Posted by: John Savageau in education on
Nov 16, 2009
Us "Baby Boomers" tend to believe we have accomplished a lot in the years ranging from our roots of hard rock, to the birth of basic internet technologies in the early 1970s. We started our generation with black and white television, experiencing everything from the assassination of President Kennedy to absorbing the wonders of man walking on the moon. We end our generation with 7.6 Terabit submarine cables connecting every continent with high speed many-to-many interactive communications and applications.
Communications for many during the early 1960s consisted of telephone party lines, daily newspapers, telegraph, and radio broadcast. While in high school (Richfield, Minnesota), some of us privileged students in more opulent areas had access to computer classes. This consisted of having a teletype terminal attached via low capacity lines to a central mainframe computer - using a service called "time sharing." Very cool, and very exotic.
Competition for a place in computer class was aggressive, and only a few of us were able to indulge in the excitement of connecting to a machine someplace outside of our class. We didn't waste a moment of time learning some rudimentary programming routines, and were considered very strange by a majority of students in school, who either did not make the grade for computer class, or simply did not care.
A new study was published by Network World this week, produced by the Computing Research Association stating enrollment in computer science (CS) majors at US universities was up 8.1% in 2008. Some of the better known technical universties, such as Carnegie Mellon University stated CS applications were up 11% over the prior year.
In both information technology and computer sciences fields unemployment is listed nationwide at 1.6%, which Network World believes is considered "beyond full employment..."
This is great news for a number of reasons. With the number of CS students increasing, it will drive additional skills in mathematics and hopefully software development. We need those skills to have a strong core of workers ready to bring the US into a strong or even dominant role in emerging technolgies such as cloud computing.