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“Go for Computer Science”

UW CSE’s Ed Lazowska is one of eight columnists featured in a New York Times “Room for Debate” essay series on education.  Lazowska says:

“There are a few facts about education, employability and economic growth that we should keep in mind.

“A balanced education serves you best …

“The further out you are from college graduation, the less your success is attributable to the field in which you majored, and the more your success is attributable to a set of abilities imparted by any top-tier bachelor’s-level education …

“But let us not fool ourselves about what fields offer job opportunities, create jobs for others, and drive the economy …

“So what should today’s college students study in order to stay competitive?  My take: A computer science degree is a great preparation for just about any field.”

Read Lazowska’s post, and others, here.

Update:  Email received from a senior faculty member in Obstetrics and Gynecology at a top east coast university:   “Indeed! I majored in computer science undergrad and then worked at Microsoft for four years (1998-2002) while living in Seattle.  Then I moved into epidemiology:  computer science is EXCELLENT preparation for (some aspects of) epidemiology.  Both the specific skills and the way of thinking through problems that I learned in computer science are broadly applicable.”

Update: See UW CSE alum Sierra Michels Slettvet’s related blog post here.  And an interesting comment in ITBusinessEdge here.

March 21, 2011