Magazine article University Business

Survey: Computer Science Interest at 30-Year Low

Magazine article University Business

Survey: Computer Science Interest at 30-Year Low

Article excerpt

Student interest in studying computer science is at its lowest point in 30 years, according to survey results from the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at the University of California Los Angeles. This year, HERI's annual freshman survey found that interest in studying computer science is down by over 60 percent since its peak four years ago.

Jay Vegso, manager of membership and information services at the Computing Research Association (CRA), thinks it not only has to do with the perception that there are less CS-related jobs available, but also with the rise of other IT-heavy fields like Management Information Systems.

There is also a decline in interest among women--less than 0.5 percent of women surveyed expressed interest since its peak of 4.2 percent in the 1980s--a figure educators like Joanne McGrath Cohoon of the University of Virginia finds particularly distressing.

McGrath Cohoon, who has conducted extensive research on the topic, does think economics plays a role in decisions students make in choosing majors, but there is a general disinterest in computer science among women that she thinks has more to do with stereotypes. …

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