today’s students often spend time learning very difficult material that they don’t need, while getting no exposure to critical information that is important to achieving success in the digital age.
Many of our society’s technical failures are due to poorly trained engineers and scientists who do not understand complex hardware and software systems. Aircraft, spacecraft, power plants, automobiles, The Pennsylvania State University graduate minor program in computational science undergraduate minors in information, science, and technology Aircraft, spacecraft, power plants, automobiles, information systems, networks, and so on are all extremely vulnerable to software failures — and our workforce is not trained to handle these issues. Only about five percent of our engineering undergraduates can even program a computer. In addition, only about 55 percent of entering engineering students actually graduate. Perhaps if these students were taught more relevant, modern, and interesting material they would stay in the programs. Often, students themselves realize what’s important; one school offered a computer science minor, and it was so popular that the university could not meet the demand and it was canceled. Unbelievable.
Academic curricula must reflect the fact that we are in the information age. Every person graduating from college should have a thorough understanding of computing, software, and information science. The computer is the greatest tool ever invented. College graduates — especially those in science and engineering — should know how to use it.