By Craig E. Wills, Professor and Department Head, Computer Science Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
The wealth of faculty searches in Computer Science during this hiring season for positions starting in 2017 again affords the opportunity to study areas of Computer Science where departments are choosing to invest in new faculty hires. While the number and areas for faculty searches does not necessarily translate into the same for faculty hires, we believe that they provide insight into current and future needs within the discipline.
We analyzed ads from 347 institutions seeking to fill hundreds of tenure-track faculty positions in Computer Science. There is a 30% one-year (and 56% two-year) increase in the number of institutions searching for tenure-track faculty in Computer Science and a 35% one-year(and 71% two-year) increase in the number of positions being searched for. The number of institutions searching and positions seeking to be filled has increased even more for non-PhD-granting institutions.
As shown in the accompanying graph on percentage of positions in each area over the past three years, we found that the area clusters of Security (21%), Data Science (15%) and Systems/Networking (10%) continue to be the areas of greatest investment. We again found that 30-60% of all hires are for areas that are, or may be, interdisciplinary in nature.
Differences are also seen when analyzing results based on the type of institution. Positions related to Security have the highest percentages for top-100 PhD, MS and BS institutions. Data Science is of most interest for other PhD institutions. Finally, the abundance of potentially interdisciplinary areas is most pronounced for PhD institutions with 35-70% of all positions devoted to these areas.
The full report containing a description of the methodology and the complete results is available at http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~cew/papers/CSareas17.pdf