You Don’t Have to Major in Computer Science to Do It as a Career

asic economics suggests that if college students see booming demand for specific skills, a stampede to major in such lucrative fields should ensue. For years, tech companies, banks, and even traditional industrial companies have been hiring programmers, software developers, and computer scientists as fast as they can find them. Since 2010, there has been a 59 percent leap in jobs for software application developers—and a 15 percent jump in pay, to an average $102,300 last year—according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accounts of tech engineers earning more than pro athletes keep making headlines.

So why aren’t more U.S. college students majoring in computer science?

U.S. colleges and universities graduated only 59,581 majors in computer and information sciences in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. While that tally grew 7.8 percent from the year earlier, from employers’ reports it does not seem to be keeping up with demand.

Attempts to explain what looks like a chronic training deficit are plentiful. Theories touch on everything from worries that the computer-science curriculum is too hard to apprehension about gender bias in the field. But an extensive new study indicates that both students and employers are finding a way around the problem: making brisk use of less obvious career pathways that lead to software jobs anyway.

Percentage of Graduates Working as Software Developers by Undergraduate Major
  • 5.6%Aerospace Engineers
  • 8.1%Astronomy & Astrophysics
  • 30.3%Computer Engineering
  • 11.3%Electrical Engineering
  • 6.1%Mathematics
  • 8.2%Physics

The study, published in May by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, used U.S. Census Bureau data to track the career choices of 1.2 million college graduates, as observed from 2010 to 2013. Among its findings: many people working as computer scientists, software developers, and programmers used their college years not to major in computer programming or software development, but instead to major in traditional sciences or other types of engineering.

Among graduates with degrees in physics, math, statistics, or electrical engineering, as many as 20 percent now work in computing-based fields. At least 10 percent of people who majored in aerospace engineering, astronomy, biomedical engineering, or general engineering have made the same migration.

Even geography, nuclear engineering, and chemistry departments send 3 to 5 percent of their undergraduate majors into software development or similar fields, the Hamilton Project reports.

At Indiana University Bloomington, dozens of math and science majors have been winning software-sector jobs after graduation, reports Joseph Lovejoy, head of the school’s Walter Center for Career Achievement. Bioinformatics companies such as Cerner and Epic Systems have been keen to hire biology majors who picked up coding skills without majoring in computer science, he adds. General Motors has been recruiting math majors for jobs as software testers and software developers.

Math majors are in demand at Microsoft too. Dawn Klinghoffer, who tracks hiring trends for the giant software company, explains that fast-growing areas such as machine learning hinge on the ability to create and fine-tune highly sophisticated algorithms. That’s increased Microsoft’s willingness to consider candidates who learned programming on their own but have a deep mastery of complex math.

More broadly, Klinghoffer says, Microsoft has been “expanding the pool” in its recruiting to help build talent without constantly being caught up in bidding wars against other tech giants trying to hire the same computer-science majors from the same few elite schools. Widening the range of majors also helps create a workforce with more diverse perspectives, Klinghoffer says.

How can an unconventional background make you better at your job?

Among the people taking an unusual path is Luke Kanies, who majored in chemistry at Reed College. Unsure what he wanted to do after college, he managed a series of corporate data centers for about five years, before founding Puppet Labs, a software-management company that helps big companies keep hundreds of overlapping programs as up to date and compatible as possible.

Kanies portrays his unorthodox beginnings as an asset. At Puppet Labs, he and colleagues test software the same way chemists test their theoretical models. “You want to find out if your hypothesis can survive your 10 most dangerous experiments,” he says.

This Computer Can Predict If You’ll Die Within 5 Years

Death and taxes are both inevitable, and while the latter roles around each year like clockwork, no one’s quite sure when the Grim Reaper will come calling for them.

But a new technological advance might provide a little more clarity for your expiration date: An artificial-intelligence computer can predict your lifespan, new research from the University of Adelaide in Australia found.

The researchers took CT scans of 48 patients’ chests, which included tissue images of the aorta, heart, lungs, fat located around the heart, body fat, muscle, and bone. Then, they “taught” an artificial intelligence program to analyze the data.

 death computer

The results? The computer was able to predict which patients would die within 5 years with 69 percent accuracy—a rate that’s comparable to “manual” predictions made by doctors, the researchers say in a press release.

The researchers could not ID what exactly the computer was using to come up with its predictions, they do know that it use large volumes of data to discern subtle patterns that may be particularly telling for health risks.

The predictions were most accurate for patients with severe chronic diseases, like congestive heart failure or emphysema.

While the study is still preliminary—and only included a small number of patients—the researchers are hopeful that the technology can also one day be used to predict other health problems, like heart attacks before they occur. Their next step is to test their research on a larger scale, with a study analyzing images from tens of thousands of patients.

7 laptops under £1,000: our pick of the top laptops under a grand

For us, these are the top sub-£1,000 laptops on the market at the moment. We’ve deliberately chosen a selection of different types of laptop below — from Macs to ultrabooks and hybrids.

Now it’s your turn to choose how to spend your money.

However, if you just want to know what’s best and aren’t interested in looking further, then we’d direct you to the MacBook Air.

Apple’s ultraportable might seem like it’s ageing, but it’s still a superb machine for just shy of £1,000. Fast, reliable and worth every penny.

The 13-inch MacBook Air measures 1.7cm at its deepest point and weighs an astonishingly light 1.35kg making it ideal to take with you wherever you need to go. And there’s 128GB of fast flash storage on board, too!

Intel Forecasts Revenue Growth, Says Will Boost Capital Spending

Intel stock climbed Thursday after the chipmaker said it expects its revenue to grow again next year and raised its quarterly dividend.

Shares of Intel Corp. advanced $1.14 (roughly Rs. 75), or 3.4 percent, to $34.30 (roughly Rs. 2,270). That was their biggest gain since early September. Intel was the biggest gainer among Dow Jones industrial average stocks, as the Dow finished the day slightly slower.

Intel said it expects its annual revenue to rise by a percentage in the mid-single digits. That’s similar to analyst projections and it represents an improvement from 2015, as Intel expects its revenue to fall about 1 percent this year. The company also said it will boost its capital spending to $10 billion (roughly Rs. 66,082 crores) next year, far above its estimate of $7.3 billion (roughly Rs. 48,240 crores) in 2015. That estimate includes $1.5 billion (roughly Rs. 9,914 crores) in spending on memory products.

The Santa Clara, California, company plans to raise its quarterly dividend to 26 cents from 24 cents.

Intel’s business has struggled because consumers and companies are buying fewer of its PCs and more smartphones and tablets that use chips made by Intel’s competitors. But recently the company has enjoyed more success with chips that it makes for bigger computers that run in corporate data centers and “cloud computing” operations. While Intel’s third-quarter profit and revenue slipped, the results were stronger than expected.

Intel is currently forecasting $55.31 billion (roughly Rs. 3,65,552 crores) in revenue in 2015. If that holds up, it would be the second time in three years that its annual revenue has fallen.

According to FactSet, analysts expect Intel’s revenue to grow about 4 percent in 2016.

Microsoft Announces 10 Days of 10 Cent Deals, Xbox One Offers

Microsoft has some sweet new deals for you as we head into the holidays particularly if you’re a gamer.

There are a dozen deals for different flavors of the Xbox One console itself. Many of the deals come bundled with games that Microsoft is promoting heavily this season. Some of these bundles will start as low as $299 (roughly Rs. 19,700) a $100 discount.

Here’s a full list of the bundles, which are available from Thanksgiving Day through the end of the month.

Xbox One Limited Edition “Halo 5: Guardians” Bundle

Xbox One Elite Bundle

Xbox One 1TB Holiday Bundle

Xbox One “Gears of War: Ultimate Edition” Bundle

Xbox One “Rise of the Tomb Raider” Bundle

Xbox One “The LEGO Movie Videogame” Bundle

Xbox One Special Edition “Gears of War” Bundle

Xbox One with Kinect Bundle

Xbox One “Fallout 4” Bundle

Xbox One Limited Edition “Forza Motorsport 6” Console

Xbox One “Madden NFL 16” Bundle

Xbox One “FIFA 16” 1TB Bundle

Microsoft has noted that supplies for the “Forza Motorsport 6” and “Madden NFL 16” bundles are already running low, so you’ll have to be quick with your mouse button when the deals go live to snag one.

If you’re all set in the console realm, Microsoft is also running a little promotion for its existing customers. Currently, Xbox One and Xbox 360 users will be able to upgrade to premium Xbox Gold membership for a discounted rate: one month of the service for $1 (roughly Rs. 66), after which it will renew automatically at the normal rate. Xbox Gold costs $60 (roughly Rs. 3,900) per year or $25 (roughly Rs. 1,650) every three months, depending on the package you get, and gets you discounts on games.

Non-gamers are in for some Microsoft deals, as well.

Windows which happens to be celebrating its 30th birthday this week is going to launch “10 Days of 10 Cent Deals” on Windows 10. The company will be offering more than 10,000 music, movie and game titles for a dime in total, with different deals popping up through the end of the month.

On the Office front, there a couple of interesting deals, though they may not honestly be the most exciting gifts. Shoppers can get $10 (roughly Rs. 660) off a subscription to Office 365 Home or Personal, which normally costs $100 (roughly Rs. 6,600) per year or $10 per month. You’ll also be able to nab $50 (roughly Rs. 3,300) off of the PC and Mac versions of Home & Student, which is Microsoft’s normally $150 (roughly Rs. 9,900) bundle of Excel, Word, PowerPoint and OneNote.

And if you want to give your whole life over to Microsoft, they’re also offering a “Work & Play” bundle that gives you a bunch of perks a year’s subscription to Office 365 Home, Xbox Live Gold, unlimited world Skype calls and plus a $60 promotional gift card for digital entertainment content all for $149.

Intel Hires Ex-Qualcomm Executive Murthy Renduchintala to Run Top Unit

Intel Corp., the world’s biggest chipmaker, said it appointed Murthy Renduchintala as a company president and gave him control of two of its biggest business divisions.

Renduchintala, who left Qualcomm Inc. after losing out in a leadership shakeup, will oversee a new unit including Intel’s personal-computer chip and Internet of Things divisions its biggest source of revenue and one of its fastest-growing businesses, respectively, the company said in a statement.

“The caliber of leadership and experience Murthy brings to our executive team represents a significant move toward delivering the benefits of our strategy even faster than before,” Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich said in the statement.

While Intel and Qualcomm are leading producers of microprocessors, they have so far failed to encroach on each other’s turf. Intel has more than 80 percent of the market for chips that power PCs and all of the server market, but has racked up losses in a futile attempt to dent Qualcomm’s hold on the mobile phone processor business. For its part, Qualcomm has only just announced its first test chip for servers and hasn’t been able to find buyers for its designs for PCs.

Renduchintala was at Qualcomm for more than a decade and rose to be the co-head of its chip business. The company recently appointed Cristiano Amon to run that division.

“Murthy was offered another role within Qualcomm, but he chose to leave the company instead,” the San Diego-based chipmaker said in an email.

While Intel has led the chip market in processing performance and manufacturing, Qualcomm’s chip designers have delivered better systems on chips, semiconductors that combine the functions of several different devices into once piece of silicon. That type of chip, including communications, is increasingly taking over in mobile devices.