I’m a member of the Miami University (Ohio) Computer and Information Technology Advisory Council. Basically, we’re a group of people who work in the IT industry that Miami U visits with at least twice a year to discuss curricula, industry trends, and other related IT issues that may help them increase enrollment, teach more relevant information, and better prepare students for a career in IT.
We had our Spring meeting today and it was pretty enlightening. Basically, the regional campuses are considering having a Bachelor’s degree program for CIT. That would mean that you wouldn’t have to transfer to the Oxford campus to ‘finish’ your 4 yr degree. I would have done it if they would have had it way back then. Another thing that was evident, and even mentioned by Marik Dollar (The Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science) was that computer science and IT degree enrollments around the nation were falling very rapidly. He mentioned some statistics that I found very interesting.
In the US, less than 2% of Congressman and Senators have Science (including computer science) or Engineering degrees/backgrounds. In China it was something above 60% – but they have some significant other issues to deal with. In Germany, in what I consider the optimal scenario, 30% of the government officials have a science or engineering background. This could certainly illustrate why the US is losing ground to other countries in the math/computer/science sectors. And, its no surprise how lacking these types of scientific leaders in the US government would lead to the fragmented, marketing based, and otherwise unsatisfactory government that prevails today. Imagine if 28% more of the leaders in our Congress and Senate were logical thinkers and fact assessors. Do YOU think you would be happier with the government than you are today?
On the plus side, and with what I consider great foresight, the Leadership at Miami U recognizes this and is doing some strategic planning to add some courses to the CS and CIT curricula to help foster leadership in their graduates. It certainly can’t hurt. Maybe someday other Universities do the same and in the future we have a lot of scientific officials instead of the now more prevalent I-know-how-to-kiss-the-right-butts officials.
All in all, though. The meeting was good. We got some ideas out on the table for improving Miami and some actionable items in order to make it happen. Stay tuned for a few decades to see if it works.