OK. Not in football, unfortunately. We can dream though, right? This #1 ranking comes from Aviation Week & Space Technology, which ranked Virginia Tech first for industry workforce recruiting based on an annual survey of companies in the aerospace and defense industries. Chris Hall, Department Head of Aerospace & Ocean Engineering at VT, graciously pointed out that although aerospace engineering departments are the most obvious producer of graduates for this particular sector, ‘the aviation and defense industries recruit from all College of Engineering programs.’ Boy is that true. We have several very active members of our industrial affiliates board who come from this sector. And if you read the details of the report from Aviation Week (pdf), you will see some interesting numbers. For example, the survey responders plan to hire 192 aerospace engineers in 2010, 325 ‘computer hardware engineers’, and 1722 ‘computer software engineers.’ The salary data reported for software engineers is very competitive as well. Just another example of the many and varied opportunities open to computer scientists.
If you want a sense of the huge variety of things that computer scientists are working on these days, a great place to look is the collection of videos posted by the Computing Research Association (CRA), taken at the symposium sponsored in March by the CRA, ‘Computing Research that Changed the World.‘ A very impressive and exciting list of contributions!
If there’s a common theme to my posts over the last couple of years on this blog, it’s that computer science is a fascinating, dynamic, world-changing discipline. I see examples of this almost every day, but resist the temptation to blog about every one of them. (You’re welcome.) But at the risk of beating the same poor dead horse, here we go again! Have you voted in Google’s Project 10100? These guys issued a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible. They received something like 150,000 suggestions, and now they’ve narrowed and boiled those down to 16 broad candidates to receive funding. And we’re invited to vote for our favorites. My point here is not that computer science is the only discipline that will contribute to these exciting and high-impact projects. Big, important projects always require people with lots of skills and experience. But it’s pretty clear that computer science has a critical role to play in just about every one of them. Yet another example of how training in computing can position you to make a great positive difference in the lives of a whole bunch of people!