Will Financial Crisis Drive Students Back To CS?

from the but-does-CS-want-them? dept

There's some talk these days about how the financial crisis on Wall Street may be driving some students back to computer science. You may recall that during the dot com boom, enrollment in CS programs boomed, as it suddenly became a fast track to getting rich (or so some folks thought.) But, of course, the end result was that a lot of folks in CS weren't really that into actual computer science, but were just looking for the fastest ticket to getting rich. After the dot com bubble burst, many shifted their attention back to Wall Street, which had been the get rich quick path prior to the dot com boom. So, now that Wall Street seems to be imploding, there's talk again about students coming back to CS. While some see this as a good thing, you're again left with the same question: are these the types of folks who we really want in CS programs? If their sole determinant for area of study is what's likely to make them richest as fast as possible, they're not necessarily the folks who are really going to contribute very much to the space. There's nothing wrong with making labor decisions based on how much it may pay, but folks who focus on getting rich as fast as possible have a habit of screwing things up for everyone else pretty badly at times.
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Filed Under: computer science, financial crisis, get rich quick, students


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  1. identicon
    Overcast, 1 Oct 2008 @ 6:46am

    Yeah, have to agree with Michial too.

    IT has a way of weeding the week skilled people out, or at least pushing them into network administration or desktop support.

    Yeah, like a dead server someone can't get back online or crappy code that's slow an ineffective.

    If you don't actually *like* IT, chances are, you won't do well in the field.

    I have no degree, but have trained people with degrees. I have a couple old certifications and again, have trained people will all the latest certs.

    Experience and a personal interest will net a much better skill set in IT than any training ever could (without an interest). It's like a car mechanic - the good ones are the ones who really enjoy what they are doing and likely do it as a hobby too.

    Last night, I spent most of the night fooling around with my PC, getting my Linux install tweaked more, and finally went ahead and installed Windows on another disk as well. That's why I 'know' the stuff well, it's my hobby too.

    IT is also not your typical field either, most great grunt IT people (Network Admin, Programmers etc) don't have the abilities or people skills to manage, so they tend to remain at the bottom of the food chain while the management levels are consumed by these people trying to get rich quick

    I am that person. You know - I can manage people, have done it in the past - but I outright HATE to manage people. Managing machines on the other hand - I LOVE that. Regardless of my position on the 'food chain', I guarantee I can get that server online faster than any of the management above my head - with one possible exception in the whole chain. But then, he's one of the 'geek' managers, who's REAL laid back. That's my problem with management - I'm too laid back to bark orders. That and I enjoy the tech portion too much to do 'management'.

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