Inspired by blockbusters, more students study computer science

Inspired by blockbusters, more students study computer science
Inspired by blockbusters, more students study computer science

Thanks to depictions of web-based businesses in a spate of recent Hollywood blockbusters, a growing number of students are turning to computer science programs at the country's colleges and universities, reports the New York Times.

A major impetus for the new prominence of computer science is the film "The Social Network," which depicted the creation of online social networking tool Facebook. In addition, students are inspired to study computers thanks to real-life tech giants like Steve Jobs of Apple, who has become a celebrity for his entrepreneurship.

''It's a national call, a Sputnik moment," said Mehran Sahami, the associate chairman for computer science education at a prestigious university in Northern California. "Students are users of Facebook or Google, and they think about how the people who created it are not that much different than themselves. The realization that I can do this too is a powerful motivator."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment outlook for computer software engineers is excellent, as the number of jobs is expected to rise by 32 percent between 2008 and 2018 - a rate significantly higher than the average for all professions.

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