Where Did All The CS Students Go?

from the chemistry? dept

The NY Times has written an article about the rapid decrease in the number of computer science students in the last few years. Of course, this shouldn’t be a huge surprise. During the boom years, plenty of people went into CS, because they thought that was where the money was – and not because they particularly enjoyed computer science. Now, most of those people are gone (though, the article suggests many of them have moved on to sciences like chemistry and biology – believing biotech is the next big moneymaking field). Of course, I have mixed opinions on this. Generally speaking, I don’t think people who go into a field just because of the money are doing it for the right reason. They’re usually not as motivated or skilled as people who go into a field because they find it fun, exciting, or interesting. So, the students in the field now are ones who really want to be there – and that’s good. At the same time, many schools are encouraging the kids to be more well-rounded, and getting them to minor in other fields (like business administration) to get have a broader base of knowledge. There’s a side article about how Carnegie Mellon is trying to get more women into computer science that refers to the “dave-to-girl ratio” of how many guys named dave there are to women in the program – and point out there was a point where it was over one.

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Comments on “Where Did All The CS Students Go?”

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dorpus says:

Jocks, Artists, and Scientists

all share a common trait: plenty of people want to become professional athletes/artists/scientists, but only a few superstars will make it big. The vast majority of wannabes will rot away as high school teachers, misleading the next generation of youth into “pursuing their dreams”. I don’t know why anyone thinks there is a shortage of scientists; every grad school accepts only a small portion of applicants, and even then there is a huge surplus of under-employed, bitter graduate students who end up pursuing other careers.

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