Computing as a career has been recognised for over 30 years as an exciting, challenging and rewarding area in which to work. The pervasive nature of Computing and its wide range of applications has produced employment opportunities in many areas.
The range spans the industrial sector concerned with the production of foundational hardware and software technology through to the public and business sector, with IT solutions deployed in the majority of entrepreneurial businesses. All these roles serve real human needs throughout the developed world. Indeed, most houses and offices now have a computer, but less than one in a hundred of them is used to programme. The applications of these ‘computer boxes’ are often within entertainment systems, car management systems etc and many of them have typically been developed by good computer science graduates.
And yet, against this backdrop, the number of applications for University entry to Computing degree courses has been in decline since 2001. Indeed, it is an international decline, because similar university application patterns have emerged in many other countries with one or two notable exceptions such as India.
So how do we turn this trend around? There is rarely a single answer to such a question but our own students, and the employers of our graduates, give us many of the answers.
By building on several areas of international research expertise within Computer Science, we have been able to design programmes that build on core values and fundamental understanding of the subject area. Naturally, those core values are highly sought after by employers of our graduates. However, delivery of these core values is contained within exciting, modern and up-to-date programmes, such as Computer Games Development and Computer Forensics, as well as traditional, backbone degree of Computer Science plus its several variations. A combination of well designed courses, the teaching of core values of Computer Science and building on the research expertise of staff, has proved an absolute winner. With increasing demand for Computing graduates predicted by many UK-wide reports, the outlook for computing graduates looks good.
Future developments in the field will rely on planned investment in equipment and increasing investment and partnerships with a range of companies, seeking to contribute to the growing infrastructure. For example the University of Glamorgan hosts Orange TM mobile mast to support the development of our mobile computing research, and we have received substantial assistance from Orange in creating world-class facilities.