The Boise State University Computer Science department has found itself experiencing rapid growth with deceleration nowhere in sight. This soaring demand is best illustrated by Boise State’s CS graduates in the class of 2013. Twenty two of the twenty seven graduates were hired by Idahoan companies, four continued on to graduate school, and one accepted a position out of state. This job placement record is certainly drawing attention and getting students to think about jumping into the CS industry but so is increased media regarding the desperate need for even more graduates, as Anne Wallace Allen reports in the Idaho Business Review.
“All the stories in the media about the need for computer scientists, for software engineers, about the high rate of pay, actually has helped us by attracting people to consider the degree,” Amy Moll [Dean of the College of Engineering at Boise State] said.
The person behind a lot of that media attention is Bob Lokken, an IBE board member who often speaks publicly about the problems he has at his own company, WhiteCloud Analytics, in recruiting the talent he needs. Lokken, who has been talking about a technology talent shortage in Idaho for a decade now, called Boise State “one of the bright spots.
“What Boise State has done around computer science is an example of what happens if people get focused and work together,” he said, referring in part to a $1 million state Department of Labor grant that has helped Boise State increase the number of computer science seats available. “Instead of making excuses, they figured out a way to make it happen.”
In addition to Lokken’s involvement in preparing Idaho’s future workforce (see “Idaho Technology” by Bob Lokken, Idaho Statesman), many other Boise tech leaders have joined in the movement and are echoing the needs for more graduates in CS. It’s safe to believe that as prospective and current students continue to hear about these needs, particularly in Boise, enrollments in CS courses and declarations of CS degrees will only continue to rise. Boise State’s Computer Science department is focused on taking steps now to stay ahead of that growth and continue to serve its students at the highest level for years to come. Learn more about these efforts by navigating the department website, CS Facebook page, CS Twitter account, or giving us a call!