Each year, the Computing Reserach Association sponsors the Taulbee Survey of Ph.D. schools. While this survey covers many topics, one focus involves the plans of new Ph.D.s in computer science and computer engineering. While the survey includes various categories for positions, this page focuses on possible conclusions for schools whose highest degree is at the Masters or Bachelors level. While the Taulbee Survey publishes results on the basis of surveys completed, what follows also gives one possible extrapolation for all schools and new Ph.D.s.
|Ph.D. Departments Surveyed||162||182||203||214||215|
|Departments Responding||135 (83%)||144 (77%)||156 (77%)||173 (81%)||173 (80%)|
|Other (Masters' and Bachelors') Schools||42||31||27||29||32|
|Other (Masters' and Bachelors') Schools||60||45||35||45||50|
All extrapolations are rounded to the nearest five and should be regarded as rough estimates -- at best.
These extrapolations are based on extending the proportions from the raw data to include the schools which did not respond. Also, the proportions of various known categories were used to place most of those listed as "Unknown" in the original surveys.
Extrapolations for 1996-1997 largely reflect presentations made at the 1998 Snowbird Confernece.
Extrapolations for 1997-1998, 1998-1999, 1999-2000, and 2000-2001 reflect my own computations, based primarily on extending maintaining proportions of known categories to the larger populations.
While the number of Ph.D.s is shown to increase from 1996-1997 to 1997-1998, this number can be explained completely by an expanded number of schools surveyed and a corresponding increase in surveys returned. With this adjustment for reporting, it is not clear that any more Ph.D.s were graduated in 1997-1998.
While the raw data shows an increase in the number of Ph.D.s from 1998-1999 to 1999-2000, this increase is more than explained by an increase in the number of schools surveyed and then reporting. The number of schools surveyed increased 5.4%, from 203 to 214; and the number of schools responding jumped from 156 to 173, a 10.9% increase.
If the percentage increase responding were applied to the number of new Ph.D.s produced in 1998-1999, the expected number of reported new Ph.D.s for 1999-2000 would be 944. However, only 874 new Ph.D.s were reported -- a significant decrease from what one would have expected from the increase in reporting.
The increase in the number of new Ph.D.s from 1999-2000 to 2000-2001 seems real. The number of Ph.D.-granting schools remained about constant during this time (an increase of only 1 or 0.5%), while the number of new Ph.D.s increased by about 8.1%.
Looking at somewhat different data over a longer term, the authors of the 1999-2000 Taulbee Survey note that that the number of CS/CS Ph.D.s awarded in 2000 "is the lowest number in more than 10 years, and it reverses the trend of moderate increases for the past several years. (Computing Research News, March 2001, page 5.)"
This document is available on the World Wide Web as
created April 11, 2000
last revised November 12, 2002