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My post on the HESA longitudinal survey of graduates made it on to slashdot and provoked a healthy discussion here.

Lots of people complaining that what universities call “computer science” is not computer science at all – not enough maths or rigour or theory in general.

That may or may not be true: I am not an undergraduate, so cannot comment. But I do know from my experience of the MSc that you can make of it what you will.

A lot of people on the course complained that the object-orientated programming and design part was in Groovy and not Java (or, heaven forfend, some .NET flavour). Unlike me they worked in IT and saw the course as a step up the career ladder – I saw it more as a mind expansion thing (though also was about proving to employers that my claim of IT skills was real). The more I read – especially when I got into Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs – the more I could see what the lecturers were on about.

I don’t think one position was superior to the other and I certainly don’t think teaching Java instead of Groovy would have harmed anyone’s employment chances – so the argument that people teach useless task-orientated stuff and not enough science does not work for me in explaining high levels of unemployment.

Men and boys who are poorly socialised strikes me as a better explanation, but again I am not backing that with any evidence!