Article by Jim Morris in http://www.post-gazette.com
The tech meltdown affecting computer jobs as well as stock prices, and the stories about off-shoring of programming jobs, have caused a decline in computer science enrollments at colleges and universities across the country. This wouldn't happen if people understood the real goals of computer science.
It's not just about money. Portraying computer science as a path to getting rich is wrong and contributes to the boom-bust pattern. There was also a boom and bust in the 1980s following the introduction of the IBM PC. At first people thought PCs would give everyone a job; then they found out hard work was involved.
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It is the opinion of University of California Berkeley computer science lecturer Brian Harvey that major American colleges and universities are generally slow when it comes to adding the teaching of Linux and open source software development and administration into their curriculums. "You'd do better...at technical schools, the places that advertise in the subway, and in the job section of the newspaper," he wagers. ITT Technical Institute corporate curriculum manager Wen Liu notes that two courses at his school offer Linux training and education, while Blue Star Learning's Casey Boyles reports that both corporate and federal organizations are increasingly requesting Linux and open source training. He adds that corporate demand will likely spur universities to more aggressively pursue open source as an educational component. Furthermore, Servin President Norman McEntire says that Linux and open source are growing in popularity among high-school students, which is also putting pressure on academia to add them to their curriculums. "It seems to me as an educator and a researcher that Linux and software like Linux stimulates research, innovation, and competitiveness," comments Marist College President Dennis Murray, whose school has deeply embraced Linux and open source through efforts such as the Linux Research Development Lab. Dean of the Marist School of Computer Science Roger Norton notes that the college will soon offer a new course in "open source development methodology" as part of an expansion of its Linux curriculum. Murray believes that the leading computer science and information systems schools in the United States are giving students Linux training through Unix programs.
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