Image of computing

As most of you know, the computing field is going through a lull in enrollments. There are not enough students coming into computing programs to fill the positions available in industry. In addition, we have very poor diversity in our field; not enough students from underrepresented groups (e.g., women, african-americans, hispanics) are enrolling in computing.

Some have said that one of the reason for this is a poor image of computing professionals. People think that to be in computing you need to wear those funky 50's black glasses like the characters in Revenge of the Nerds. Even the TV commercials for Geek Squad try to stay within the limits of the image of "the geek." And there are plenty of other TV shows that reinforce this stereotype (e.g., Beauty and the Geek).

Also, people don't have a clue what we computing professionals do. I get asked all the time: "My computer broke, what can I do to boot it up again?" I see many students (and their parents) that think that by studying computer science, they will learn how to be a whiz at Photoshop.

Finally we have a good collection of information to help others understand our field and help influence the image of our profession. So, please, check this site out, ImageOfComputing.com, and tell all of your geeky friends to visit it.

Posted on 04/30/2008

 

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Computing Diversity

 

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