Daniel Lemire's blog

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More on the CS enrollment drop

8 thoughts on “More on the CS enrollment drop”

  1. Ed Bilodeau says:

    It may also be that companies are realizing that what they want to hire (in most non R&D cases) is someone with a degree in software engineering, not computer science.

  • Daniel Lemire says:

    I actually assume that when they write “computer science”, they aggregate all computing degrees offered by computer science departments.

  • Ed Bilodeau says:

    That may be the case, which is too bad, because I don’t think they lump physicists and chemists in with engineers! 🙂

  • The way I think they do these studies is to ask each CS Department to report on their students. I would assume that they would exclude computing degrees that are offered by engineering and business faculties.

    So, no, they probably do not lump “engineering” with “science”.

    Now, if Computer Science Departments offer “Computer Engineering” (and my school does) without being part of an Engineering School, it becomes harder to classify. Think what would happen if Chemistry Departments offered “Chemical Engineering” degrees? It has got to throw off the statistics. Is this a significant biais?

  • Mind you, now that I read back the study, they say: “computer science, computer engineering and related academic departments”. Hence, they probably lump everything together.

  • d says:

    Upon hearing the news of drop in enrollments, one of my colleagues said: “Good: this will ensure that we’ll get the ones who really want to study CS”. I’m not that cynical, he’s right. The market has changed for the best in a sense (because of offshoring): if a company hires a CS student today, more is expected from this student.

  • In my experience, in the last 2-3 years, actually, less is expected from the CS graduates. Less in the sense that they used to get programming jobs where algorithmic design was part of the job. Now, often, people will work in non-software companies where they will, at best, write a script to extract some data from a spreadsheet.

    As development moves offshore, what remains is higher level, but it might not be the higher level pieces CS students are best trained for. What seems to remain are business concerns, security, and so on. Mostly high level IT issues. Nothing wrong with that, but it is not clear CS students are the best candidates for these jobs.

    It is probably not a concern if the number of students also goes down significantly: the market will sort it out. However, if you work in a school, then you will have fewer students which means a lesser budget, no matter how you put it.

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