Posts tagged ‘jobs’
Recommended blog post from Neil Brown, in response to comments from Mark Zuckerberg that the problem with getting more women into computing is solved by getting computing education earlier. It’s not. It used to be that we’d say, “Women aren’t going into computing because they don’t know what it is.” Now we’d say, “Women aren’t going into computing because they know exactly what it’s like. Smart women.”
However, this is not solely an issue with the education system though that would be a familiar narrative — work force not as we would like it? Must be the fault of schools and universities. The pipeline or funnel doesn’t just need filling by shoving lots of 5 year old girls in one end and waiting for the hordes of female developers to swim out of the other end into an idyllic tech industry pool. Zuckerberg mentions that the lack of women in the industry forms a vicious cycle. This is not a problem at the education end of the funnel.
As this Fortune article describes, the industry is not welcoming to women. The Anita Borg Institute found that women’s quit rates were double those of men. Not to mention issues like maternity leave. The pool at the end of the pipeline is leaking, and for good reason. So the vicious cycle is not simply an accident of history; the women that are in the industry tend to leave. There are several reasons for this, some of which are identity and culture in the industry.
Katrin was in our ICER DC this last August. She is trying to measure the expectations that software companies and universities have on BS in CS graduates. She has a survey on software development and the software development process. She asked me to share this message:
According to the article linked below, there is a large effort to fill STEM worker jobs in Northern Virginia by getting kids interested in STEM (including computing) from 3rd grade on. The evidence for this need is that there will be 50K new jobs in the region between 2013 and 2018.
The third graders are 8 years old. If they can be effective STEM workers right out of high school, there’s another 10 years to wait before they can enter the workforce — 2024. If they need undergrad, 2028. If they need advanced degrees, early 2030’s. Is it even possible to predict workforce needs out over a decade?
Now, let’s consider the cost of keeping that pipeline going, just in terms of CS. Even in Northern Virginia, only about 12% of high schools offer CS today. So, we need a fourfold increase in CS teachers — but that’s just high school. The article says that we want these kids supported in CS from 3rd grade on. Most middle schools have no CS teachers. Few elementary schools do. We’re going to have to hire and train a LOT of teachers to fulfill that promise.
Making a jobs argument for teaching 3rd graders CS doesn’t make sense.
The demand is only projected to grow greater. The Washington area is poised to add 50,000 net new STEM jobs between 2013 and 2018, according to projections by Stephen S. Fuller, the director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. And Fuller said that STEM jobs are crucial in that they typically pay about twice as much as the average job in the Washington area and they generate significantly more economic value.
It is against this backdrop that SySTEMic Solutions is working to build a pipeline of STEM workers for the state of Virginia, starting with elementary school children and working to keep them consistently interested in the subject matter until they finish school and enter the workforce.
Elliot gets it right in his NYtimes quote from this last weekend. Young kids who code are probably not learning much computer science that might lead to future jobs. Rather, they’re “programming” as if it’s a video game. That’s not at all bad, but it makes less believable the argument that we need coding in skills to improve the future labor force.
The spread of coding instruction, while still nascent, is “unprecedented — there’s never been a move this fast in education,” said Elliot Soloway, a professor of education and computer science at the University of Michigan. He sees it as very positive, potentially inspiring students to develop a new passion, perhaps the way that teaching frog dissection may inspire future surgeons and biologists.
But the momentum for early coding comes with caveats, too. It is not clear that teaching basic computer science in grade school will beget future jobs or foster broader creativity and logical thinking, as some champions of the movement are projecting. And particularly for younger children, Dr. Soloway said, the activity is more like a video game — better than simulated gunplay, but not likely to impart actual programming skills.
ACM has just released a report arguing for the need for computer science in K-12 schools. They are very strongly making the jobs argument. The appendix to the report details state-by-state what jobs are available in computing, the salaries being paid for those jobs, and how many computing graduates (including how many AP CS exams vs other AP exams were taken in 2013) in that state.
The report Rebooting the Pathway to Success: Preparing Students for Computing Workforce Needs in the United States calls on education and business leaders and public policy officials in every state to take immediate action aimed at filling the pipeline of qualified students pursuing computing and related degrees, and to prepare them for the 21st century workforce. The report provides recommendations to help these leaders join together to create a comprehensive plan that addresses K-12 computer science education and that aligns state policy, programs, and resources to implement these efforts.
I found the analysis linked below interesting. Most IT workers do not have an IT-related degree. People with CS degrees are getting snapped up. The suggestion is that there’s not a shortage of IT workers, because IT workers are drawn from many disciplines. There may be a shortage of IT workers who have IT training.
IT workers, who make up 59 percent of the entire STEM workforce, are predominantly drawn from fields outside of computer science and mathematics, if they have a college degree at all. Among the IT workforce, 36 percent do not have a four-year college degree; of those who do, only 38 percent have a computer science or math degree, and more than a third (36 percent) do not have a science or technology degree of any kind. Overall, less than a quarter (24 percent) of the IT workforce has at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or math. Of the total IT workforce, two-thirds to three-quarters do not have a technology degree of any type (only 11 percent have an associate degree in any field).4
Although computer science graduates are only one segment of the overall IT workforce, at 24 percent, they are the largest segment by degree (as shown in Figure F, they are 46 percent of college graduates entering the IT workforce, while nearly a third of graduates entering IT do not have a STEM degree). The trend in computer scientist supply is important as a source of trained graduates for IT employers, particularly for the higher-skilled positions and industries, but it is clear that the IT workforce actually draws from a pool of graduates with a broad range of degrees.
The College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia invites applications for full-time, non-tenure-track faculty positions at the rank of Instructor or Lecturer (based on experience) to start in May 2014. Primary responsibilities are to provide high quality classroom teaching and service to the department. In addition, the College is specifically looking for candidates interested in performing as Instructor of Record for large online master’s degree courses with prerecorded video lecture content. Applicants must have a minimum of a Master’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field. This position is renewable annually based on funding and the needs of the College. This is a 9 month contract although summer teaching is typically available.
Applications should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, teaching statement, material relevant to evaluating the applicant’s teaching abilities, and the names of at least three references. These documents should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Lecturer Vacancy” in the subject line. Also, candidates are requested to ask references to send their letters directly to the search committee via electronic mail to email@example.com and ask them to put your name in the subject line. For full consideration, interested individuals are asked to apply by April 15, 2014. However, posting will remain open until position(s) are filled.
Duties, Responsibilities and Assignments
The overall responsibility of the lecturers and instructors at the College of Computing is to teach such Computer Science classes as are assigned to them, usually the large first and second year classes. The specific duties involved in teaching such a class are:
1. Preparing and maintaining a class syllabus and schedule.
2. Preparing and delivering materials for each of the scheduled meeting times of the class. For Online courses monitor course progress and activity and respond appropriately to any problems.
3. Holding regularly scheduled office hours to assist students who are having any difficulty with course materials.
4. If Teaching Assistants (TAs) are required for the class,
- a. Making the selection of TAs to hire for the class
- b. Ensuring that each TA is trained with respect to their legal obligations to the students and to the technical content of the class.
- c. Ensuring appropriate conduct of the TAs.
5. Supervising the development of, and approving the content of, all assignments given to the students in the class.
6. Supervising the development of, and approving the content of, all evaluation materials given to the students in the class.
7. Supervising and ensuring the correctness and fairness of all grading activities in the class.
8. Computing and delivering to the Registrar’s Office mid-term and final grades for the class.
9. Assisting in reviews of their fellow lecturers on a regular basis.
10. Participating in committees and other administrative activities as required by the administration.