CRA-Industry Launches New CRA Practitioner-to-Professor Survey

This article originally appeared in the April edition of Computing Research News.

By Matt Hazenbush, Director of Communications 

CRA-Industry (CRA-I) is excited to announce the launch of a new National Science Foundation (NSF) supported project between academia and industry. The CRA Practitioner-to-Professor Survey – which will be known as the CRA P2P Survey – is the centerpiece of a long-term project with the goal of keeping computing curricula up to date and responsive to evolving trends.

Supported in part by a grant from the Division of Undergraduate Education at NSF and endorsed by ABET, ACM, CSAB, and IEEE CS, the survey is designed to solicit actionable feedback from industry professionals of all levels to provide computing departments with data and insights to continually improve.

“We’re excited to be leading this initiative for the community, especially because it’s a win-win for everyone,” said Rahul Simha, project lead and Professor of Computer Science at The George Washington University, representing an effort by several faculty across multiple universities through the NSF-funded DEAP project. “Universities get the data they need to keep their curricula current, which in turn leads to better prepared prospective employees for companies.”

Feedback loop for continual curricular improvement

The survey – which takes less than 15 minutes to complete – is designed to collect data from industry professionals on questions that can directly support decisions around course design, including which competencies are most important, which course experiences are most valuable and which are less needed, and what industry most values in graduates over the long term.



Survey respondents will receive a summary of the survey’s findings, and will have the option to opt-in to a drawing to win a $100 gift card.

“This project is a perfect example of how CRA-Industry serves the community by being a point of connection and collaboration between industry and academia,” said Helen Wright, Manager of CRA-I. “The credible industry feedback from this survey will go a long way to guide university leaders as they make decisions and investments for their programs’ futures.”

Expansion of a prior pilot survey

The CRA P2P Survey is an expansion of an earlier pilot survey developed by Simha in collaboration with the ACM/AAAI/IEEE Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula. The findings from that pilot survey will soon appear in the Communications of the ACM, one of the most widely distributed publications in computing academia. These results have already informed the design of the ACM’s new 2023 curricular guidelines.

“With the establishment of this survey, we’re seeking to build a culture of feedback from industry to academia for making key decisions around computer science curricula,” said Simha.

“A regularly administered and respected survey with wide participation and acceptance can bring to bear the data needed to effect meaningful updates and spur high-impact educational research that gets to the heart of exploring the gaps between curricular aims and real-world results.”

Help spread the word

The success of the survey hinges on reaching as diverse a respondent base as possible among industry professionals in computing. Responses are needed from across employee type and level (from newbie to experienced), companies (large/small, geographic, international), and computing subdisciplines.

“We’re calling on the entire community to support us in spreading the word about the survey,” said Wright. “Every little bit of effort to share this opportunity for industry professionals to provide their valuable insights will help make a difference.”

Here’s some ways you can support this work: 

  • Like and reshare CRA’s recent LinkedInFacebookInstagram, and Twitter/X posts with your networks. Consider tagging specific colleagues you know would be interested–this will further amplify the message.
  • If you’re from a university, consider sharing the survey in an upcoming alumni newsletter or online alumni group, or sending a one-off email about the survey.
  • Share the survey directly with individual industry professionals via email.
  • Post this printable flyer with a QR code in a place where industry professionals may see it.