Computer Science Degrees Still In Demand

from the good-to-hear dept

While there’s been some talk that students aren’t as interested in computer science these days — and that getting a job with a CS degree is getting increasingly difficult — CIO magazine seems to be reporting exactly the opposite. More and more students are getting CS degrees, and one of the reasons is that it’s one degree that’s still in high demand from employers. The article looks at a variety of CS programs and finds strong demand from both students and recruiters, when it comes to CS degrees — and that there appear to be lots of jobs available — despite the doom and gloom of folks who claim that computer science and IT jobs are disappearing.

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angry dude says:

Re: Good Choice


You might be better off getting out of IT now when you are young

The older you get the more you will regret

The IT train is long gone and you missed it

I missed it too for the most part, but still caught couple of really good years back in 1999-2000

Sweet sweet memories…

alas, good things never last…

Liquid (profile) says:

Re: Re: CS + Law

LOL yeah we don’t need patent lawyers we need competent judges in the drivers seats. Tech law means jack if the guy your talking to is completely uneducated on how his computer/network/software works. Not only that but they should have been in the IT field for more than 10+ years.

We don’t need more judges that just go “Uh when I hit this button the computer turns on” while he is pointing at his monitor thinking its the entire PC.

That’s just my take on it.

angry dude says:

lies, lies, and more lies...

Yeah, right…

And I have a big bridge for sale in Brooklyn

Listen and believe every piece coming out of all the corporate shills out there, be it paid writer for CIO magazine or little Mikey of techdirt

They need fresh meat – YOU

But seriously, fellas, if you want to know the truth about IT profession and the value of CS/EE degree nowadays just go to and read discussions

Dan says:

Not an encouraging story

Well, I’m going back for my 4 year degree this fall, and it isn’t Comp Sci.

Business wants a 4 year degree or better, 5 years experience in each of 5 disciplines [on average] and you have to be willing to relocate anywhere. {Several times if you’re layed off.}

Sure, these positions are in demand. No one wants a job putting up that that kind of bullsh*t.

Ed (profile) says:

According to Dr. Mike Mandel, citing US Bureau of Labor Statistics data, employment in all computer science fields has fallen by an amazing 8.9% from 2008 to 2009. Please see

Less than one third of the computer/information jobs forecast by the BLS in 1998 were actually created. Please see

How can both the data and the claim of a CS shortage be true simultaneously? Careers are short. CS is one of the few career areas where the more experience you have, the dumber you are. This is because of rapid tech change that leaves most workers cut off as their skills are no longer en vogue. Workers are eased out or laid off starting as young as in their 30s.

It is cheaper for employers to hire shiny new college graduates than to invest in their existing staff. I am unique in adding an MBA at age 41 and years later am now working on an MS in s/w engineering. Going back to school is tough – many friends chose careers in fields where experience added value. In computer science, experience subtracts value. I could not recommend a generic computer science degree to anyone.

angry dude says:

A typical IT job description


Experience in administering a wide variety of Windows and networked based applications such as Microsoft Exchange 2000/2003, Microsoft Active Directory 2000/2003 Domains, Microsoft IIS 5 and up, Outlook, Blackberry Enterprise Servers, licensing, anti-virus (Trend), anti-spam (BrightMail), backup systems (BackupExec and NetBackup) and terminal services, Shavlik (update patches), CiscoWorks 2000 LMS, CiscoWorks CMS, Cisco ACS, and Websense.

Knowledge of UNIX system administration in an enterprise environment for Linux.
Knowledge of the OS X and OSX servers (Snow Leopard and Leopard Mac OS) system administration in an enterprise environment and integration with Microsoft 2000 and 2003 Active Directory.
Knowledge of LAN and WAN Networking Technologies, TCP/IP, VLSM, SNMP, Routing Protocols, BGP, OSPF, RIP, WAN, Transports Lines, OC3, T1, DS3, and Metro Ethernets.
Experience troubleshooting network by use of network analysis tools, Protocol Analyzers (Network General/NetScout Sniffers), Wireshark, TCPDump, Ethereal, cable testing tools.
Experience with O/S security (rights, privileges, accounts) and hardening (upgrades, patches) techniques and Network Authentication services (TACACS+, RADIUS, Kerberos, SSH, SFTP, SCP, FTP).
Experience with Hardware/ Software arrays and Storage Management (LVM, CIFS, RAID, FAT32, NTFS, iSCSI, EXT2, EXT3, NFS, VMFS2, VMFS3, Mac OS Extended (Journaled) File Systems.
Ability to perform physical labor (e.g. racking servers, installing hardware and running wires).
ESX VMware 3.5 and vSphere 4.0, Cisco routers, Cisco Layer 2 though Layer 7 switches, Cisco Pix Firewalls, Cisco ASA Firewalls, Cisco Security Appliances, Cisco IPS and IPS Appliances, Cisco MARS Security Management Appliance, Cisco Management Applications, NetApp, Nagios, and Argent Extended Technologies Monitoring Systems.
Minimum five (5) years of work experience using all types of Cisco Networking Equipment.
Minimum five (5) years of work experience using Microsoft Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange 2000 and up.
Unix/Linux Certification (preferred or similar experience).
MCSE (preferred or similar experience).
Bachelors in related computer field or equivalent experience.
CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) or greater.
Project management skills/experience, ability to transform business requirements into action plans.
Excellent communication skills.
Leadership skills.
keyworkds: systems engineer, network engineer, systems network

Pay ?

under 75K

Enjoy your future IT careers, folks !!!

JB says:

Degree != Education

While I worked on my Master’s in Computer Science (no internship experience = no one willing to hire me with a Bachelor’s), I witnessed so many people surfing the minimum GPA while refusing to learn the lessons for themselves. I didn’t have an excellent GPA, but I damn sure learned the material for myself. Now, it’s paying off since I can pick up any programming language reference and become proficient in a matter of hours. I attribute this to the fact that my education relied more on the theory behind computing instead of how to write programs.

In the past couple years the company I work for has hired more students from my college than any other and it’s not like we are from a gigantic school. Thankfully I was able to secure an amazing job just before the market tanked and have been praised for my willingness to learn thus earning me a promotion and a move into a more diverse team. I never would have imagined this industry to have such a large IT department, so don’t write places off until you have really checked them out.

angry dude says:

Re: Degree != Education

“Now, it’s paying off since I can pick up any programming language reference and become proficient in a matter of hours.”

Good for you but irrelevant for employers:
they all want recent verifiable on the job PAID experience in technology XX, YY, ZZZ etc. etc

The stuff you learn on your own does not qualify

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Degree != Education

Angry Dude…sounds like somebody’s got a case of the Mundays. Let me guess…you got canned from your first IT job and now you’ve become “Angry Dude”. Your 75k/year comment is a freakin joke. Im sorry that you put such a low value on all those qualifications, but if you did actually know all that, then you could command a much higher salary. My guess is that you dont….your best bet might be to put out “Computer Help” signs in the medians of highly trafficked areas and help those people. Go into business for yourself and you’ll be surprised how soon you’ll be turning down new customers.

Anonymous Coward says:

As with most fields, IT pros must stay abreast of new technologies and continuously educate themselves. This is true of nearly every profession. If your value as an IT employee decreases as you get older, the fault lies on your own lazy ass. Its very easy to get an IT job….might not be programming Cobol, but if you didnt evolve and learn a newer/better language, then I feel sorry for you. Its the nature of the industry. And no company wants to hire an inexperienced new grad over a highly trained and seasoned IT pro, but it all depends on the job function. If youre parsing log files, then hire the new grad….otherwise the guy with more experience is going to get the job running a datacenter. I personally would opt for the MIS degree over a CS degree. You put the CS guys in a corner to program segments of code. You make the MIS guys the managers of the CS guys because the MIS guys understand the business of IT…not just the tech side.

angry dude says:

another one for 100K in NYC - thanks but no thanks

SPG IT Developer
Department Overview
The Securitized Products IT group supports the IT solutions for trading, analytics, and risking of Securitized Products. The products supported include: TBAs, Mortgage Pools, CMOs, Non-Agencies, and ABS.
Main Function
The role is to be a developer supporting Securitized Products trading systems at Barclays Capital. The position is for an AVP but is subject to the level of experience..
Main Duties
Developing C# components to support the third-party vendor trading system and position management application Winfits from IONTrading. Developing solutions that fit with the strategic direction of the group, making use of current components and delivering new core components. There will be testing and delivering of vendor components, new components, as well as support for the users of the application. All aspects of software delivery: including analysis, requirements gathering, design, development, testing and deployment.

Qualification / Education Required
Degree level (computer science, numerate or financial related)
Qualification / Education Preferred
Post graduate degree level
Person Requirements
* C# 2+ years, Java 2+ years, C++ helpful
* SQL Experience with relational databases, Oracle preferred
* XML, Scripting, Perl
* Experience with messaging.
* Linux/Unix experience helpful
* Familiarity with version control and development lifecycle
* Good communication skills and ability to work with users * traders, operations, risk.
* Someone who is detail oriented and thorough with all aspects of implementation and testing

Experience Preferred
* Knowledge of Securitized Products trading: TBAs, Pools, CMOs, Non-Agencies, ABS.
* Messaging: MQ, ION (helpful), Tibco (helpful), Solace (helpful)
* Experience with vendor based trading system Winfits.
* Knowledge of Perforce
* Oracle experience
* Track record in working on large scale implementations of Fixed Income and/or Securitized Products trading systems.
Skills / Aptitude Required
We are looking for senior level developer who has the following skills:
1. Excellent development skill
2. Catching up up-to-date technology and recent dev-methodology,
3. Regular level knowledge on hardware/network,
4. Interest in the business,
5. wide and deep experiences of business apps development,

Any Mouse says:

Re: another one for 100K in NYC - thanks but no thanks

So… you’re saying that you’re a just-certified graduate with a BS and no work experience at all? This is a starter job, buddy. This is something for someone who just finished an internship and got their degree. Shit, I don’t have a degree and I almost qualify for this!

Anonymous Coward says:

Angry Dude: You do realize that this could be an entry level position for any GOOD CS grad that did two years of programming as an intern. I’m not quite sure what your point is. Is it not enough money? Or are the requirements just not attainable by you? You should apply for everything thats even close to what you want to do…a lot of companies have a laundry list of WANTS, but the reality is that they will often settle for less. Just keep your chin up buddy…you can do it.

angry dude says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You need a time machine, dude, to go back to 1999

There you’d see paid internships, sign-up bonuses for fresh grads with no industry experience, company-paid week-long vacations in places of your choice (airfare + nice hotel + car rental + per diem etc) disguised as “work-related traning” for HR drones and double-digit salary increases year after year, and your 401K going up and up and up
…all for regular IT folks like me

Sounds unreal to you ?
It is unreal nowadays
the good old days are over

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I have had Three paid internships so far, one of which that lasted an entire year and the other two lasted the summer. the first one (summer Length) was at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, operated by Battelle while the second (which is the one that lasted the entire year) and third ones were at Washington Closure Hanford, Both still have their internship programs running and are still paid positions.

In fact, I’ve found that all of the CS internships I have applied to are paid positions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: one more thing

you’re not even making any sense. you complain at the low wage of a starting position, then say you got payed the same, and you keep making a BS claim that internships are always unpaid when I and many others here have had internships that payed enough to live off of and I personally have received a wage as an intern that I would have been happy to start working for the company on a permanent basis.

angry dude says:

Re: Re: one more thing

You people are positively retarded

All I’m saying is that the gravy train of IT is long gone and you missed it

Being a senior-level IT today pays pretty much same money as entry-level IT position 10 years ago (that is, if you are lucky to stay employed)

So much for the IT “talent shortage”….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: one more thing

Yet you offer absolutely no proof other than pointing out an ENTRY LEVEL jobs (i added extra emphasis to get through your extra thick skull) that has a salary of 100k per year which is more than many people make at the end of their career.

If you want to be taken seriously, I suggest giving hard facts that actually back up what you are saying (as opposed to ones that prove the contrary) and stop talking randomly out of your ass (like claiming there is no such thing as a paid internship).

To everyone else, I strongly suggest you ignore Angry Dude, once his moronic ramblings were a source of great humour, but too often people allow him to derail topics like this. the only way to stop him is to refuse to give him the attention he desperately craves.

angry dude says:

Re: Re: Re:2 one more thing

Unlike you I am in the field and know what I’m talking about

Fact: for the past 12 years despite several job title changes and promotions all the way to senior level positions, my salary (adjusted for inflation) hasn’t changed

I am making same money as back in 1999 (actually less money if you consider annual bonuses and 401K)

Is there any IT “talent shortage” ?
Is there any future in IT (STEM in general) for US college grads ?

The answers to both questions are NO and NO

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 one more thing

Unlike you I am in the field and know what I’m talking about

I know many folks in the field, and their experience is entirely different from yours.

Fact: for the past 12 years despite several job title changes and promotions all the way to senior level positions, my salary (adjusted for inflation) hasn’t changed

I would suggest this may be a statement on you, rather than on IT jobs in general.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 one more thing

“Fact: for the past 12 years despite several job title changes and promotions all the way to senior level positions, my salary (adjusted for inflation) hasn’t changed”

And yet if you are even half as skilled as you claim, then you could go out and get a top level position at a much higher salary. It is a well known issue that if you care about raises you get a much bigger one by getting a new job instead of staying with the same company and hoping for raises to match your ability level. This is true for many fields, not just IT.

Also, is your only rant against CS jobs being viable that you can’t demand millions in benefits every year? Most of the country would be more than happy with the entry level salary of $75-100K; it is more than most make at the end of their careers and is more than enough to support a family off of, with plenty left over to put away for a very comfortable retirement. Seems to me that anything showing you can make a living off of a entry-level position and that lots of companies are looking for employees with those skills is just support for the original statement that CS Degrees are very valuable.

PS: I do work in the field, I’m a programmer, and frankly you just sound like an arrogant and cranky old geezer who is just sad that you have to keep studying after school and have your depends in a twist because IT didn’t end up making you a multi-billionaire like ol’ Money Bags Gates and frankly if you got into IT just for the money, then you shouldn’t be doing it and the entire IT community would be much happier if you decided to change profession.

Leo Solaris (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 one more thing

(Oh hey, my first reply to TD after a month or so of lurking! Go figure it was on a subject I am in school for…)

I am currently picking up classes in web development and programming with an eye towards an Information degree that recently started at my local university under the Library Sciences college of all things.

Being currently unemployed, and thus in school, I am fairly sure I would have a heart attack if someone offered me a $75-$100k salary entry position. I was figuring that at most I would be able to snag a $40k a year starter spot, at the very top end… and that’s if I can move out of South Carolina.

(Don’t get me wrong, I am a transplant to SC, from OH, and the only thing I can’t really complain about in this state is the weather. Maybe there is some slim chance in heck that I will find a telecommuting position.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 one more thing

As a warning, it all depends, the two job examples listed in the comments here are entry level, but an entry level where the new employee is expected to have done internships and have lots of CS experience beyond his degree, which is easy to do if you have a passion for it (like I do) but for those who only have a degree and their job experience is completely unrelated to CS, it may be harder. But things like Engineering and Mathematics have often been considered related (because they are) so… Your experiences may very. also, keep in mind cost of living for the various areas.

Anonymous Coward says:

Same here, the university I graduated from would not allow unpaid internships. If a business wanted an intern, they had to pay. Simple as that and there was no shortage of available positions. It’s also important to note that salaries vary widely depending on the region. Obviously, an IT position in Dallas is not going to make as much as the same position in San Fran due to the cost of living…so taking numbers only is useless.

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

CS jobs

This makes no sense. At the company I worked for (in CS) the 400 CS workers were replaced by a (reputed) 1300 CS workers
in India and 3-4 interface people.
Are companies not getting the message? India-India-India.

I’m a patent attorney now, and while much of that work has also gone to India and Taiwan, the area I prefer (insist on), Small Entity IP (what the founding fathers had in mind) is still over here. But then, small entities don’t have much money, so the business is not all that attractive to overseas firms.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: CS jobs

I’ve heard of this kind of thing happening, but haven’t seen it myself. Personally I don’t know how companies can survive with something like that. As an in house developer I sit down with various employees of my company and talk to them, then build my applications to handle and add to the existing system (or smoothly transition to a new one) in ways that just would not be possible if I were to be replaced by a telecommuter or out-sourced code-monkey.

The only jobs I would trust to a telecommuter or outsource would be exactly the same kinds of jobs I’d entrust to a high-school student or intern that my company only pays $3 an hour for.

angry dude says:

Re: CS jobs

Unlike IT folks, Patent Law professionals (attorneys and agents)are REQUIRED to be admitted to Patent Bar to represent their clients before USPTO

Also, the drop in patent filings by smal entities can be directly attributed to weakening of patent rights in US and also to anti-inventor and anti-patent propaganda by paid corporate shills like Mike Masnick of techdirt

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: CCNP Certification Training

Since you are just shilling, I think I’ll also warn people that the CCNA faces the same possible degradation that the A+ and MCSE certifications have undergone.

When a certification is popular and used as an indication of skill other come up and create programs solely about how to pass the test. Whether or not such programs are valid, this causes a dramatic increase in the number of people who seek the certification, not all of whom live up to the name of the certification.

This effect causes the certification to become less reliable as a measuring stick and subsequently lowers the the value. We have seen this already with the A+, it is happening now (some would say it has already happened) with the MCSE, and the CCNA and any other certification faces the exact same risks.

Anonymous Coward says:

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Katie Tam (user link) says:

Yet you offer absolutely no proof other than pointing out an ENTRY LEVEL jobs (i added extra emphasis to get through your extra thick skull) that has a salary of 100k per year which is more than many people make at the end of their career.

If you want to be taken seriously, I suggest giving hard facts that actually back up what you are saying (as opposed to ones that prove the contrary) and stop talking randomly out of your ass (like claiming there is no such thing as a paid internship).

To everyone else, I strongly suggest you ignore Angry Dude, once his moronic ramblings were a source of great humour, but too often people allow him to derail topics like this. the only way to stop him is to refuse to give him the attention he desperately craves.

Sanjib Sarkar says:

Not easy to get a job in IT

I have a BS degree in IT. I also have quite a bit of experience in the field. The market is really bad for IT just now. The outsourcing has taken its toll on the field.
The US is in a bad economic state. I am not sure if other fields are doing better. I hear engineering, education and medicine are doing well but most everything else stinks,

I will say certifications and ongoing training do help you land a job. It will help improve your knowledge.

Also, this field is very entrepreneurial friendly. I started my own business with the CS skills I obtained. It has not made tons of money but it does pay the bills. In this economy, I could not ask for anything more.

I would tell new people entering college that enjoy computer science to still pursue the degree. On the job market, the options may be slim. However, the field is always changing. There will always be some demand for this type of work.

I have gone on many interviews recently. I have done well on most of them. The interviews are basically a bunch of tech questions. Then a second interview with the same. The competiton is fierce. I think I may a missed a few of the tougher questions asked. Each open position in IT has tons of qualified candidates sending their resume.

I do disagree to a certain extent with the training posts. I worked in companies that refuse to train their employees. Your skills get outdated in this work environment. Companies should will help train the employees but they refuse because of cost. They look at you as an expense and not an asset.

Vincent Fuller says:

you cant just breeze through it

its competitive keep your gpa up, its so easy to just party and slide through with c’s. dont do it!! stick it out. spend as much as time as you can coding in college(dont forget to go out once and awhile).

cs degree does not mean youll be handed a job right out of college, everyone has to put effort into it

you are not entitled to a job, this is what our generation is learning

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