Computer Science Enrollments Trending Higher

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 26 March, 2010 – The number of students majoring in computer science at Canadian and US universities increased last year, according to the Computing Research Association’s annual Taulbee Survey.

The 2008-2009 CRA Taulbee Survey found an 8.8 percent increase in the number of new students majoring in computer science, although bachelor’s degree production continued to decline due to decreased enrollments in previous years. With the 5.5 percent increase in the total number of computer science majors, the population has experienced a 14 percent rise over the past two years.

The survey found a continuing lack of representation by women and minorities among computer science graduates. Women accounted for only 11.2 percent of computer science degrees and minorities 10.1 percent.

One longtime trend began to reverse itself, however. Total PhD graduation production decreased 6.9 percent to 1,747 degrees, the first decrease in seven years.

The CRA conducts the Taulbee Survey annually to document trends in student enrollment, degree production, employment of graduates, and faculty salaries in PhD-granting departments of computer science, computer engineering, and information in the United States and Canada.

The CRA’s role is to strengthen research and advanced education in computing and allied fields. It works to influence policy that impacts computing research, encouraging the development of human resources, contributing to the cohesiveness of the professional community and collecting and disseminating information about the importance and the state of computing research.

The IEEE Computer Society is a member of the CRA, along with academic institutions, companies, and other professional organizations. The full CRA report, with information about faculty size, demographics, and salaries, graduate student support, research expenditures, teaching loads, and space, will be available in May at http://www.cra.org.

About the IEEE Computer Society

With nearly 85,000 members, the IEEE Computer Society is the world’s leading organization of computing professionals. Founded in 1946, and the largest of IEEE’s 38 societies, the Computer Society is dedicated to advancing the theory and application of computing and information technology. The Computer Society serves the information and career-development needs of today’s computing researchers and professionals with books, conferences, conference publications, magazines, online courses, software development certifications, standards, and technical journals. With about 40 percent of its members living and working outside the United States, the Computer Society fosters international communication, cooperation, and information exchange. Based in Washington, DC, the Computer Society operates offices in Tokyo and Los Alamitos, Calif.

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