For the first time in six years, there’s been an increase in students persuing Computer Science majors. Is this a coming of new age of computing, or just people chasing the possibility of new jobs?
The Taulbee Study from the Computing Research Association (CRA), released today, shows that students are starting to show much more of an interest in computing. The study, which targeted major US universities, found that the amount of people focusing on computer science majors had increased by over 8%, with enrollment in all computing classes rising by over 6% – the first such rise since 2002.
The CRA is hoping that President Obama’s stimulus package, which could create nearly 1 million new tech jobs, will bring people back to computing after the dot-com bubble burst. It also doesn’t hurt that nerdy is the new cool.
“The perception that computer science is cool is spawned by all the interesting things on the Web. The iPhone and Web 2.0 reinforces the excitement, and that attracts the best students,” says the CRA’s Peter Harsha.
According to Professor Michael Heath, head of the Computer Science Department at the University of Illinois, “There’s definitely a coolness factor. People are involved in computers in an unprecedented way…There’s a more human dimension to computing than there has ever been before, so I think that’s causing computing and IT as a career to appeal to a wider variety of people.”