New York, March 7, 2007 – ACM has produced a guide to prepare students for careers in computing, one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy. ACM, the largest society for computer scientists and engineers, collaborated with IEEE Computer Society and AIS (the Association for Information Systems) to publish "Computing Degrees & Careers", a concise brochure detailing what computer professionals do. It also describes the growing range of career opportunities that mark today´s information-oriented society, and identifies the major areas of study open to those with an interest in this expanding field. The brochure, which is being showcased at ACM´s SIGCSE (Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education ) conference http://www.cs.potsdam.edu/sigcse07/index.shtml this week, highlights the role educators can play in encouraging students to take an interest in computing careers.
"There are more jobs in computing and information technology today than at any point in our past," said Eric Roberts, co-chair of ACM´s Education Board, and professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. "Almost every major challenge facing our world is turning to computing for a solution, from conquering disease to eliminating hunger, from improving education to protecting the environment. We hope students grappling with decisions about their career paths will use the information provided by this publication and the accompanying web site to broaden their awareness of the opportunities open to them in this dynamic field."
Roberts noted that since news of "Computing Degrees & Careers" was announced to ACM members, requests for this career guide for students have poured in from both the high school and university levels. He said this pattern reflects the growing appetite for information about computing as well as its rising profile as a viable, valuable career path.
This career-based project was launched in part to address misperceptions about the computing field, which were documented in ACM´s "Globalization and Offshoring of Software" report, released earlier this year http://www.acm.org/globalizationreport. That study cited data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which indicates that more IT jobs are available today in the U.S. than at the height of the dot com boom. This trend is evident despite a significant increase in offshoring over the past five years. In fact, the BLS data reveals that IT jobs are predicted to be among the fastest-growing occupations over the next decade. The report also found that IT workers and students can improve their chances of long-term employment in IT occupations by acquiring a strong educational foundation, learning the technologies used in global software, and keeping skills up to date throughout their careers.
The careers brochure presents information on the kinds of computer-based skills required for careers in medical imaging, finding information on the Web, online music and movie distribution, mobile devices, and gaming. It also details the major fields of study within computing, including computer engineering, computer science, and information systems.
The accompanying Web site provides additional details about computing disciplines and major fields of study, as well as the "Top 10 Reasons to Major in Computing," and "Skills You´ll Learn If You Study Computing." The brochure is accessible in PDF format from the ACM Web site at http://computingcareers.acm.org.
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery http://www.acm.org, is an educational and scientific society uniting the world´s computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field´s challenges. ACM strengthens the profession´s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.