Timely data about enrollments, degree production, diversity,
and salaries are of keen interest to university faculty and administrators. These persons use the data to compare their academic
units to others at their institution and to units in the same discipline at other institutions. Employers use such data to help
them assess recruiting opportunities against their company’s
needs. The importance of computing to society also makes the
media interested in reporting not only what is, but what trends
appear to be important.
In fall 2018 and winter 2019, ACM
conducted the seventh annual survey
of Non-Doctoral-Granting Departments in Computing. This ACM-NDC
Study, or simply NDC as it is often
called, is intended to be an annual
complement to the Computing Research Association (CRA) long-run-ning Taulbee Survey of PhD-granting
departments in computing [ 6]. As an
annual study, NDC helps fill in gaps
in data on non-Taulbee programs to
present a more complete view of the
academic landscape in computing
and expand pipeline information on
programs that produce candidates for
PhD programs as well as the private
and public labor markets. The timely reporting of the survey’s
results provides the community with an early look at workforce-related facts and trends of importance to academic programs and those who rely on them. The value of the data is
enhanced because the survey is conducted by an organization
that is respected by the community. The authors comprised
the NDC Steering Committee.
The goal of ACM-NDC is to document trends in student enrollment, degree production, faculty demographics and salaries
at not-for-profit U.S. academic institutions that grant bachelor’s
and/or master’s degrees (but not PhDs) in the five computing
disciplines in which curricular guidelines and accreditation criteria exist [ 1, 2]: computer science (CS), computer engineering
(CE), information systems (IS), information technology (IT),
and software engineering (SE). Diversity statistics and trends
with respect to students and faculty are important features of
The survey was distributed to qualifying programs identified
by using data in the Integrated Post-secondary Education Data
System (IPEDS) [ 3]. This data is collected annually by the
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) from all U.S.
institutions that participate in the federal financial aid programs
[ 4]. This year the survey was distributed to 1,012 academic
units (departments, schools, or institutions) identified via
IPEDS as offering at least one program in computing. In some
cases, a single institution received multiple surveys if programs
are housed in different schools or departments. It should be
noted that the 2017-2018 survey was sent to 1,098 units,
86 more than this year. The smaller number of surveys sent out
this year was the result of clean-up of our records to remove
The survey was released in mid-September 2018, earlier
than any other year since the survey launched, as part of our
continued effort to provide respondents more time to gather
data. While the percentage of units providing at least some
information increased from 17.4% to 18.5%, this was due to
fewer surveys having been sent this year. Looking at the earlier
release in the past couple of years, it is not clear that moving
the survey dates makes any meaningful
impact on response rates. Fewer units
reported bachelor’s, master’s data, faculty composition and salary data in
2018-2019 than one year ago. In total,
187 units participated in the survey
(compared to 191 last year), supplying
either complete or partial information.
Of these, 130 units supplied data about
their bachelor’s programs (compared to
149 in 2017-2018). Data was reported
for 279 total programs (226 bachelor’s
and 53 master’s), compared to 304 last
year. We found that 147 academic units
provided data on faculty (161 in 2017-
2018) and 81 provided faculty salary
information (94 in 2017-2018).
A new data-gathering pilot currently underway shows promise in expanding our access to student degree and enrollment
data, effectively increasing the number of programs by several
factors as well as providing a look at computing programs in cybersecurity. The Committee is cautiously optimistic and hopes
to report on this effort in 2020.
The following presents key findings from this year’s study.
As in past iterations of this report, where possible we will make
comparisons with Taulbee data, and with data from last year’s
NDC Study [ 5]. With seven years of data in hand, this is the second year our report looks at longitudinal trends since the beginning of the survey. However, as in past years, small response
sizes in some parts of the survey make it difficult to draw hard
conclusions from the data provided. In reading this report, one
should consider the following points.
• In this report, we use the term “academic unit” (or “unit”)
to refer to the administrative division responsible for one or
more qualifying programs. We use the term “program” to
refer to a course of study leading to a degree in one of the
computing disciplines: computer science (CS), computer
engineering (CE), information systems (IS), information
technology (IT), or software engineering (SE).
• A given academic unit may offer multiple programs.
• Degree production (master’s and bachelor’s) refer to the
previous academic year (2017-2018).
• Data for current faculty as well as new students in all
categories refer to the current academic year (2018-1019)
for which the survey is given.
The timely reporting of
the survey’s results
provides the community
with an early look
facts and trends of
importance to academic
programs and those
who rely on them.