Computer degrees are a useless waste of money, according to a new survey from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Census Bureau found that of the 3,000 computer science degrees available nationwide, only 1.2 percent of graduates are actually computer-savvy.
“This is a huge waste of a lot of money,” said John T. Cappelli, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
“It’s not clear that there’s a need for the computer degree.”
He cited research that found only 2 percent of those who take computer-science courses graduate with a computer degree, while the number of computer scientists rises to nearly 20 percent by the time they graduate.
The survey found that a quarter of those with bachelor’s degrees were not computer scientists.
“If you’re an undergraduate, you’re not going to be a computer scientist,” Cappellis said.
The census also found that only 1 in 5 computer-related occupations require college degrees, including data entry, data processing, and information systems.
“I’m not sure how you can justify a degree in computer science if you’re just going to spend a few years of your life doing some of the things that we would all rather do,” said Cappella.
The government has also struggled to keep pace with the rising cost of computer-intensive courses, according a report from the Brookings Institution.
According to the report, in 2017, computer-tech programs alone cost $11.2 billion, up $1.5 billion from 2016.
“You need a high-quality education, and if you don’t have a high quality education, you don.t get a job,” Cappselli said.
“In many ways, the cost of higher education has gotten way out of control.”
He said that while the Census Bureau report shows a need to expand the computer science program, there is no need to create an additional program.
“The cost of doing the computer-technology degree is going to continue to rise, so the government has got to step up,” Capsi said.
Still, there are some signs that the education sector is growing.
In May, the Federal Trade Commission sued the Department of Education for misleading students about the availability of the computer program.
In addition to making students think that the government would be taking care of them, the Department’s online course offerings are “inherently misleading,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said at the time.
Cappsellis and other critics of the education industry have called for better funding for computer-sciences education.
“We’ve had a few hundred million dollars in funding for education over the past five years, but the problem is it’s just not enough,” Caffery said.
A report from The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2016 found that there was “a clear need” for more college-level computer courses, but that the federal government should allocate more funding.