)

Exactly!

I make $25k per year, and I have 34 years experience in the field including five of it teaching at GA Tech and also cowrite two textbooks used by several top level CS programs. I make more money per hour cutting grass on weekends. In 1989 I made over $200k that year, but all of the good jobs have just disappeared. We recently hired four new college graduates that start in a few weeks, and they're making between $18k and $22k per year. When a local plumber can make $40k year around here their first year, why go to school for 4 years for a (somewhat) difficult degree to make much less money? Or, they can go into an engineering field and pretty much be guaranteed to make at least $40k per year starting which is twice that locally for a CS grad.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196455)

And plumbing, building and wiring are not jobs that can be easily outsourced elsewhere. If I was choosing a career path now I'd be a plumber.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196382)

That's part of the problem. We do make a lot, at least I do with a MS in CS; but 80% of the people I went to undergrad with were morons. They all work at Burger King, etc. When people put articles out about how there are so few people in CS and so much money to be made, the CS programs that are out there get further impacted and it makes it harder to identify and teach the bright students because of the latent dimness in the atmosphere. Negative feedback. All that jazz. My school (a UC) had to start an IT program to move most of the dips out of Engineering. Maybe people should study CS if they are interested in it (not money) and if they show some promise. Oh, and the best way to make money in any field: throw out the idiots. The field will look more competent and the supply will be higher. (I aced economics too.)

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (1)

Mayhem178 (920970) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196391)

I think that may be a little extreme. Doctors and lawyers play active roles in the ultimate direction of people's lives, and can possibly be the difference between life and death. I can't think of any CS area that has a direct affect on people's lives in this manner. Indirectly, perhaps, with air traffic control software, medical record-keeping (big software market there), and the like. Still, to say we deserve as much money as the people who have to use those devices may be a stretch.

I do agree though that, on the whole, we as computer scientists are often taken for granted and are drasticly underappreciated. There seems to be a new age mentality that people with a CS degree are a dime-a-dozen. This simply isn't true. But, so long as we're the ones working in the background, the harsh truth of the matter is that the people that use our creations are the heroes.

Do the vast majority of people working in a CS-related field deserve a raise? Absolutely. But let's not get greedy. Look at what happened to baseball. It used to be American's pastime. Why do you think it's lost so much publicity? Because all the players do now is whine and complain about how much more money they deserve.

Promise of a larger payroll might not be the best way to spark interest in CS-related fields. Education and exposure to those fields are what children need to incite interest in pursuing a CS degree. I simply don't think throwing money at this problem will solve it.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (3, Insightful)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196403)

Doctors? Lawyers? Try business majors. Someone smart enough to major in CS and willing to do the work might as well just get an MBA, and start out making 30-50 percent more than they would with the technical degree.

Add to that the fact that a CS degree does NOT imply a career in development, and development isn't what it used to be, and you have a bunch of people thinking hard about something completely different.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196487)

I agree. I was a CS major, 90% drop out rate but I made it through, has some really rough nights, weeks, and months to do it. However I do not do dev. I am infrastructure support. But have been told on many occations by people without a technical degree (who are my bosses by the way) that it is your attitude that gets you somewhere. On that note I have been looking to an MBA because the hard reality is hitting. People dont care about your expertese "house" is not the real world, all that matters is a pretty smile and biding your time. Who needs professionalism anyway?

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196404)

Unlike Doctors and professional engineers, CS professionals aren't required to be licensed, nor are they held liable for their blunders and screwups. Maybe CS people will be paid more when they are.

Re:Its Simple - Pay CS Majors More (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196491)

In the US, we are motivated by one thing - Money. If CS Majors made as much as doctors or lawyers, more people would take math and Computer science courses.

I don't know about that, the impression I get from a lot of people I know who majored in computer science is that they were doing it because they were interested in the field. In fact, I think it's more likely the overseas computer science students are overall more in it for the money, as in a lot of places it's the only way for a reasonably intelligent person to get ahead.

If CS Majors made as much as doctors or lawyers, more people would take math and Computer science courses.

They get comparative amounts of money for the amount of education they have.

From the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, starting offers for graduates with a doctoral degree in computer science averaged $93,050 in 2005. Starting offers averaged $50,820 for graduates with a bachelor's degree in computer science; $46,189 for those with a degree in computer systems analysis; $44,417 for those with a degree in management information systems; and $44,775 for those with a degree in information sciences and systems.


Compare that with a median salary of $55,000 for newly graduated JDs.

You wanna know why? (2, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196274)

Because the field is undefined. What is a computer scientist? What do they do after they graduate?

I earn my paycheck doing network admin, in all that encompasses. I went to college for a year and half before I realized that the education I was getting wasn't going to prepare me for my chosen profession.

The schools get CS majors ready to be programmers ( bad ones at that ). That's it. There is a huge gap between what the schools teach and what businesses need from their computer personel.

I'm more valuable now than I would have been had I stuck around and graduated.

Re:You wanna know why? (1)

CaptCovert (868609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196344)

That's what technical colleges (polytechnics) are for. They teach with a hands-on curriculum that puts you in real-life situations for you to learn from. The difference is sometimes as simple as the name of the degree: Computer Science (university), vs. Computer Networking Systems (tech college).

Re:You wanna know why? (1)

nb caffeine (448698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196445)

I was going to mod you up, instead I'll reply. I don't want to repeat all the sayings and tired arguments ("computer science is about computers as much as..."). In the end, computer science does not drop you right out of college with the ability to "this or that". You end up with the ability to learn how to do "this or that". Getting a degree in CS does not instantly make you a good admin. However, you should know enough about the theroy behind networks, etc to apply yourself and knowledge to networks, or AI, or DBA, or whatever. CS is not a degree where there are ready made jobs for you. You have to apply yourself.

I'm a decent sys admin/network guy/programmer for a small company. I learned all that stuff (except programming) in my spare time, applying what I learned in class. I don't really understand the "your degree has computer in the title, so you should be able to fix my broken Dell" attitude towards CS.

Re:You wanna know why? (1)

CaptCovert (868609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196512)

Precisely the point I was trying (and perhaps failing?) to make. What would be interesting to see is a university willing to bridge the gap and create an 'Applied Computer Science' degree or the like... one that teaches the nitty-gritty of Computer Science as opposed to the academia.

Re:You wanna know why? (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196527)

I'm more valuable now than I would have been had I stuck around and graduated.

That might be true, however, in lots of places a degree is something that is worth a higher salary.

We just passed peak oil, Who cares?! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196275)

Your coding abilities are not going to be of much use if you don't have the ability to power your computer system.

More H1B cap lobbying (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196279)

This is just more of the H1B lobbying to raise the cap on IT staff which is wanted to keep the price of IT staff depressed.

If you look in USA, everywhere but the Valley has an oversupply of IT people, my own employer just recruited a load of experienced staff in Portland, many excellent programmers too.

Re:More H1B cap lobbying (1)

mvfranz (258949) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196446)

The North East has a shortage of qualified people too. Many companies in New York are spending months trying to find people that have the basic understanding to be good programmers. Smaller companies have it harder, since they can not afford to pay for the qualified, and can't make the mistakes of hiring idiots. Larger companies can afford to hire a few idiots.

These same companies are having a hard time keeping good people, since the competition across the street will pay more.

The key to all this is 'good' people.

Re:More H1B cap lobbying (2, Informative)

foreboy (879499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196456)

This is misguided. H1Bs arent the problem, and it is specious to suggest that they are. The quota for h1bs at its peak was less that 200,000 per year. This is a tiny drop in the bucket given the size of the IT industry in the US, and so small as to be insignificant with respect to your salary.

In fact, had we *increased* the number of h1b's, we may have limitted the number of jobs being shipped offshore to places like India. In 2000 there was a shortage of good programmers - and a limit on h1bs, so the marketplace found a way. Although there are some exceptions, the vast majority of h1bs here stay here and become permanent residents and often American citizens, either way paying our taxes. A job that moves "offshore" has no such effect.

What causes the decline in enrollment is the hype associated with both of these effects - in large part they are small in comparison to the size of the IT marketplace. And if you are a programmer, be rest assured, good programmers are hard to find no matter what country you look in.

ACM finals aren't correlated with general CS edu. (5, Interesting)

keshto (553762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196280)

I participated in the ACM World finals when I was in college. Take it from me, the contest has exactly zero to do with the general state of CS education in a country. 3 kids are picked from each college. Each World finalist team is almost always very smart and quite capable of winning it. But the winners, of late, have overwhelmingly been Chinese or Russians or East Europeans. What differentiates them from the rest is that they actually prepare very hard for it-- with actuve faculty and school encouragement-- because they think it's a big deal. Most others just show up, expecting to have fun. You see, ACM finals require you to have a lot of practice in certain idiomatic programming problems and an ability to code map any new problem to one of the standards and code it up quickly. So you can be very smart and good at CS, but you might still lose.

ACM contest is fun but that doesn't mean that the winners are the world's best CS people. Nope.

Preperation is preperation (1)

Krolley (65102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196399)

What differentiates them from the rest is that they actually prepare very hard for it-- with actuve faculty and school encouragement
 
Maybe in preparing for the ACM contest they actually *gasp* learn something about CS. And it's great that they have school encouragement, we should only hope to see more encouragement out of the universities in America.

  Most others just show up, expecting to have fun.
 
Bit of an unfair generalisation. I'm sure everyone tries hard to win. Nevertheless, the Russians and Chinese have been winning these contests of late and you shouldn't discredit them by (effectively) saying: "Us Americans didn't try".

Re:ACM finals aren't correlated with general CS ed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196454)

True, but when we the Chinese, Russians or Indians kick our asses in any business activity, it's easy just to say, "Oh, they're just hungry and took it too seriously. We just wanted to have fun."

Well, wake up. These people *are* hungry, the one's who manage to get to the top in their highly-competitive nations do take business and technology very seriously, and unless we do too, they're going to kick our asses.

When America is a 2nd rate nation (won't be long if the Republicans get one more term) saying, "those other countries just take things too seriously" will be pretty pointless.

Just as it is now, while we watch them catch up.

I mean, duh.

Re:ACM finals aren't correlated with general CS ed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196474)

Keshto hit the nail on the head. My university offers a 1-credit course called Speed Programming. It consists of a 2-hour a week pseudo-competition with old ACM problems. The next year, the people who enrolled in that class the previous year can try out for the team, if they desire to. That's how we recruit and prepare our 3 person ACM team and this is at one of the best universities in the nation. Now, compare that to some of our competitors. My professor mentioned that he talked to one of the coaches of some team from Shanghai who had recently won the event. He said that they prepared all year long, had the 3 teammates move in together, did practice problems and research every day and had a special lab just for them to work in. The coach also mentioned that this is not at all uncommon for other teams.

With all that said, how do you honestly expect the US to compete against tactics that we couldn't possibly dream of employing? Furthermore, that should expose how absurd it is to say that because we are not doing well in the ACM competition, we are not producing top-notch CS grads. I see a bunch of innovative and talented people around here every day who are much more interested in doing something truly special rather than banging out shitty code to solve random problems as fast as possible.

These constant doom and gloom articles about CS are really starting to annoy me.

Re:ACM finals ... correlated with general CS edu. (3, Informative)

guitaristx (791223) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196486)

Hear, hear!

I have also participated in the ACM programming contest (only got to regional competition, but it was fun). I had the unusual experience of having a programming-related job while I was still in college, and I can certainly confirm the parent's description of ACM programming contests being far from real-world earning-an-income coding. It's clear when you realize that an 8 to 5 desk job is much different than you remember from the contests in college, but it's really clear when you've already got a programming job and you go to an ACM programming contest.

The really successful coders are the ones that can learn new APIs and languages over a weekend. They're the ones who can communicate with non-technical people. They're the ones who can write a design for an application that will take a team of twelve developers a year to implement. The ACM programming contest compares to real-life CS work in the same way that a lumberjack competition [kentuckylumberjack.com] proves a person's suitability for work in the logging industry. In both cases, the two sets of skills (contest vs. real life) overlap very little.

Re:ACM finals aren't correlated with general CS ed (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196493)

ACM contest is fun but that doesn't mean that the winners are the world's best CS people. Nope.

When I was in high school, I ran track (poorly), played hockey (poorly) and dated (poorly). Then I got to college and was mightily impressed by all these kids who had been in the International Chemistry Olympiad or Physics Olympiad or whatnot.

Check back a few years later and I seem like a much better hockey player, now that I only play against other researchers. Meanwhile, the former Olympians have never done anything that's reached my notice. Maybe they quit and went to hedge funds and have been succesful there, but certainly not in chemistry or physics.

Shock? (1)

Darth Maul (19860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196283)


Who wants to play around with a general purpose computer when they can be sued for just about anything under the DMCA? Seriously, the reason I got into CS is because I had a computer to play with and a computer systems lab in high school. These days everyone is expected to just consume what's already been developed instead of creating something new.

Besides, with the DMCA and all the vague patents out there, the risk of law suit is quite high if you dare try to write some cool software. Innovation is dead, and I feel sorry for everyone growing up in school now. The opportunities to learn and explore are severely limited now in the fields of advanced technology, which seems to me is opposite of what you would actually want.

I made a MythTV box to watch TV. Every day that goes by I feel more and more like a criminal.

job pressure (4, Insightful)

gravesb (967413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196285)

I majored in computer science, but I don't feel comfortable entering it as a career field. I spent five years in the military, so I am not as cutting edge as I should be, not to mention a complete lack of experience despite being 27 years old. I buy books and keep up with things well enough to be a good hobbiest, but it is rough being in the tech world post-boom. I will go to law school, and hopefully provide a much needed technical viewpoint to the legal system that is currently strangling technological innovation in this country. I think some of the first things that law makers could do would be to reduce restrictions on people who want to study technology, such as the DMCA. As long as India and China can provide competent coders for less money, we will continue to lose jobs. That is part of globilization, and is no different than factory workers losing theirs in the last century. The key is to find the jobs that Americans can do for less opportunity costs, or that other countries can not do at all yet. Globilization is a good thing overall, as the standard of living will rise throughout the world, but it is very painful now, especially for people in the computer industry.

Face it. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196290)

The last attractive geek-slash-role model was Denise Richards. If they don't put Misha Barton, or Eva Longoria wearing glasses in front of a keyboard, pencil-behind-ear-or-in-hair-with-requisite-coffee -mug look, with hot grits, this decline will continue.

Those chicks in front of HW in 24 were hot, too. And they saved Bauer's ass. Well, most of them did.

Yet on the same subject (0)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196292)

The number of people getting pushed out of there CS jobs for codejunkies in China and India is rising.

Maybe the reason people are not going into CS is because most companies in the US are farming off the stuff a comp sci major whos starting out in the field would do to these 2 dollar workers because its cheaper.

People go where the money/oppertunity is, right now, unless your lucky I dont see either around here, in particular on the east and west cost. There is just no job security in those fields, not where Hao Yang can take the job for no benifits.

Re:Yet on the same subject (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196449)

You would probably find it easier to retain gainful employment if you would work on your spelling and grammar.

Re:Yet on the same subject (2)

MidKnight (19766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196484)

Maybe the reason people are not going into CS is because most companies in the US are farming off the stuff a comp sci major whos starting out in the field would do to these 2 dollar workers because its cheaper.

This is a common popular belief, but where are the numbers to back it up? As the article mentions, the Dept of Labor forecasts that growth in CS will be 40% between here and 2012 -- and those are domestic number, not worldwide. If you read the "Best Jobs" article [cnn.com] in Money Magazine from last week, you'll see that their growth prediction is similar (46% over the next 10 years).

The fact is, these jobs are not all being shipped overseas. The rate of CS/CE job production domestically is far outstripping the rate of outsourcing of these jobs. Unless you have some facts to back up your claim?

blame academia (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196298)

the problem? who's to blame?

graduate school admissions for computer science.

"oh you went to harvard and studied anthropology, sure, you're better than the kid who went to a small state school and studied computer science. okay we'll take you."

the current attitude of admissions for grad school is so bad that this is the actual truth. someone once tried to justify why harvard anthropology kid (straight out of undergrad) was better than midwest comp sci kid.

honestly, academia is behind this decline.

Re:blame academia (0, Troll)

brpr (826904) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196501)

someone once tried to justify why harvard anthropology kid (straight out of undergrad) was better than midwest comp sci kid.

Because (all else being equal) they're probably more intelligent. Graduate tutors want the best students, and the best students aren't always those who happen to have previous experience in the field. If graduate programs close their doors to anyone who hasn't gone through the comp sci treadmill, they're missing out on a lot of talent. Now, there are maybe some subjects where this isn't the case. Maths or physics, say, because you just need to know so much stuff before you can even get started on research in those areas. But comp sci is still a relatively small field, and (especially if you're doing applied stuff rather than theoretical) it's still feasible to start from scratch.

I can only assume you have some sort of irrational predjudice against people who study anthropology at Harvard. That Harvard anthropology kid might be a talented hobbyist programmer who's brilliant at maths. The Midwest state school kid might be a perfectly intelligent but fairly average student, who has a head start but ultimately isn't going to achieve as much.

Honest (2, Interesting)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196300)

When I was applying to grad school in the midwest ... I was told by a pair of CS Department Chairs and my own undergrad advisor that I had a an excellent chance at getting in ... simply because there aren't many good young white american applicants anymore.

End of story ... I got in, and quickly became a prof favorite ... but there weren't many others around the department like me.

Recruit Them (5, Insightful)

ToxikFetus (925966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196304)

I know I'll get flamed to hell, but screw it. If we truly* have such a shortage of computer scientists, then let's recruit the foreigners and bring them in as immigrants. Remember all of those European scientists came to the U.S. before/during WWII? How much of the American technical supremacy of the 20th century can be traced back to their contributions? The best way to develop/maintain technical prowess as a society is to secure the best intellectual capital.

*Of course, this is assuming that the U.S. has an actual shortage and the study isn't some ploy to get cheap code-monkey labor for Microsoft, Intel, et. al. I'll let my fellow slashdotters belabor that point.

Re:Recruit Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196422)

Remember all of those European scientists came to the U.S. before/during WWII?

Or all the ones AFTER WW2. Operation Paper Clip? Remember those?

Re:Recruit Them (2)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196495)

Remember all of those European scientists came to the U.S. before/during WWII? How much of the American technical supremacy of the 20th century can be traced back to their contributions?

While I agree with the overall attitude of your post, I am just reminding everyone that one of the primary reasons Einstein and the rest of those European scientists came to the U.S. was because they were trying to escape Nazi Germany.

The sky is falling! (4, Insightful)

PaulRivers (647856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196310)

Isn't everyone else getting a little tired of this chicken little stuff? First it's "OMG, All the programming jobs are being outsourced!" then it's "OMG, there aren't enough computer science majors!".

It can't be both that the programming field is in danger because we're outsourcing all our programming work, leading to no jobs for programmers, AND be that we're in danger of not having enough new programmers.

Re:The sky is falling! (0)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196508)

To be honest, I don't see how USA is still number one.
-The USA has a massive debt.
-Its economy is for a great part based on heavy usage of imported oil, the rest being service.
-Oversea worker are on average good too and they can do good work when not leaded by morron short-view outsourcer.
-Good education is very expensive, so if it becomes financially comparable in the long term, burger flipping workers have the avantage of not being outsourceable.
-I won't even mention the USPTO and american fair justice system ("the one with the more money always win") that would make us european laugth if it wasn't hype for our politicians to copy your mistakes.

I therefore only see two good reasons in favor of USA domination:
-Top public and corporate R&D, but several other countries are getting good too.
-No one has any interest in forcing the americans to pay up their debts. The consumption drop would ruin half of the world.

The two are related (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196517)

Because most straightforward codebashing is being outsourced to where the jobs are cheap (and it's the same here in the UK) there are fewer jobs in IT. We've lost nearly all our coders to India leaving only the sysadmin staff.

With this smaller field you get fewer high performers. Why is it we in the UK are useless at sports when compared to the US - we have fewer athletes so the chances of people being off the top end of the bell curve are slimmer.

So the net result is that we have both a shortage of IT posts as they're being outsourced to India and a shortage of high performing IT specialists because the supply pool is smaller.

Where you're spot on is that we won't change anythign by wingeing.

Let's see. (4, Interesting)

porkchop_d_clown (39923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196317)

1. People still smarting from the tech-bubble popping? Check.
2. New home machines much less accessible to proto-hackers than machines like the C64? Check.
3. Popular culture that denigrates "geeks" and "nerds" and makes it a social crime to get A's? Check.

And people are confused about a decline in the number of student engineers?

Re:Let's see. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196401)

1. People still smarting from the tech-bubble popping? Check.
No comment.

2. New home machines much less accessible to proto-hackers than machines like the C64? Check.
Bull. At a hardware level, the machines are less accessible. But there is plenty of stuff out there... Your C64 proto-hackers today have Lego Mindstorms kits, run Linux (or at least, Cygwin), and have the entire internet as an reference source.

3. Popular culture that denigrates "geeks" and "nerds" and makes it a social crime to get A's? Check.
Now you're just fishing for causes. If anything, the atmosphere is better now: gifted programs, geek/nerd culture, gaming expos, and the always inspiring tech billionares.

Re:Let's see. (2, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196448)

How about:

4. Grade inflation, and a public-school system that rewards attendance (and effort) far, far more than actual knowledge and learning.

5. Touchy-feely political correctness which demands the elimination of all sense of competition of any kind.

6. Dumbing-down (and enlarging) classes, and brainless teachers who memorize their course, but hardly know anything else about the subject they teach.

Why not study a related field instead? (1, Flamebait)

clevershark (130296) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196322)

Perhaps Americans are instead signing up for MBA programs combined with courses in Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, and other languages needed to effectively manage software projects when a great number of your programmers/coders live on the Indian subcontinent.

Re:Why not study a related field instead? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196442)

Why not just hire an Indian MBA who not only speaks those languages 'like a native', but costs half as much?

Hmmmmm (3, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196325)

Software programmers are the seed corn of the Information Economy, yet America isn't producing enough. The Labor Dept. forecasts that "computer/math scientist" jobs, which include programming, will increase by 40%, from 2.5 million in 2002 to 3.5 million in 2012. Colleges aren't keeping up with demand. A 2005 survey of freshmen showed that just 1.1% planned to major in computer science, down from 3.7% in 2000.

Let's see if we can figure this out. American kids aren't going into CS -- why? Perhaps because:

  1. Tech jobs are being outsourced overseas in a great number of cases, so getting a CS degree is not some automatic ticket to a job like it used to be and doesn't mean long term stability if you can find a job
  2. By the age of 18, kids have been using/learning about computers and using the Internet for a while, many have developed some level of technical skill, and are possibly getting jobs without having to go through 4+ years of drudgery
  3. Unless you're working for the biggest companies, programming is a grind. It's not glamorous, seldom exciting, and while the paychecks are nice, you sometimes end up working crazy schedules which don't allow you to enjoy the money

Did I leave anything out?

Re:Hmmmmm (1)

B_Realll (957738) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196480)

I would also add that it is a very volatile market anyway. Sure there are jobs opening up right now. The problem is that a lot of companies look at software like it is somewhat of a luxury. If there is a hiccup in the economy, buying software is one of the first things to cut back on. I wouldn't recommend for my kids to get CS degrees only to have the market tank again like it did a few years ago. They would be better off getting something like a Civil or Mechanical degree because those jobs pay just as well and are way more stable.

less college students = decline? (1)

fatalwall (873645) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196328)

Does the percentage mean number of collage students entering the field? Personally I've noticed that the colleges are mostly full of computer stupid students. I've tried two colleges over the past two years and I was disappointed with the level of the computer science majors. Some of my high school friends have noticed that and already dropped out and are working in computer related fields so I think those numbers don't show much. On another note have they ever though that maybe those of us who have skill enough to be in the programming challenge just didn't feel like it, didn't have time or some other excused that we all tend to come up with in the computer field.

Same stat as Apple Computer (1, Interesting)

adzoox (615327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196350)

You have to actually look at this like you do stats about Apple Computer:

There are MORE college students today than 6 years ago ... a lot more. Therefore the actual number of enrollments may actually be HIGHER.

Apple Computer:

Marketshare is lower to flat ... but individual unit sales are 2X because there are more people buying computers

It's not competition (2, Interesting)

Mahkno (887550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196354)

Look around, how many software packages are available to encourage, enable and are targetted to 8-12 year olds. NONE. There was a point where schools were attempting to teach that age group fundamental computing. Not script writing for games or website design. Basic computing. Heck schools aren't teaching the other stuff either. More n more of the materials to learn computer programming is being geared for and designed for college students and professionals. You have to inspire kids to want to do programming. I think the trend towards fewer programmers has less to do with competition from India but rather from the failure of the industry to develop tools and materials for the age of child that can best be inspired to dream of that career path. Waiting until college is a wee bit late. The age to inspire is the 8-12 year olds. That is when I learned to program. Things were simpler then but the core documentation was readily available and affordable. Not so anymore. The trend toward fewer CS majors began 10 years ago when materials suitable for the 8-12 year old began to disappear.

On the decline of CS students... (4, Interesting)

bziman (223162) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196363)

As a graduating computer science student (and long time professional), I was interviewed [broadsideonline.com] on this topic by George Mason University's student newspaper. I also wrote a little piece of my own on the declining number of CS students [swisspig.net] :

I have two perspectives on this -- one, as a veteran software engineer, and two as a computer science student.

I chose computer science because it seemed to make sense, given my job as a software engineer. However, many years of interviewing and hiring have shown me that a computer science degree is not necessarily going to be of any use to a software engineer. The position "software engineer" could mean any number of things. At my company, it requires a wide domain knowledge of different applications, almost none of which are addressed in GMU's computer science program. The computer science program teaches programming at the most rudimentary level, and is not even remotely adequate for a job that requires programming. However, a computer science degree does introduce important concepts that are necessary for understanding the underlying principles of working with computers (even if it isn't presented that way), and also teaches logic and problem solving, which are fundamental to any technical job.

As far as students not choosing computer science, I think there are a number of reasons. At GMU (and my previous university) I used to hear all the time, "oh, there's too much math required for a degree in computer science, I'm switching to a degree in information technology or business information systems, because there's not as much math." Also, when the Internet "bubble" burst, I think a stigma developed, where people don't think they'll be able to find a job in the computer industry when they graduate, or that they won't be able to get the kind of pay that they would like, or have job security.

I think it's a sweeping generalization to say that the US is lacking computer science students. What the US is lacking is individuals who are sincerely interested in developing their technical skills and solving interesting problems for their own sake, rather than people who are trying to find the easiest way into a high paying position that they care very little about -- having worked with both, I'd choose a British Literature major who does programming on her own, just for fun, over a Computer Science major who hates computers, but just wants a high paying job.

--brian

Re:On the decline of CS students... (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196397)

I'd choose a British Literature major who does programming on her own, just for fun, over a Computer Science major who hates computers, but just wants a high paying job.


And do you think those Chinese and Indian students are getting into Comp Sci "Just for fun"?

Mediocrity (4, Insightful)

ranton (36917) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196370)

I think this is a direct result of our colleges encouraging mediocrity and making it very difficult for advanced students to, well, "advance". Colleges are built around helping out the most mediocre students get a passing grade, and just letting the gifted students learn on their own. It is the same thing that happens in our high schools.

My girlfriend is just finishing her degree in Education, and it is horrible just how bad it has gotten. They have dozens of programs designed to helping out disadvantaged children and poor performing students, while the gifted students are left to their own devices. My boss is from Europe, and their schools (at least in Sweden in the 1980s) encourage their best and brightest. The gifted students are the ones that are going to make the biggest difference in the workplace, while the struggling students are simply going to fill up the jobs that dont take much skill.

If we want to keep up in a technologically advanced world, we have to start caring about our gifted students, not just helping the below average ones pass school.

--

Re:Mediocrity (1)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196470)

I think this is a direct result of our colleges encouraging mediocrity and making it very difficult for advanced students to, well, "advance". Colleges are built around helping out the most mediocre students get a passing grade, and just letting the gifted students learn on their own. It is the same thing that happens in our high schools.

Huh? Come on down to my classes here. I'll make sure you get the grade you deserve.

Look, CS is a tough discpline requiring long hours of work, sacrifice and committment to thinking. Well, thinking is hard. Why think when you can cop a degree in Management or Marketing, cram for the business school boards, get an MBA in "How to hold a meeting," make $100000 a year and act like a child until age 50? That's the American Dream now.

Look at the average school leaving age in Europe. It isn't 22, my friend. We should institute a gap year program in the US to bump up graduation ages. Kids can travel, cram for a REAL MATRICULATION EXAM or intern in a field they are interested in. This attitude that college is "just what you do" after high school has as much to do with mediocrity as anything else.

Academic Majors (4, Informative)

dingDaShan (818817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196375)

As a student at a major university (the University of Michigan), I must say that our CS department is extremely lacking. Computer Science must be taken either in the form of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) - where CS is combined with EE (lots of useless info) or through the School of Literature Science and Arts (LSA) where the CS program is more direct, but students are required to take the EECS classes. One of the biggest problems is the use of the most basic programming class as a 'weeder' class instead of an actual learning tool. The class is made excessively difficult to weed out students (even though the students may simply take more time that 2 weeks to get acclimated to programming). The problem might be with curricula.

Caused, in part by software patents (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196387)

Who in their right mind would enter a computer science course today, knowing that innovation is not rewarded any longer, but legal paperwork is? The shift from spending money on R&D to spending money on IP attornies that started en-masse around the time of the dot-com crash is one of the main causes for lack of interest in hard-core Computer Science.

Seriously... I did CompSci in 1980, but today I'd much sooner go for a career in IP law. Better security, more money, nicer cars.

Kill software patents, and the spirit of innovation may come back. But it may also be too late. It takes a full generation (25 years, or more) for a strong IT culture to grow and flourish.

FUD kills (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196389)

A result of the sensationalist junk about poor job prospects for IT professionals.

No CS Degree needed (3, Interesting)

kwhite (152551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196390)

I am not sure what some will think about this but I think one of the reasons that there are not as many CS degrees being given out is people are realizing they do not need a degree in CS to get a job in computers. As one poster already put, he did not even finish his degree because he did think it benefitted him, I will not argue that just point out that there are not many other "professions" that you do not need a degree in to get into the business.

I do not know how many people I've met in my 7 professional years that either a)said they did not have any degree at all or b)said they got a degree in some other program and many of them not even in a technical profession. I think this is the larger problem. Our industry is one of a few where they want highly talented individuals, but also want a break on price. Easies way to do this is let anyone in which drives cost down because it is not specialized. For those of us that are CS Majors think how much more we could demand if someone from outside of the degree program could not come in and take our job. Also think how much more weight might be given to us in project management as well. If someone knows that this person really knows what they are talking about because of his education and experience perhaps those ridiculous deadlines might be fewer and fewer.

Skills visas galore! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196393)

Hehehe! That's great news for skilled students wanting a shot at living at the U.S. of A.!

--
Slashdot captcha of the day: SODOMY.

Cause and effect (1)

stinky wizzleteats (552063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196407)

Perhaps the reason that the US is experiencing a decline in producing computer scientists has to do with the decline in employing them? It's a little difficult to believe that the "concerns (of losing your job to outsourcing) are overblown" when those of us in the industry saw almost every single one of our peers lose their job in the last 5 years.

Even the article qualifies the security of tech jobs:

Programmers with leadership and business skills will do just fine.

Translation: You can be a programming manager, but you can't make a living doing the technical work.

Dear American Business(tm): You want technical people? Take legislative steps to protect their employment prospects. Otherwise, stop whining about how nobody wants to go into a technical field.

Don't blame us. This what we've been told. (4, Insightful)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196416)

I studied CS in college and got my BA. I got out school and was immediately bombarded with hundreds of requests for 3-6 month, low-paying contractual positions for programming/systems administration/etc. What wasn't being offshored was being outsourced at ridiculous levels. I took a look around and realized the only people with truly stable positions were IT management. I talked to others and they agreed. So I went back for my MBA. When I graduate I'm going to be looking to leave the programming/administration side entirely.

When you're faced with poor, unstable job prospects and declining salaries due to offshore competition, what do you EXPECT us to do? The smart ones are realizing management (unfortunately) is the way to go. The rest will wither and die, unfortunately.

CS is NOT Programming.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196424)

Computer Science is exactly that, Science.

You don't go to school for 4 years if you want to go be a code monkey, just like you wouldn't get a Ph.D. in Chemistry if you were going to enter pharmacutical sales. A Computer Science degree allows for study in the area of new algorithms, new computing paradigms (grid, neural net, et al.), and other RESEARCH oriented goals.

Computer Engineering on the other hand allows people to gain the skills needed to participate in industry, leading teams of developers and (hopefully) using methodologies taught in school.

Code monkeys go to ITT Tech for 2 years, get a cert in Java or something, and then go on to be programmers. The reason it's easy to outsource programming is because almost anyone can do it for cheap. I'm not trying to undermine the responsibility of programmers in any way, but when you can get a guy for $10,000 a year who has a full fledged degree, vs Joe Nobody from ITT Tech, you're going to do it and save the big salaries for the managers (not PHBs, but smaller scale tech managers with degrees in software engineering).

Market saturation? (1)

mi (197448) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196430)

CS is such a new field, even many of its founders are still alive and well. Dijkstra, for example, died only recently.

Perhaps, the current number of the practitioners of this particular Art reflects the demand?

The articles talks about the number of new CS-majors "in pipeline", but how many have exited the workforce in the same time?

Kill the H1-B visas. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15196436)

That'll be a good first start.

If I were going to college and I saw a glut of underpaid foreign workers holding H1-B visas, I'd think twice about CS.

A few observations (4, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196444)

Computer Science != Software Engineering. CS is more research oriented, basically an applied math degree. CIS, IS, Information Management and Software Engineering are more where your day-to-day programmers should be coming from. Unless they are lumping these areas under CS then the statistics may be meaningless. Are we looking for researchers or people who will apply the technology?

Stalin said "Quantity has a quality all its own", which may have been valid in an industrial economy. What is not apparent is whether it is valid in a service economy. I strongly suspect, and some of the numbers I have heard about the best programmers being 10x more productive than the average programmer reinforces this, is that it is not valid to use an industrial paradigm in a service industry. But I think most managers, political leaders, economists and average Joes just don't get this. Too often projects fail beacuse to save money the work is given to the lowest common denominator in programmers and managers. Whether in-house, out-sourced or off-shored. And make no doubt about it, software is a service industry.

Finally I say, good riddance. This is as good a way to filter out the riff-raff as any. Let those who love the field be the ones who enter it and stay in. They are the ones more likely to develop the tools needed for the next generation of development, both in terms of process paradigms as well as actual software tools.

American Decline (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196467)

With a huge budget deficit, neverending wars, a corrupt Congress & White House, outsourcing at every level, a growing gap between rich and poor, and stagnant wages, I would say the US is in decline - period.

The Best Job in America! (2, Interesting)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196473)

It's kind of funny that Computer Science is on the decline, despite the fact that software engineer is considered the best job in America. [slashdot.org]

Us Companies will not Pay for CS People... (2, Insightful)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196490)

...I am sure it will be said in this thread many times, but I bears saying for reinforcement, just incase some corporate type actually sees the thread.

Its damn simple why go into CS when most CS jobs are getting outsourced/offshored for cheaper rates. This is causing a Glut of talent in the market and cuasing the rates that a company will pay for CS talent to go down. It sucks as a job course in life.

If US companies cut the crap and word gets out that they are willing to pay for talented CS people at decent rates and the workers don't have to be concerned with having the job cut out from underthem, then the enrolements will go up.

Job growth =! Entry-level job growth (3, Interesting)

MrZaius (321037) | more than 8 years ago | (#15196500)

Out of the small May, 2005 class of ~20 computer science students at a small state university in the midwest, I know two that are still working part time in unrelated fields, looking for work related to their degree. The only people I knew that were working immediately after graduation were the ~50% that were working before they started the degree program and three students that grabbed the only three internships in the area.

There are tons of listings for sysadmin and programming jobs in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, etc., but you almost never see any entry level positions. It took me six months to find something, and that was a fluke.

Are there any places (other than Cali) where recent graduates are quickly hired? I'm certainly not aware of any.
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