Career Options

What field has..

  • the best-rated job, and 5 of the top 10 highest paid, highest growth jobs?

  • shown strong job growth in the face of outsourcing?

  • a looming severe shortage in college graduates?

Computer Science

Computer Science (CS) jobs are among the highest paid, highest satisfaction jobs of the projected highest growth jobs through 2014. Growth rates for CS jobs have solidly exceeded the outsourcing rate and employment has exceeded the dot-com boom, yet students listing CS as a probable major have dropped by 70% because outsourcing is perceived as a threat. A severe shortage of CS graduates looms, and promises excellent opportunities for savvy students.

Noteworthy Facts:

  • Software engineers top list of best jobs according to a Money magazine and Salary.com survey based on "strong growth prospects, average pay of $80,500 and potential for creativity". [1]

  • 5 computing jobs are in the top 10 salary jobs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' list of the 30 fastest growing jobs through 2014. [2]

    1. Computer systems software engineer: $81,140

    2. Computer applications software engineer: $76,310

    6. Computer systems analyst: $67,520

    7. Database administrator: $61,950

    9. Network systems and data communication analyst: $61,250

  • In April 2006, more Americans were employed in IT than at any time in the nation's history. [3]
  • In May 2004, "U.S. IT employment was 17% higher than in 1999 - 5% higher than the bubble in 2000 and showing an 8% growth in the [following] year ... the compound annual growth rate of IT wages has been about 4% since 1999 while inflation has been just 2% per year? Such growth rates swamp predictions of the outsourcing job loss in the U.S., which most studies estimate to be 2% to 3% per year for the next decade." [4]
  • "According to the National Science Foundation, the need for science and engineering graduates will grow 26%, or 1.25 million, between now and 2012. The number of jobs requiring technical training is growing at five times the rate of other occupations. And U.S. schools are nowhere near meeting the demand, according to multiple studies." [5]

  • The percentage of college freshmen listing computer science as their probable major fell 70% between 2000 and 2004. [6]

Considering decreasing supply and increasing demand, there is much promise for today's CS majors!

[1] Wulfhorst, Ellen. Reuters.com, Apr. 12, 2006. http://www.salary.com/careers/layoutscripts/crel_display.asp?tab=cre&cat=nocat&ser=Ser387&part=Par615

[2] Morsch, Laura. CareerBuilders.com, Jan. 27, 2006. http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/Careers/01/26/cb.top.jobs.pay/index.html

[3] Chabrow, Eric. InformationWeek.com, Apr. 18, 2006. http://www.informationweek.com/news/185303797

[4] Patterson, David. President's Letter: Restoring the Popularity of Computer Science, Communications of the ACM, Sept. 2005, Vol. 48, No. 9

[5] Deagon, Brian. Investor's Business Daily, May 12, 2006.

[6] Robb, Drew. ComputerWorld.com, July 17, 2006. http://computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=printArticleBasic&articleId=112364

Related Links

Center for Career Development