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  CS degrees in high demand=unemployed programers???  (Read 5436 times)
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Offline cep21

Junior Devvie

Java games rock!

« Posted 2004-11-15 14:03:57 »

All I hear on the internet and from other programmers is about outsourcing and how programmers are looking through the classified for jobs and a saturated job market, but then there's this.

Out of the top 10 wanted degrees there's CS EE CE and IS!!!

And that's not the only study.  I've seen lots that say basicly the same thing.  It doesn't add up though.  How can the degrees be in such high demand, but there be no jobs.

Honest question: Not trying to get people mad and all.  I'm almost finished with my CS myself, and this really does make me wonder.
Offline LaLiLuLeLo

Senior Newbie


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-11-15 17:18:30 »

I think potential students are yet to catch up on the state of the job market or their recruiters are telling them lies... School recruiters are dangerous
Offline Mojomonkey

Senior Devvie

ooh ooh eee eeee

« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-11-15 18:41:05 »

It's the answer everyone loves to hear! It depends. Smiley

Location is important, some recent tech centers are now hurting, while other areas are thriving. You have to go where the jobs are, and you have to look everywhere. How badly do you want that job in Grand Forks? Can you deal with the -60 degree weather? That sort of thing.

Which industry do you want to get into? Defense industry is currently doing well, dot coms... not so much.

How much do you want to make? You can't get $80,000 out of school anymore. Sometimes you have to take a job that pays less than what you thought you would be making going into the degree.

There are plenty of jobs out there, for those willing to be flexible.

Don't send a man to do a monkey's work.
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Offline johng

Senior Newbie


« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-11-15 19:56:12 »

And if you're very, very flexible then there's always the circus and street theatre...

There's just this and empty space...
Offline zingbat

Senior Devvie

Medals: 1

Java games rock!

« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-11-15 20:12:56 »

A circus is the right word for a job i had once working in bank  as a Cobol programmer building a credit management application. That job really made me think very hard about going to univ and get some instruction on computer science.

Unfortunatly the most common type jobs on CS are crap similar to the one above.
Offline dranonymous

Junior Devvie

Hoping to become a Java Titan someday!

« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-11-15 20:17:14 »

I'd agree with MojoM, it really depends upon flexability.  Another issue is that a CS degree is very general.  There are so many OS issues, different types of languages, hardware/software interaction, etc, that hiring someone is often about finding a person who is tailored to the work environment.

You can't just be a 'programmer', like way back when, now you need to have areas of focus, to be good at what you do.

The work is there and you will find it, you just might have to go through some learning experiences you didn't envision along the way.  Smiley

Dr. A>
Offline Chris Duesing

Senior Newbie

« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-11-16 16:20:46 »

I don't necisarrily agree. I think a good solid CS degree from a school with a good program is the foundation to a broad understanding of the field. You will then need to go on and specialize to some degree, but flexibility and general knowledge are key. I went from a project where I designed and wrote a Java framework, to another where I did XSLT programming, to another where I did integration architecture and helped make a technical recomendation between vendor products. Who knows what I will be doing next. If you can only handle one thing you will not survive. Now, from a business knowledge perspective specializing can have some benefits, assuming you choose the right field. Right now if you have a medical or financial background and can code you are golden. Who knows tomorrow though...

also I am speaking as someone who went the exact opposite route. I got in during the dot com era, skipped college, learned from books and on the job. I am now back in school finishing up a math/CS degree.

As a final depressing caveat. I am a senior developer with a good resume, but I spend every day waiting to hear that my comapny is going to outsource. I have no real job security, and I cannot imagine what someone out of school with no experience is facing in todays market...

Oh and my school claims that enrollment in their CS department is down 60% from 4 years ago...
Offline dranonymous

Junior Devvie

Hoping to become a Java Titan someday!

« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-11-17 08:15:21 »

Chris, you said, it appears, exactly what I did.  From what you said, you did all that work in java.  If you suddenly had to go code an embedded C application on a VME computer, you'd be lost.  A CS degree wouldn't have specificially prepared you for that.  It wouldn't have prepared you to do the other tasks per se either.  In general it would have given you starting point to go from.

Bumb deal about worrying about being outsourced.  If you're concerned about it each day, haven't you looked for another job, where that isn't a worry?

Employeers are looking for new, unexperienced people - they are cheaper than senior staff.  Why pay 1 guy to do the work in 1 month when you can pay 2 junior people and get it done in the same amount of time, cheaper.  (Rough analogy, but you get the idea.)

My 2 cents.

Dr. A>
Offline Chris Duesing

Senior Newbie

« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-11-18 13:06:12 »

Hmm yes, we aren't really disagreeing about the state of the job market today, or the flexibility you need. I think we are, however, disagreeing about the value of a general CS education? I think that learning Assembly, C, ALU/CPU design, data structures, memory management, etc. are invaluable as they give you the basic toolset to deal with all of the things you will face in the workplace. I did mostly business logic development for apps before I went back to school. Now I am working on a scripting language that uses dynamic code generation to compile down to java bytecode. I also do alot more framework work these days. Oh and the thousands my company has spent for me to learn OOD and architecture have been invaluable as well. My point is that you have to be very motivated on your own, but a good foundation is invaluable.

Oh and actually I did write one embedded C app for a handheld... I certainly prefer Java though Smiley
Offline Malohkan

Senior Devvie

while (true) System.out.println("WOO!!!!");

« Reply #9 - Posted 2004-11-18 19:58:29 »

hmm... all that you just described is part of my CS major.

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Offline rreyelts

Junior Devvie

There is nothing Nu under the sun

« Reply #10 - Posted 2004-11-19 13:03:14 »

If you suddenly had to go code an embedded C application on a VME computer, you'd be lost.  A CS degree wouldn't have specificially prepared you for that.

I graduated with a CS degree, and I think I'd be fairly prepared to do just that. I wrote assembly for a microcontroller, worked with PICs, and implemented my own FPGA designs. Of course, not everybody's education is equal. I know of CS grads that are complete idiots.

Employeers are looking for new, unexperienced people - they are cheaper than senior staff.  Why pay 1 guy to do the work in 1 month when you can pay 2 junior people and get it done in the same amount of time, cheaper.

Hardly. We're interviewing for senior positions now, and we keep turning away people because they aren't senior enough. You couldn't replace a single good senior engineer with an infinite number of junior programmers. (Obvious plug - If you're senior, in my area, and looking for good work, check my blog for details,

God bless,
-Toby Reyelts

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Offline Breakfast

Senior Devvie

for great justice!

« Reply #11 - Posted 2004-11-19 20:32:36 »

I don't know of any companies that regularly  recruit CS graduates apart from the one where I work -  regular in our case being at a rate of about 1 every 2 years. Most places want a few years of industry experience before they'll give someone a second look- how people are expected to get this is left open to speculation.

Our approach has benefitted us because we can get really good people for an entry-level salary. A good programmer will learn new skills and languages fast and within a couple of months they are well up to speed- certainly as fitted to our way of working as someone coming in fresh with a bit more industrial experience would be. However, we are very small company which may give us the freedom to recruit in this way.  
Offline Chris Duesing

Senior Newbie

« Reply #12 - Posted 2004-11-20 19:50:11 »

Well in case you are up for a good laugh I have a link to a financial news report talking about how much growth there is going to be in the IT industry and how students need to flock back to CS majors. The primary "expert" is the assoc. dean of my school. This strikes me as a completely disingenuous recruiting tactic.

click the windows media link from this page, I would put the final link, but I couldnt get it to work when I directly pasted it into my browser.
Offline Mithrandir

Senior Devvie

Cut from being on the bleeding edge too long

« Reply #13 - Posted 2004-11-21 01:09:14 »

Just to toss in my couple of useless aussie 2 cents:

We just came back from a trip down to Silicon Valley. One of our clients told us that the job market is really picking up down there right now. 12 months ago he could hire any really good 3D graphics programmer he wanted. Now, it's impossible to find anyone, even a recently minted graduate, that could even be marginally competent in 3D coding.

The site for 3D Graphics information
Aviatrix3D JOGL Scenegraph
Programming is essentially a markup language surrounding mathematical formulae and thus, should not be patentable.
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