Want a Job? Get a Computer Science Degree

Network World (02/22/10) Marsan, Carolyn Duffy

Leading universities are reporting that enrollment in computer science and engineering is up significantly this year as students discover computer-related degrees offer better job prospects and earnings potential.

“The government has made it clear that computer science is a growth field, and I think that message is getting back to students and their parents,” says Bruce Porter, chair of the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Corporate recruitment of top computer science graduates has stayed strong despite the economic downturn.

Last spring Georgia Tech’s College of Computing had the highest job placement rate of any major on campus, as well as the highest starting salary.

“The financial sector–credit card companies, insurance companies–are very much interested in computer science students, as are defense companies and software development and networking companies,” says Georgia Tech’s Cedric Stallworth.

Last year, computer science graduates from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received an average of 2.3 job offers and had an average starting salary of more than $72,000. The number of students enrolling as computer science majors is up 40 percent from last year at Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University reports that computer science applicants are up 14 percent from last year and 76 percent from 2005.

Jobs 2010

6 Hottest Skills for 2010
Computerworld (12/29/09) Brandel, Mary

U.S. business executives recently responded to a Computerworld survey about the availability of information technology jobs and what skills will be in demand in 2010. The skill set that is in the highest demand is programming and application development, according to the survey. New projects are being green-lighted thanks to the rebounding economy, leading to a demand for application developers who also can act as business analysts and project managers.

The survey found that companies will look for programmers with knowledge of .Net, Java, Web development, open source, and portal technologies such as Microsoft’s Sharepoint, says Computerworld’s Dave Willmer. Demand also is growing for programmers who are familiar with programming languages such as Ruby on Rails and AJAX.

Help desk and technical support professionals also will be in high demand in 2010. Many companies cut technical support as the recession hit, and those companies are now looking to refill those positions.

Meanwhile, the demand for networking professionals is growing with the complexity of networks. New approaches such as cloud computing and software as a service have forced companies to hire people with expertise in networking. Project management is another area that is growing in importance.

“Professionals who understand technology and how it fits in the overall business strategy are the ones who add the most value, get paid more, and have the most fulfilling careers,” says analyst Tom Silver.

Some companies are concentrating on hiring people with cybersecurity skills, while graduates who studied computer engineering and digital controls also are in high demand. Business intelligence was rated as the sixth most important skill, according to the Computerworld survey.


Hellz, people, I can do ALL of that.   I just need someone to kick me in the ass.

Good news from the home front

I am so happy for Andrew!  He’s been working for this place he likes a lot, doing tech consulting, supporting the City offices.  This means his company does the desktop support for the mayor’s office and the various other offices in that little area.  It’s a good job, and he likes it and likes the people very much, but they were only paying him $13/hour.  He’s an “intern” at 30 hours/week and going to school for his IT degree.  Underpaid for sure.

He saw a job opening for another place and applied, and had to go through a bunch of fingerprinting malarky because the workplace was actually an offshoot of the state.  He thought they were not nearly as fun and nice, but they were offering $18-$23 an hour, which is a nice bump up.

Two months later after MUCH back and forthing, they offered him the job at $18.20/hour.  He decided to take it, even though he doesn’t like them quite as much.  The money was too good to pass up.  So he wrote his letter of  resignation and gave it to his current boss this morning, and she promptly offered him $20/hour to stay.  $7/hr raise, people.  And offered to take him on full time as soon as he gets his degree.  YAY!!!   She knew what she had.  Smart lady!  He’s one of those rare and talented geeks who can talk to people, not just machines, and be completely social and nice.  And who also shows up for work every single day.  And bathes regularly.  And picks things up so fast it makes your head spin.

Happy days!