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Top-Ranked Computer Science at UT Has a Message for the Tech Industry

Top-Ranked Computer Science at UT Has a Message for the Tech Industry
Computer science is so sought-after on certain college campuses that students like Aafia Ahmad, a sophomore computer science major at UT Austin, say they have to compete just to get into popular courses. Photo credit: Joanna Kulesza for The New York Times.

In a New York Times article and on the Bay Area airwaves, University of Texas at Austin computer scientists are speaking out about the increasing demand for classes – and how the department, which is top-ten ranked, is coping with the challenge.

According to the Computing Research Association, the number of undergraduates seeking to major in computer science nationwide has more than doubled from 2013 to 2017 – and a similar trend is underway at UT. Students are drawn to the major by the prospect of in-demand jobs with high pay. However, many would-be professors are electing to enter high-paying industry jobs, where salaries are challenging for universities to match.

Computer science chair Don Fussell mentioned he has talked with major tech companies about the issue. He told the Times: "They are well aware that they are eating their seed."

Radio station KCBS in San Francisco interviewed UT Austin computer science professor and associate department chair Peter Stone about the situation.

To stream the audio interview, click here.

"All top departments are redoubling efforts to recruit faculty and to try to increase capacity in classes," Stone said. "There is some movement to try to increase the capacity through online education, as well. The University of Texas is rolling out an online master's program in the fall."

Don Fussell, chairman of the computer science department at UT Austin, said top programs nationwide were competing with tech companies to keep their professors and hire Ph.D.s. Photo credit: Joanna Kulesza for The New York Times.
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Thursday, 09 February 2023

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