Updated Analysis of Current and Future Computer Science Needs via Advertised Faculty Searches for 2021

By Craig E. Wills, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

This updated work follows a full study released in November 2020, on faculty hiring in Computer Science for hires starting in 2021.  That work analyzed hiring based on ads through mid-November 2020 and found significant decreases in the number of institutions searching and the number of positions being sought.  This updated work considers ads through the end of December 2020 and is intended to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on whether searches have been delayed or simply will not materialize this hiring season.

In this updated work, we analyzed ads from 319 institutions seeking to fill tenure-track faculty positions in Computer Science, which is an increase from 235 institutions as of mid-November 2020.  This updated number is still a 29% decrease from last year at this time and the lowest number in five years.  The number of tenure-track positions sought in the updated time period shows a 32% decrease from last year at the same time and is also at the lowest level in five years.  Despite being significant, these decreases are not as sharp as reported in our original study where the number of institutions searching was down by 40% and the number of positions being sought showed a one-year drop of 50%.  These updated results indicate that search ads were posted later than in previous hiring seasons, but the increase in delayed ads did not make up for the total number of positions being sought.


In terms of updated results based on type of institutions, public PhD institutions still show the biggest reduction with a 40% one-year decrease in the number of positions being sought.  However, this drop had been 62% in the original study indicating both ads that were delayed and never materialized since mid-November.

Not surprisingly, the updated results show little difference from our original study for specific areas being sought with results for each area within one percent of those previously presented.  The clustered area of AI/Data Mining/Machine Learning is now at 21%, Security at 19% and Data Science at 12% of all positions sought.  Data-oriented areas account for 35% of all positions.


The full updated study is available at: https://web.cs.wpi.edu/~cew/papers/UpdatedCSareas21.pdf