Masters Degrees Down

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-08-02 Print this article Print

The number of masters degrees awarded, however, was down 13 percent, to 8,074, in the year ending June 2006. The June 2005 number was 9,286, which was "reasonably consistent with the 17 percent drop in new masters students reported two years ago," Zweben said. Enrollment in masters programs by new students was about the same as last year, while total enrollment was down by more than 10 percent—all attributable to declines in computer science masters programs, he said.
More than half of new masters students came from outside North America, rising to 56.7 percent from 46.5 percent last year.
On the bachelors degree front, issuance was down more than 15 percent, following the 13 percent decrease reported last year. "From this years estimates, it would appear that another 16 percent decline is looming. If this holds true, it would represent a drop of more than 40 percent over a three-year period," Zweben said. But there is some positive news. "When looking at new bachelors degree students, for the first time in four years the number of new undergraduate majors is slightly higher than the corresponding number last year. This holds true when looking at only the more robust computer science numbers," he said. Tech employers dont feel an immigration bill is the answer. Read why here. The number of new computer science pre-majors was up nearly 10 percent, a possible sign of renewed interest in the undergraduate computer science major. "One should not jump to conclusions based on one years data, but the cessation of declining numbers of new students is welcomed by our computer science programs," Zweben said. Total enrollment in computer science bachelors programs was down 14 percent from last year, echoing the drop reported in last years survey, with enrollment today more than 40 percent lower than it was four years ago, he said. But the industry is not standing still. Georgia Techs Foley said that the computing community, recognizing that demand for workers will again grow, has started taking proactive steps to project a more positive image of computing as a profession. This led to the Image of Computing Task Force, of which Foley is co-chair along with Rick Rashid, the head of Microsoft Research. Director Jill Ross is a former executive with Avaya Software. The task force has the support of six professional societies as well as the support of Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Intel. "We will be rolling out some campaigns in the next few months targeting high school students, undecided college students, parents and high school teachers. The goal will be to eradicate the negative myths and stereotypes around computing as a career," Foley said. Check out eWEEK.coms Careers Center for the latest news, analysis and commentary on careers for IT professionals.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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