Network World Discusses Trends in CS Majors
2/22/2010 7:12:00 AM
Here's a tip for incoming and current college students: If you want to have a high-paying job on graduation day, study computer science.
That's the advice coming out of the top U.S. computer science programs, which are seeing rising enrollment and applications as more college students discover that their job prospects are better — and their starting salaries higher — if they have a computer-related degree.
Leading universities report that enrollment in computer science and engineering courses is up significantly this year among students pursuing computer science majors as well as those studying other subjects, particularly science or business.
Corporate recruitment of top computer science grads has remained steady throughout the economic downturn...
Computer science grads from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are being recruited by software, healthcare, trading and agricultural companies. Last year's grads received an average of 2.3 job offers and had an average starting salary of more than $72,000 – the highest of any starting salary in the university's College of Engineering.
"We really didn't see a drop in recruiting efforts," says Cynthia Coleman, associate director of external relations for the University of Illinois' Department of Computer Science. "We have seen a significant increase in companies in other industries that typically haven't recruited in computer science interested in our students. What a lot of our students are going to realize is that every industry has computer science needs."
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The trend will continue next year, as applications to top computer science programs pour in.
The University of Illinois says the number of applicants to its Department of Computer Science is up 26% from last year to 860.
"The projections that have come out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics have indicated a relative cornucopia of jobs in the near term for computer science majors," [Illinois computer science professor and director of undergraduate programs] Lenny Pitt says. "Parents may well be aware of the job opportunities in the IT industry, which is suffering the least despite the downturn."
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