Computer Industry Luring Students Into Dropping Out

Joachim Feise (
Thu, 25 Jun 1998 19:01:41 -0700

Computer Industry Luring Students Into Dropping Out


The high-tech field, the fastest growing of the United States' economy, has
become so voracious in its hiring that computer science departments across the
country are losing graduate students and, in growing numbers, undergraduates to
an industry fueled by vast sums of money.

Faculty positions in computer science are going unfilled and doctoral programs
have seen a big drop-off in applications. Moreover, students working toward
master's and bachelor's degrees are increasingly abandoning their studies for
well-paying jobs in a field whose wealthy stars, like Bill Gates, famously
dropped out of college.
Many experts fear that fundamental research will decline and that the next
generation of American computer scientists will be stunted.
"I'm afraid we're eating our seed corn," said Peter J. Denning, vice provost of
George Mason University in Virginia.
For many young people, a job paying from $30,000 to $60,000 a year seems far
more appealing than pursuing a degree whose value is unclear.

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