Computer Science All About the Benjamins?

Album Cover: The Open Door EP

"Pretend every slot machine is a robot amputee waving hello."
Death Cab For Cutie / Little Bribes

Posted on March 01, 2004 7:45 PM in Miscellaneous
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

I think not. Robert Scoble of Microsoft fame posted a rebuttal of sorts to his weblog today in response to something Dave Winer wrote on his blog about why more students aren't pursuing Computer Science degrees these days.

Robert thinks that by naming off a few prosperous companies like Google and Tivo and the types of profits they are making, he is giving more than enough reason for potential Computer Science students to enter the field.

In my opinion, he couldn't be more wrong. I know that my personal decision to enter the field of Computer Science had very little to do with money. The main reason I decided to study Computer Science was that I enjoyed working with computers; they fascinated me. Luckily for me, they still do, and my decision was a prosperous one. While current students may not be entering for the same reason, I think the ones that are going through with it are doing it more for similar reasons than dissimilar ones.

I have to admit, the thought of getting rich off of a good software idea or a strong position in a up-and-coming company crossed my mind, just as it did for many of my peers, but even if the potential for finding a good job and making a lot of money looked the same in 1998 as it does now, I know I would have entered the field and pursued my passion for computers and web/software development regardless.

Do I think that the current economy (or at least the economy of the past few years) has played a part in deterring potential students from joining the Computer Science field? Sure. But anyone it deterred was in it for the wrong reasons, and they're probably better off pursuing whatever fields they opted for instead. It's no secret that I'd rather be working alongside someone who invests time in his or her job because of the enjoyment and pride it involves than someone who thinks he or she might make a quick buck off of his or her work.

Oh, and the more people who avoid the field because of the lack of potential for making money, the more money I stand to make, right? So yeah, that definitely doesn't hurt my situation.

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