Computer science is one of the most popular majors among students today, not just in India, but in the world. This is because expertise in computer science opens up plenty of opportunities in terms of jobs, and also the fact that there’s a lot of research is going on in this area. With an increasing demand for students taking up graduate and postgraduate courses in computer science, the faculty for computer science to train them in institutes is unable to grow with the demand.
The Gap Between The Students And The Faculty
In a new survey commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by YouGov, 88 percent of teacher respondents said they believe computer science is critical for students’ success in the workplace—but two in 10 teachers said their students aren’t taught any computer science. Computer science students on a number of campuses complain that their departments can’t meet demand.
School districts and boards of education have not prioritized computer science education the way they should. It is not true that every student will not grow up to work as a computer engineer or a computer scientist, but a good exposure on the working of computers must be given to students at the preliminary level.
The government is not doing enough to help schools teach computer science. Although recently the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had announced that it wants to include AI in its curriculum, in an attempt to mould their education system to make students well-versed with today’s fast-growing and highly demanding technologies, has decided to include artificial intelligence in their syllabus for students. More such adoptions are required. In the same survey by Microsoft and YouGov, 80 percent of respondents were of the opinion that big tech companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google should step in and help kids learn computer science skills.
Computers should be part of the education curriculum the way math and language are, rather than being dependent on funding and involvement from tech companies in order for it to be taught in schools.
Demand For CS Graduates Continues To Escalate
The rise in computer science students is an obvious consequence of the following facts:
1. Greater job opportunities: There are a number of job opportunities in the field of computer science, more compared to other fields of engineering or science. Students majoring in subjects other than computer science or IT also have to often end up with the job of a software engineer. Many companies in India are open to plenty of opportunities for software engineers.
2. Demand for skills: Every organisation has a need to hire computer science expert, if not a graduate. It becomes easy for them to hire students from computer science, especially when it comes to freshers, which is why industries prefer hiring students possessing software skills.
3. Good salary: Many US companies are setting up their workforces in India because of the reasons for the time lag between the two places fitting perfectly and the talent that exists here. Salary is ultimately what matters to most at the end of the day. The US IT market being a very successful one, their employees in India, too, get a good salary. It is a promising field with employment outlook ranging from average to much faster than average.
4. The rise of new technology: With an increasing rise of technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, it has become imperative to get upskill in these technologies. It is very easy for the computer science major students to jump into this new wave of technology. A survey says that 90 percent of people in AI and data science and ML has moved their careers to from computer science. The skills that computer science students learn match the best and hence is easier for them to make a switch.
What Can Be Done?
The United Kingdom has made efforts to improve curriculum and train 8,000 teachers in computer science. An organised training for the professors would allow for overall progress and help the teachers and the students as well.
The fast-paced world of technology is constantly evolving and it is important that our computer science teachers are trained in the very latest digital skills. A proper training will give the teachers the knowledge and support needed to guide the students.