Computer Science is soaring in popularity on college campuses, reports Natasha Singer in the New York Times. Universities can’t keep up with the demand.
The number of undergraduates majoring in the subject more than doubled from 2013 to 2017, to over 106,000, while tenure-track faculty ranks rose about 17 percent, according to the Computing Research Association, a nonprofit that gathers data from about 200 universities.
Economics and the promise of upward mobility are driving the student stampede. While previous generations of entrepreneurial undergraduates might have aspired to become lawyers or doctors, many students now are leery of investing the time, and incurring six-figure debts, to join those professions.
Tech companies are hiring away computer science professors, Singer writes.
Computer-science and computer-engineering enrollment is prone to boom-and-bust cycles, writes Marie Desjardins, a computer-science professor, in Fortune.
Taulbee Survey 2018
Enrollment peaked in 2000, at the height of the “dot-com bubble,” with 79,311 undergraduate majors. The numbers bottomed out in 2007 with 46,226 undergraduates. Then, with demand high for programmers, the numbers started climbing again.
Colleges are trying to save humanities departments as more students gravitate to technical and vocationally oriented majors, writes Jeffrey Selingo in The Atlantic.
Stanford, where 20 percent of students major in computer science, is folding its experimental CS+X major, which sought to integrate computer science with a humanities discipline, reports the Stanford Daily.
Computer science professor emeritus Eric Roberts, who proposed the idea, hoped to encourage computer-science majors to study humanities. Instead, he said, humanities majors were adding computer science.
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