Better data on education and degree production for computing professionals are needed to guide employers, students, educators, and policymakers. The large number and different types of apparently relevant education and training programs offered (computer science, computer engineering, information systems, information science, management of information systems, and so on) make it difficult to count the number of appropriately educated people and to target appropriate programs for study or hiring purposes.
While the workshop underscored the richness and excitement of computing professions, it also demonstrated the frustrations of attempting to discuss in common the rather different functions and concerns of researchers, applications and systems developers, and applications and systems deployers. Participants from academia and industry differed significantly in their perspectives, requirements, and concerns. Academic computer scientists and computer engineers, for example, argued for a narrower, more focused analysis of computer scientists and computer engineers. By contrast, a broader view was taken by managers of computing applications and systems development and deployment in industry and government. These workshop participants noted that they can meet most of their human resource needs, even for research, by hiring people without advanced education in computing (although these employees may need some form of advanced education and training). The discussions validated the notion that there is limited value in aggregating these professionals when analyzing the labor market.
Workshop participants emphasized the importance of continued interaction on issues relating to the supply and demand of computing professionals among employers, educators, and policymakers, in the interests of promoting a better fit between the supply and demand for computing professionals over the coming decade and beyond. Collaboration among all of these parties is essential for successful pursuit of a wide variety of next steps, such as those suggested in the concluding chapter of this report.