The rise and fall of computer science degrees

June 26, 2014

The Chronicle of Higher Education has taken a close look at computer science degrees and their proliferation over the last 3 decades. The Chronicle found interesting peaks in the numbers of computer science bachelor’s degrees awarded, with the highest peaks occurring in 1985–86 and the years 2002–04. The Chronicle study did not find concrete reasons for these peaks, but suggests several reasons, including a “primed pipeline” when students in the 1970s and 80s were learning code in elementary and high schools, and fluctuations in the job market that attracted increased number of learners studying computer science. The article concludes by suggesting that the argument whether youth should be learning code in school is second to the argument that kids should be learning how to think like a programmer, or “computational thinking.” This would hopefully increase the numbers of females and minorities involved in computer science, and allow more people in various fields to “solve problems like a computer scientist.” The Chronicle of Higher Education