Analysis of Current and Future Computer Science Needs via Advertised Faculty Searches for 2022

By Craig E. Wills, Professor and Department Head, Computer Science Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

This work uses the same methodology applied over eight years to study where Computer Science departments are choosing to invest faculty positions using data obtained from advertised tenure-track searches for the current hiring season.  This work also provides an opportunity to continue to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on faculty hiring in Computer Science for hires starting in 2022.

We analyzed ads from 400 institutions seeking to fill hundreds of tenure-track faculty positions in Computer Science.  This number is a 70% increase from last year at this time (mid-November) and is a comparable number to the 394 institutions searching for 2020.  The number of tenure-track positions sought is doubled from last year and up 6% from two years ago indicating a recovery in demand after a one-year drop due to the pandemic. The number of BS/BA institutions seeking faculty is at an eight-year high with top PhD and private PhD institutions at eight-year highs in the number of positions being sought.


We clustered the specific Computer Science topics mentioned in ads into 16 areas.  In terms of specific areas, we again found that the clustered area of AI/Data Mining/Machine Learning accounts for the most with 18% of all sought positions and Security again second at 17%, although these percentages are a bit lower than last year.  The area of Data Science is at 11% of positions, but aggregating the Data Science, AI/DM/ML and Databases clusters again resulted in close to a third of all hires sought in these data-oriented areas.  The area of Systems/Networking was fourth in the percentage (9%) of positions sought.


Differences are also seen when analyzing results based on the type of institution.  As was the case last year, positions in the clustered area of AI/Data Mining/Machine Learning have the highest percentages for PhD institutions.  Again positions related to Security have the highest percentages for MS and BS/BA institutions. Theory/Algorithms is the second-most sought area for PhD institutions while Data Science is the second-most sought area for MS and BS/BA institutions.

The full study is available at: