Over the past few years since the 2001 dot-com bubble burst, university students have preferred careers in banking and finance to computer science related careers. "Many thought they could make more money in hedge funds, said William Dally, chairman of the computer science department at Stanford University.
Now, however, students are looking back at computer sciences as a way to earn a wage. John Gallaugher, associate professor of information systems in the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, has already noticed a shift back to computer sciences amongst his students. "Students have commented to me and written on their course wikis that they're considering changing from finance, both based on the appeal of IS and concern over availability of finance jobs" in the future, Gallaugher said.
There is no real surprise that, after the dot-com burst of 2001, students decided to shift their priorities away from an industry that was, for all intents and purposes, dying. However now that a similar event has taken place in the middle of the finance sector, those students are heading back to an industry that has leveled off and gained a measure of stability.
This shift in perspective is especially important considering the lack of computer science students there has been over the past few years. Add to that the retirement of the baby-boomer generation and you have a growing need for computer professionals across the board.
Atop the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics “30 fastest-growing occupations, 2006-2016” is “Network systems and data communications analysts,” with the most significant source of postsecondary education or training being a Bachelor’s degree.
Randal Bryant, dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, saw his school’s student applications drop from a high of 3,200 to a low of 1,700 in 2001. However he added that that trend has been turning itself around over the past few years, with a total of 2,300 applications arriving last year.
"I like to tell students that if you make your career choice that quickly based on what is hottest this month, you're going to be graduating in four years and that field may not be hot anymore," Bryant said. "I tell them to major in something they like and not what's a likely short-term fluctuation in the job market."
Posted by Josh Hill.
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