Big demand for computer-science graduates, UBC lecturer says

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      It’s not just the video-game industry that’s scrambling to hire computer-science graduates. UBC lecturer Kimberly Voll says that all industries are suffering from the shortage. “We’re not getting as many people through our doors as we should be,” she said at a recent showcase of games developed by UBC undergrads, “and we’re not able to fill the jobs that are out there.” Students from UBC’s program are routinely hired by companies like Google and Microsoft, Voll noted, at starting salaries as high as $100,000 annually. “They are clamouring to get our graduates.”

      Part of the problem is the lingering stereotype of computer science being the bailiwick of people living in their parents’ basements. “We’re a very rich and varied discipline,” Voll explained. “These are rich, creative, wonderful people.” And because computers now affect every part of our lives, computer science can connect to nearly every field imaginable, from entertainment to health to finance, which means that students can almost build their own degree path within the computer-science department. “It’s very powerful,” Voll said.

      But that ubiquity is also why the general public takes for granted computers and the people who program them, according to Voll. “These are the jobs that are building the infrastructure of absolutely everything we do,” Voll said.

      Comments

      3 Comments

      jonny .

      May 28, 2012 at 2:14pm

      I am a programmer in vancouver. There are way too many programmers here. Most are incompetent. Many companies care more about the wage they pay, than the quality of work, so these incompetent fools are keeping wages low.

      Companies need to smarten up and realize it costs MORE to hire bad programmers who take twice as long (or more) to do the work. And its badly written, which costs more for support and maintenance. I am sick of having to spend a lot of my time fixing the garbage people I work with create. Those of use that are good at our jobs have to pick up the slack from the lazy incompetent fools we work with. And good luck getting yearly raises. The only way to get a raise at most companies is to leave and get a different job.

      Some of these incompetent fools are UBC grads, and some are foreigners. UBC needs to toughen up their program so they dont spew out so much garbage. We expect a lower quality from someone coming from a different country, but our own grads should be much better trained.

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      jonny .

      May 28, 2012 at 2:17pm

      Google and Microsoft dont hire bachelors graduates from UBC. They hire the masters and phd students.

      And the video game companies may pay you $70k a year, but they also make you work 70+ hours a week with no overtime pay or time off in lieu. Factor in the hours you work, that is two full time jobs, so you wage is really only about $35k. Plus, after a game release, they tend to do major layoffs so they dont have to pay staff when things are slower.

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      Power Bogan

      Jul 16, 2012 at 1:09am

      Any Canadians working with CS degrees in Canada at $70K are horrendously underpaid. I went to the US after graduation and accepted a position at almost 80K, and that was more than 5 years ago. My current wage is +120K, higher than any position I have ever seen in Canada pay, it doesn't matter where you look. Canada is a pathetic place to be if you have a CS degree, my advice is to move to the US.

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