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Computing Professionals: Changing Needs for the 1990s
consequences of good programs of basic education; in practice, it is not clear that these objectives are being met.
A set of new curriculum recommendations is under development by a committee of the Association for Computing Machinery, a professional society. This group has classified 2-year programs into five categories, four of which are relevant here, including computing and engineering technology (hardware-oriented programs), computing and information processing (information systems-type courses), computing science (more computer science oriented), and computer support services (including functions like computer operation).
This problem is not unique to computer science and computer engineering, but many have the impression that the situation is more serious in computer science and computer engineering.
See Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Computing the Future: A Broader Agenda for Computer Science and Engineering, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1992, for a discussion of research trends and needs. As that report notes, the opportunities for Ph.D.s will be greater where individuals have broader views of what constitutes interesting and legitimate research activity. Although employers may specify a requirement for Ph.D.-level education relatively infrequently, Ph.D. holders have skills that could be applied beneficially in nonresearch activities, including development. However, as Elizabeth Nichols observed, employers sometimes have difficulty merging Ph.D. holders in development roles.
Retirements and deaths are increasing in Ph.D.-granting institutions. The Taulbee survey reported 35 such separations in 1990–1991, more than twice the level of the previous year, a level that had also exceeded that of earlier years.
Elaine El-Khawas, Campus Trends, American Council on Education (ACE) Reports, Number 81, ACE, Washington, D.C., July, 1991, pp. 10–12, 36. The statistics refer to all institutions of higher education, including community colleges. If the analysis is restricted to doctorate-granting institutions, an increasing proportion of the respondents expect future shortages. This finding applies to each of the individual fields covered in this survey, including computer science.
T.K. Bikson and S.L. Law, Meeting the Human Resource Needs for Success in a Global Economy, College Placement Council, Bethlehem, Pa., 1992.
Vetter noted that the discrepancies in statistics about Asians suggest that some surveys may count Asian Americans with foreign nationals, and some, appropriately, may not.
Evelyn R. Keller, Reflections on Gender and Science, Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., 1990.
See, for example, Gary Becker, The Economics of Discrimination, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1971.
David Gries and Dorothy Marsh, "The 1990–91 Taulbee Survey Report: The Computing Research Association's Survey on the Production and Employment of Ph.D.s and Faculty in Computer Science and Engineering," Department of Computer Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., December 1991.
These numbers include women of multiple nationalities, not just U.S. citizens.
Data from annual and other surveys of the National Research Council's Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel.