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“Computer Science: It’s where the jobs are. It’s also where the future is.”

STEM.oped.chartIn a Seattle Times Sunday op-ed, UW CSE’s Ed Lazowska sets the record straight on the demand for computer science graduates:

“Technology workforce issues are much in the news these days, stimulated by proposed changes to the nation’s H-1B ‘guest worker’ visa policy …

“Allow me to inject a few facts into the conversation. (As Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, ‘Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.’)

“It’s indeed the case, both nationwide and in our state, that there is no overall shortage of STEM graduates.  But this is not news – it’s been the case for many years.  This does not mean you shouldn’t major in a STEM field if that’s your passion, any more than that you shouldn’t major in journalism (where the job prospects are far more grim).

“However, nationwide there is a well-documented shortage of graduates in computer science.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 70% of all newly-created jobs across all STEM fields during this decade – across engineering, the physical sciences, the life sciences, and the social sciences – will be in computer science.  The field is booming.

“And in Washington there is a well-documented shortage in the health professions and in engineering, as well as in computer science …

“Due to staffing and facilities limitations, UW CSE – ranked among the top ten programs in the nation, along with the likes of Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Berkeley – can accommodate only about 25% of the students who successfully fulfill prerequisite courses and apply to the major.  This is a critical issue for Washington’s economy, but more importantly for Washington’s students: 80% of UW CSE undergraduates are Washington residents, and the vast majority remain here after graduation.

“Computer science:  It’s where the jobs are.  It’s also where the future is.”

Read the op-ed in the Seattle Times here.  Can’t surmount the paywall?

Charts of data:

May 11, 2013