Monday, April 23, 2012

Really, University of Florida?

I'm still job-hunting, hence the continued lack of content. But I can't let this story pass by without comment.

University of Florida is closing down its computer science department, at a savings to the university of $1.7 million. In what I'm sure is entirely unrelated news, the university's athletics budget has been increased by $2 million.

And here I thought this piece in the Onion was satire. Instead, it was just ahead of its time.

As it happens, I actually love college sports. But funding them at the expense of academic departments is completely counter to the mission of universities. And while a department can certainly have run its course, there is absolutely no way that this is true for any computer science department right now.

Computer science is in that wonderful academic sweet spot of fast-paced, ground-breaking research combined with ample job opportunities. Many jobs outside the area of software engineer are increasingly requiring programming skills. And have you looked at the job market lately? I recently attended an engineering career fair at my school, and let me tell you who's hiring. Facebook. Hulu. Pixar. Microsoft. Apple. Google. The list goes on. While I'm searching for one of the few and far between hardware jobs, the computer science students have it made.

And University of Florida, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that they don't need a CS department.

This is atrocious. You can follow the students' struggle to save their department here.