Computing Professionals

Changing Needs for the 1990s

A Workshop Report Prepared by the

Steering Committee on Human Resources in Computer Science and Technology

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications

and

Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1993



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Computing Professionals: Changing Needs for the 1990s Computing Professionals Changing Needs for the 1990sA Workshop Report Prepared by the Steering Committee on Human Resources in Computer Science and Technology Computer Science and Telecommunications Board Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications and Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1993

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Computing Professionals: Changing Needs for the 1990s NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the steering committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Support for this project was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Grant No. N00014-87-J-1110), the National Science Foundation (Grant No. CDA-9121558), and the Association for Computing Machinery, the Computer and Business Equipment Manufacturers Association, the Information Technology Association of America, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (under unnumbered contracts). Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 92-85596 International Standard Book Number 0-309-04790-0 Copyright 1993 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 B-030 Printed in the United States of America

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Computing Professionals: Changing Needs for the 1990s STEERING COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LESLIE L. VADASZ, Intel Corporation, Chairman EILEEN COLLINS, National Science Foundation (through August 18, 1992) NANCY G. LEVESON, University of Washington SHELBY STEWMAN, Carnegie Mellon University JAMES C. TENNISON, IBM Corporation MAXINE TRENTHAM, CTA Inc. PAUL YOUNG, University of Washington Staff MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board ALAN FECHTER, Executive Director, Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel JAMES VOYTUK, Senior Staff Officer (January 1990 to December 1991) ARTHUR L. MCCORD, Project Assistant OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC AND ENGINEERING PERSONNEL Advisory Committee on Studies and Analyses LINDA S. WILSON, Radcliffe College, Chairman JOHN PATRICK CRECINE, Georgia Institute of Technology LESTER A. HOEL, University of Virginia ERNEST JAWORSKI, Monsanto Company DANIEL KLEPPNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ALAN S. RABSON, National Institutes of Health BRUCE SMITH, Brookings Institution Ex Officio WILLIAM H. MILLER, University of California at Berkeley ALAN FECHTER, Executive Director PAMELA EBERT FLATTAU, Director of Studies and Surveys Unit

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Computing Professionals: Changing Needs for the 1990s COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD WILLIAM WULF, University of Virginia, Chairman RUZENA BAJCSY, University of Pennsylvania DAVID J. FARBER, University of Pennsylvania SAMUEL H. FULLER, Digital Equipment Corporation JAMES GRAY, Digital Equipment Corporation JOHN L. HENNESSY, Stanford University MITCHELL D. KAPOR, Electronic Frontier Foundation SIDNEY KARIN, San Diego Supercomputer Center RICHARD M. KARP, University of California at Berkeley KEN KENNEDY, Rice University ROBERT L. MARTIN, Bell Communications Research ABRAHAM PELED, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center WILLIAM PRESS, Harvard College RAJ REDDY, Carnegie Mellon University JEROME SALTZER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology CHARLES L. SEITZ, California Institute of Technology MARY SHAW, Carnegie Mellon University EDWARD SHORTLIFFE, Stanford University School of Medicine IVAN E. SUTHERLAND, Sun Microsystems LAWRENCE T. TESLER, Apple Computer Inc. MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director HERBERT S. LIN, Senior Staff Officer MONICA KRUEGER, Staff Officer FRANK PITTELLI, CSTB Consultant RENEE A. HAWKINS, Staff Associate DONNA F. ALLEN, Administrative Assistant ARTHUR L. MCCORD, Project Assistant LESLIE WADE, Project Assistant

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Computing Professionals: Changing Needs for the 1990s COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS RICHARD N. ZARE, Stanford University, Chairman JOHN A. ARMSTRONG, IBM Corporation PETER J. BICKEL, University of California at Berkeley GEORGE F. CARRIER, Harvard University GEORGE W. CLARK, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MARYE ANNE FOX, University of Texas AVNER FRIEDMAN, University of Minnesota SUSAN L. GRAHAM, University of California at Berkeley NEAL F. LANE, Rice University ROBERT W. LUCKY, Bell Communications Research CLAIRE E. MAX, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory CHRISTOPHER F. MCKEE, University of California at Berkeley JAMES W. MITCHELL, AT&T Bell Laboratories RICHARD S. NICHOLSON, American Association for the Advancement of Science ALAN SCHRIESHEIM, Argonne National Laboratory A. RICHARD SEEBASS III, University of Colorado KENNETH G. WILSON, Ohio State University NORMAN METZGER, Executive Director

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Computing Professionals: Changing Needs for the 1990s The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Computing Professionals: Changing Needs for the 1990s Preface At the invitation of the Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel (OSEP), the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) joined OSEP in an exploratory project aimed at better understanding the human resource base of the computing profession. CSTB and OSEP convened a steering committee that combined computer scientists with social scientists who specialize in analyzing scientific and technical labor markets. The steering committee was charged with organizing a cross-disciplinary workshop, which was held on October 28–29, 1991, in Irvine, California, and developing this summary report of that workshop and the steering committee's subsequent deliberations, which were carried out primarily through numerous telephone, teleconference, and electronic mail interactions over the year following the workshop. The workshop illustrated the value of bringing together people from a range of backgrounds—economics and other social sciences, computer science, and computer and electrical engineering; research, product development, management, and data analysis; and government, industry, and academia. The interaction of workshop participants reflected a range of perspectives, as well as areas of agreement and lack of agreement. It is in illuminating that range that this report makes its greatest contribution; it underscores the problems discussed at the workshop that arise from a lack of consensus both within and between segments of the computing professional community on is-

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Computing Professionals: Changing Needs for the 1990s sues as basic as what to call these professionals. The report attempts to define and focus attention on specific problems and approaches to solving them, identifying a range of steps that could be taken by federal statistical agencies, professional organizations, and others. Appended to the report are three papers that were prepared and delivered as presentations at the workshop. They include information collected and evaluated by their respective authors. These papers were used as resources during the workshop and subsequently by the steering committee. CSTB and OSEP are grateful for the financial support of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Computer and Business Equipment Manufacturers Association, the Information Technology Association of America, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the National Science Foundation, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which made this project possible.

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Computing Professionals: Changing Needs for the 1990s Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   6 2   DATA AND TAXONOMY: COMPUTING PROFESSIONALS ARE HARD TO COUNT   10     Introduction   10     Why Are the Data Unsatisfying?   11     The Current Situation   20     Issues and Conclusions   26     Notes   27 3   DEMAND CROSSCURRENTS: EMERGING AND DISAPPEARING JOBS   29     Introduction   29     Factors in the Macro Environment Affecting Demand   32     Changes in Computer-based Technology and Applications Affecting Demand   38     What Do Employers Want?   42     Trends in Demand by Function   45     Issues and Conclusions   55     Notes   56

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Computing Professionals: Changing Needs for the 1990s 4   SUPPLY: WHO ENTERS THE PROFESSION?   58     Introduction   58     Degree Programs   60     Future Supply: Pipeline or Aquifer   64     Promoting Diversity   69     Foreign-born Citizens   75     Issues and Conclusions   76     Notes   77 5   TRAINING, RETRAINING, AND MORE RETRAINING   78     Overview   78     Education Curricula   80     Training   84     Issues and Conclusions   87     Note   87 6   CONCLUSION AND NEXT STEPS   88     Acknowledging Evolving Demand   89     Broadening and Nurturing the Talent Stream   90     Providing for Ongoing Training   91     Acting on Implications for Education   92     Improving the Linkage Between School and Work   93     Improving Data Gathering and Analysis   94     Note   95     APPENDIXES         A Comparison of Data Sources and Data Betty M. Vetter   99     B U.S. Degree Programs in Computing A. Joseph Turner   120     C The Demand for Human Resources and Skills in the 1990s E.G. Nichols   136     D Workshop Program   149

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Computing Professionals: Changing Needs for the 1990s Computing Professionals Changing Needs for the 1990s

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