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Where are all the students?

Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
They cancelled all my classes this semester because of lack of attendance. Two were on java (about four registered students) and two C# with (one registered student). I know the market is bad but are other teachers seeing their attendance numbers slump like this?


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
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Kathy Sierra
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Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
All I know is that there's still the general consensus that training is way down, but for schools, I don't know... it's pretty scary, though.
There's a quote from Bruce Eckel in Software Development magazine saying that he is going to build a video studio to start making training videos, since attendance at live classroom training is so dramatically off.
That's one of the reasons I'm working on a video book, although I'm still not sure if video *courses* are something we're going to do. I'm looking into it, though. Lynda Weinman (Lynda.com) seems to be doing really well with her videos along with her books, even though they haven't thrilled me.
I'm concerned about the class sizes dropping like that. Yikes. I hope it's a somewhat local phenomenon, but it probably isn't. Tech book sales continue to be completely flat, and if you're on the StudioB mailing list, there's talk that it is expected to stay flat or even drop.
-Kathy
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Chris Mathews
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Joined: Jul 18, 2001
Posts: 2712
I have noticed the same thing. My current class has 7 students and my last class only had 5. Of course, the students benefit from the smaller class size but I can only wonder how long the College will continue to offer these classes at such a low demand.
James Chegwidden
Author
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Joined: Oct 06, 2002
Posts: 201
Yes, my CC has have problems with low C, C++ and Java enrollements. I been having to teach other classes other than programming. Marketing the courses do help. Also, putting C++ and Java via a Distance Learning class has helped as well.


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Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Signed up for a certification course at Sun. There was no waiting list, even a course scheduled for the next week was not yet full...
I remember a few years ago you'd have to reserve months in advance.
So it's not hitting just schools.


42
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
This is typical of the short sitedness of so many workers. A few years back, everyone jumped into programming because the job market was hot. No one considered what the world might be like in 10, 20, even 30 years. Money could be made in 6 months, so everyone jumped on the bandwagon.
Today the economy is down, and software jobs are the posterboy for the depressed job market. Again, no one considers what the job market might be in 10 years, only the next 10 months. So no one wants to do development.
I fear the software labor market is going to be very unstable if this continues.

--Mark
Don Stadler
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Joined: Feb 10, 2004
Posts: 451
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

This is typical of the short sitedness of so many workers. A few years back, everyone jumped into programming because the job market was hot. No one considered what the world might be like in 10, 20, even 30 years. Money could be made in 6 months, so everyone jumped on the bandwagon.

"In the long run we are all dead" - John Maynard Keynes

I would argue that the short-term thinking originates in the corporate suite and has filtered down into the training market only relatively recently.
When the Harvard MBA's decide to outsource most or all of their IT work they lose the ability to change their IT infrastructure rapidly. The short-term result has been a change in the labor markets now being reflected in these class figures. I have argued that the longer term result will be a major shortage in qualified IT professionals 2 or 3 years down the road as IT investment picks up again after the disasterous results of current underinvestment show themselves.
I might note that many of the people on this board do have a long-term perspective on the IT labor markets. That doesn't help much in surviving the short-term crisis I might add. All the long-term perspective in the world will not save you from prolonged unemployment and enormous salary cuts if you make the wrong bet in skills development or even geographical location.
One more thing: The golden rule of technology training should be Use it or lose it!. If you take a Java course and then cannot use it on the job within a reasonable time, you will lose most of the benefits. So the benefit as well as the impetus for training is very directly correlated with the job market.
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Today the economy is down, and software jobs are the posterboy for the depressed job market. Again, no one considers what the job market might be in 10 years, only the next 10 months. So no one wants to do development.

I want to do development. Staying in development is currently costing me a lot of money. I'm making the bet that it will repay me once the market turns upward.
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
I fear the software labor market is going to be very unstable if this continues.

Got that right. We're going to go directly from a labor market glut to an intense shortage, particularly at the junior and medium levels.
[ April 02, 2004: Message edited by: Don Stadler ]
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
I want to do development. Staying in development is currently costing me a lot of money.
The alternative is to take the leap into management and learn to lie , er schedule , like the blazers.
Don Stadler
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Joined: Feb 10, 2004
Posts: 451
Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:

All I know is that there's still the general consensus that training is way down, but for schools, I don't know... it's pretty scary, though.
There's a quote from Bruce Eckel in Software Development magazine saying that he is going to build a video studio to start making training videos, since attendance at live classroom training is so dramatically off.

Few employers are willing to pop for the �2000 class fees any more and I can't handle it on my own even if I could get the time. The training situation in London is really sad. Lot's of C/C++ classes & useless beginning Java classes. Almost nothing more advanced. Some Oracle classes that look decent.
Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:

Lynda Weinman (Lynda.com) seems to be doing really well with her videos along with her books, even though they haven't thrilled me.

I did a Weinman HOT book on Dreamweaver a couple years ago. It wasn't too bad although I prefer the HF approach. I don't know anything about her videos.
Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:

I'm concerned about the class sizes dropping like that. Yikes. I hope it's a somewhat local phenomenon, but it probably isn't. Tech book sales continue to be completely flat, and if you're on the StudioB mailing list, there's talk that it is expected to stay flat or even drop.

Sounds like what happened when I was at university. When I joined something like 6% of students were in CS, MIS, etc. By the time I graduated that had dropped to about 2%. Curiously a shortage of programmers developed soon after, and enrollments picked back up.
Strange how things work out that way, eh?
[ April 05, 2004: Message edited by: Don Stadler ]
Don Stadler
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Joined: Feb 10, 2004
Posts: 451
What I might suggest is going upmarket and trying to appeal to experienced programmers, offering specialized classes in whatever is in demand in your local market. When I lived in New Jersey I used to take the train into Greenwich Village twice a week for night classes at NYU's School of Continuing Education for courses in advanced topics.
I'd do the same today for a night course in Websphere Application Server and Studio today if such were offered in the London area. I'd also pay good money for a cutting-edge UI course utilizing the latest things (Java Server Faces etc). I might even take a course in .NET. The only school offering such things that I'm aware of is still NYU.....
Mike Gershman
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Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
By coincidence, I just completed an MS-CS at NYU. Unfortunately, while I acquired the qualifications to teach computer programming (my chosen second career), the market went south.
I am not so sure that it's ever coming back in the USA. Programming turns out to be a very good export for countries with lots of people. They can pick out their top 1%, train them in IT, and put them to work with little capital investment. The oversupply in the USA means it's extra hard for new programmers to get that first job.

At NYU, most of the CS graduate students are now very bright Asians. That doesn't help the average CC much.

Another issue is that the back office is finally adopting integrated off-the-shelf packages like ERP instead of building or customizing their own versions of billing, accounts payable, inventory management, payroll, etc. This requires reorganizing back office departments around the ERP model. Middle managers used to be pretty good at preserving their turf, but executive management has now seen the cost savings and pushed ERP through. This eliminated both IT and white collar jobs, reported as increased productivity.
Does anyone have any ideas on where I should look for IT teaching jobs?


Mike Gershman
SCJP 1.4, SCWCD in process
Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
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Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
This might or might not be totally wrong, but if book publishing for regular programming books is down but Photoshop books are flying off the shelves, that might be where training is shifting. A three-week class on how to make a multimedia presentation for your parents' 50th anniversary party might be where the money is going. Or alternately creating a phenomonally simple, stripped-down Linux distro with simple email and text editing, and selling it and teaching it to older folks who don't know computers yet.
In your teaching institutions, how are the graphic design, Photoshop, older folks, etc. classes?
Open source might be where training is shifting to too. I'm getting more and more inquiries about my OpenOffice.org training and workbooks.
That doesn't really help anyone who loves to teach Java and doesn't know or care about Photoshop, of course.
Just some pre-coffee thoughts Easter morning whilst watching the sun rise in Portland (enjoying my geographical flexibility and working/visiting friends in Portland for a week). Portland, btw, rocks.
Solveig


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Bert Bates
author
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8829
    
    5
Hey Solveig,
Happy Easter! Glad you're having a good time in Portland, but I think if you're going to make a post, you ought to take a stand! I mean really:

might not be totally wrong


Javaranch IS, after all, a friendly place, so don't waffle on us here, are you right or are you wrong?


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Photoshop books are flying because loads of people are getting PS Elements with their digicams and don't know the first thing about computers let alone image processing.
That's not the people you want for training. They're not interested in doing anything more advanced than a bit of sharpening and colour manipulation typically and are unwilling to pay a lot anyway.
I doubt the professional crowd of PS users (the graphics artists, photoeditors, etc.) has grown. I rather think it's also flat or declining.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Cancelled my summer classes, too. I did a lot of prep work figuring with a small class I could have some fun. Maybe the fall will be better.
James Chegwidden
Author
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Joined: Oct 06, 2002
Posts: 201
Cancelled my summer classes, too. I did a lot of prep work figuring with a small class I could have some fun. Maybe the fall will be better.


TP: Can you teach other computer courses other than programming? Example: Computer Literacy, Intro to Computers, Applications,Database, etc.

Also, when a Java class does make- which Java text do you use?

I am teaching a C Programming and applications class this summmer.

Please do not tell me you are one of those adjunct/part-time computer instructors that only want certain "plum" courses ... :roll:

jc
[ June 06, 2004: Message edited by: James Chegwidden ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by James Chegwidden:
Please do not tell me you are one of those adjunct/part-time computer instructors that only want certain "plum" courses ... :roll:


OK, I will keep my mouth shut.

I have been using this book:
Murach's Beginning Java 2
James Chegwidden
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 06, 2002
Posts: 201
OK, I will keep my mouth shut.


Well, at least your honest about it TP.

We will use Absolute Java by Savitch for the upcoming school year. I will ask for an exam copy of the book you use.

TP: Have you ever thought about teaching Java at Hofstra via Distance Learning? I have taught Java via DL for over a year- it solves the low number enrollment problem.

PS. There are no reviews written at Amazon for the Absolute Java text. Here is a good opportunity to add to your numbers!

Absolute Java
[ June 08, 2004: Message edited by: James Chegwidden ]
 
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