Despite the increasing demand for technology workers, finding qualified candidates has been continuously difficult. One cause may be due to misconceptions about the field. Alberto Segre, head of the University of Iowa Computer Science Department, recently told The Daily Iowan that “Computational thinking is normally understood as thinking like a computer scientists, but it’s more than that…It’s a shame for undergraduates and graduated today without an exposure of computational thinking…there hasn’t been a field that hasn’t been used by computation.”
Given the increasing use of technology in today’s modern society, computational thinking is very important for highly skilled workers. Johnny Wong, a professor and associate head of the Computer Science Department at Iowa State University, argues that computer-information technology is as essential to learning as reading, writing and arithmetic. Especially with the increasing use of technology in today’s modern society, computational thinking is very important for highly skilled workers.
The trend of students in the computing field seems in constant flux. In the 1990’s, there were a large number of students in the field, then there was a massive drop. The pattern has been up and down ever since.
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that employment in the field of computer and information research is expected to grow by 19 percent between 2010 and 2020. It also reports that the median annual wage was just over $100,000 in May 2010.
Though there is great demand for workers in this field, companies are looking for only the highest quality of candidates. Unfortunately, not many U.S. students gravitate toward computer science and engineering—a majority of the employed specialized workers were foreign students.
Wong recognizes the issue and acknowledges that higher education institutions should focus on recruiting more students who are interested in computer science and information technology. In the meantime, they should offer temporary visas to skilled foreign workers might mitigate the current shortage issue.
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