Why so few?

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Kizmet, May 30, 2017.

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  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  2. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I didn't read the whole article, but I didn't see a bolded point that I thought would be obvious. Computer science is just boring to a lot of people.
     
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It doesn't help that we don't encourage in young people the sort of logical thinking that underpins computer science.
     
  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    But, there are more mathematics majors. There are also other more popular majors that heavily depend on logic.
     
  5. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    One reason may be that, as with engineering disciplines, the supply is often out of sync with the demand. Or other disciplines, for that matter. A high demand today will bring a rush of students into some discipline that saturates the field by the time of graduation. So students run to some other discipline.
     
  6. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I doubt college students are thinking, "If I major in computer science, I won't have a job in four years due to everyone wanting to study computer science." That's just something I never hear from prospective students. Plus, everyone pretty much knows that there aren't enough people studying computer science in relation to the number of jobs out there. Nursing, on the other hand, has been seeing a rush of students, and they don't seem to be thinking at all about the looming saturation problem.
     
  7. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    No, and the point is that not enough have thought that way. Their high schools advisors or their uncles Harry have mislead them.

    But this has been the problem. A need for CS grads today may result in a surplus of CS grads in the future. I was reading of this phenomenon a good forty years ago.

    The trick should be to not be in the herd. When the herd is running to accounting is when CS becomes a good bet.
     
  8. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Then, this is not an explanation for why there are so few computer science majors. The demand is high, but there are still relatively few people majoring in it.

    The herd has already hit accounting. In 2014, it was one of the top 10 most popular majors. Business administration and psychology have long been the most popular majors and probably will remain the most popular majors.
     
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    OMG! Talk about boring!!!
     
  10. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Accounting is boring, in my opinion, but it's easier than computer science. Accounting doesn't require advanced math. I just think that a lot of people need to enjoy a subject in order to dedicate themselves to something difficult. Something like physics just seems a lot more interesting than CS.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2017
  11. Rifleman

    Rifleman New Member

    Yea, the reason for few CS graduates is not because people think physics is "a lot more interesting" than CS; there are probably several reasons. Most intro courses are flooded with students interested in CS. The subject is tough because it has a mixture of abstractness, theory, and application. You may be great at "logic" (i.e. just fine in a math degree), or awesome at network diagrams (i.e. an IT degree), but you must be able to flip back and forth between theory and implementation.


    I attended a pretty middle of the road, but respectable, program. Check out my attachment for this class - the FE average was 49%. Fail the FE, fail the course.
     

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  12. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    This also applies to engineering, but there are significantly more engineering majors, and the number of students studying it has seen more growth.
     
  13. Rifleman

    Rifleman New Member

    Which engineering majors? Aerospace? Mechanical? Bio? Chemical? Computer? Civil? Are you lumping all engineering majors into one category and comparing that to the number of CS majors? I'm looking at a MEng curriculum, and a lot of it looks pretty dang theoretical and technical, but not necessarily abstract. By the time you take many "intro" engineering courses, you have already taken some tough math courses, folks have already been weeded out. You can often take CS 101 without many prerequisites - and if that program is a blend of abstractness, theory, and coding, it could be very easy for folks to wash out quick. I'm not claiming one degree is tougher than another. It is probably the nature of the material (unlikely to have been seen in high school) and how the course sequences are set up...at least partially.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2017
  14. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I'm not convinced that CS has few people majoring in it because it's so much more difficult than other STEM majors. Advanced math is pretty abstract, and it's required for just about every engineering major. Intro to CS is not even that difficult. More people probably get scared off by organic chemistry.
     
  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    We have heard repeatedly that in this field, certs are more valuable than degrees. This may be true but we seem to hear it mostly from people who have a lot of certs and not degrees so . . . but assuming for a minute that it's true, I would still guess that at a certain point in your career a degree would be helpful and maybe even necessary. So, if it was me, I'd be thinking about collecting some certs, enough to get a job, and then seeing if I could get my employer to pay some of my tuition while I gradually work toward a degree.
     
  16. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member


    The field(s) of computer science? I haven't seen that.
     
  17. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

  18. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Indeed. Computer science is not the same thing as system administration or even as programming, really.
     
  19. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member


    In days of olde when schools were bolde and compsci had just got started...

    Computer science was a new field and much debated. It could be an offshoot of engineering or parallel to engineering or something like that. But then there were these other programs popping up with less math and offered by business or liberal arts departments.

    IMO, the designations of computer science, information technology and information systems are still murky. APUS, for instance, has an information technology degree that is probably well named for being intermediate in difficulty, as is engineering technology.

    Computer science, to my mind, should be math heavy and kinda hard.
     
  20. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    On second look, that APUS IT program can get pretty heavy but needn't. It's up to the student.
     

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