According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of all new jobs across all STEM fields during this decade, across engineering, the physical sciences, the life sciences, and the social sciences, will be in computer science. On a nationwide basis, that extrapolates to 750,000 new jobs for computer science grads. That is proof enough, says Edward D. Lazowska, the Bill & Melinda Gates chair in the Computer Science & Engineering program at the University of Washington, that computer science is where the jobs are in the future.
In Washington state, for example, there is a well-documented shortage in the health professions, engineering and in computer science. A 2011 study by the Higher Education Coordinating Board carefully examined the gap between supply and demand for all fields, identifying the fields with significant gaps at the two-year, four-year and graduate education levels. Computer science has by far the widest gap, with the health professions and engineering next. At the bachelor’s degree level, the gap between supply and demand in computer science is nearly twice as large as the gap in engineering, and three times as large as the gap in the health professions. While students educated in one field do sometimes take jobs in other fields, and while many employers require a diverse range of employee skills, preparation and skills vary significantly from field to field. This means that STEM graduates are not interchangeable, putting an even greater premium on computer science.
While there are some individuals in the IT field who, unfortunately, are unemployed or underemployed, this is more the exception than the rule. Anyone in the computer-science education business, or attempting to recruit for the IT field, is well aware of the extraordinary competition for both new graduates and seasoned professionals with state-of-the-art experience and skills, and of the incredible change-the-world opportunities that this field affords. As a result, universities should be thinking about ways to open up enrollment. At the University of Washington, the top-ranked computer science program can accommodate only about 25% of the students who successfully fulfill prerequisite courses and apply to the major.
Read more via Seattle Times