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Where Did the Computer Science Majors Go?

Certain areas of study have been seeing declines in enrollment over the last several years. The number of students enrolled in computer science degree programs, for example, has plummeted by a significant percentage.

Large segments of the U.S. population are not considering careers in IT, shaping a shortage in qualified developers. Few students are enrolling in computer science courses, and a dwindling number of those are women and minorities, government experts say.

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts high demand for programmers. Its Occupational Handbook for 2006-2016 lists computer application software engineers as the fourth most in-demand occupation due to "increased applications of emerging technologies" and the growing complexity of businesses. Software engineers for systems are listed at number 25.

Despite that demand, there has been a "huge drop off" in the number of computer scientists entering into the workforce since 2000, said Jan Cuny, the program officer at the National Science Foundation who oversees efforts to broaden participation in computing.

Seventy percent fewer students have majored in computer science since 2000; women declined by 80%, she said, citing Computing Research Association data. The Higher Education Research Institute has determined that only 1% of students are majoring in computer science, and 0.3% are women, she added.

This is a growth area that is demand. Earning a computer science degree online is an excellent way to guarantee a good future. Computer science majors will find that they have a variety of areas to focus their studies on.


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