Not So Fast

By Deb Perelman  |  Posted 2007-03-14 Print this article Print

Not So Fast Not so fast, says Keith Mander, chair of the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing in response to McBrides article: The demise of CS has been greatly exaggerated.
Though it is true that applications for undergraduate courses in CS have decreased about 50 percent since 2001, its value to graduates remains and will continue to for the foreseeable future, Mander counterpoints.
"The pervasive nature of computing, and its wide application, produces a complex employment market for computing graduates, from industrial sectors concerned with the production of foundational hardware and software technology, through stand-alone hardware and software products, industrial applications (particularly, for example, in the financial services, media and telecommunications sectors) and finally to the business solutions deployed in the majority of entrepreneurial businesses serving real human needs throughout the developed world." While computer science courses produce graduates that are able to enter any of these employment sectors, says Mander, demand for such graduates is likely to be concentrated in those parts of the industry for which the deep technical knowledge of hardware and software is a prerequisite, or where analytical and logical skills are at a premium. A decline in demand will be seen in areas concerned with business solutions. If the current trends continued into the future, says Mander, by about 2009 the number of computing graduates produced will be wholly insufficient to meet demand. This is an unfortunate fact, since the computing graduates of 2009 were recruited in the autumn of 2006. "If academic computing feels vulnerable at the moment, it is not out-of-touch, it is not dying, and it will not die while it continues to innovate. Over the next few years, we shall see new alliances emerging, particularly over the funding of higher education, particularly insofar as it relates to the more vocational subjects like computing." There are no silver bullets or magic paradigms that will sustain a whole degree program, he says, but a shared enthusiasm, commitment and sense of adventure prevail, can go a long way. Check out eWEEK.coms Careers Center for the latest news, analysis and commentary on careers for IT professionals.


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