Computer Science statistics regarding: Employment, Salaries, and Enrollment


The US Department of Commerce has a forecast of the 25 fastest-growing professional occupations between 2008 and 2018 at The second-fastest growing jobs are Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts, projected to grow 53.4%. Also included in the top 25 fastest-growing jobs are Computer Software Engineers for Applications (34%) and Systems Software (30.4%).

Fastest Growing Jobs

Key: 1) the quartile rankings of Occupational Employment Statistics survey annual wage adata are presented in the following categories: VH=very high($51,540 or more), H=high($32,390-$51,530), L=low($21,590-$32,380), and VL=very low (under $21,590). Wages are for wage and salary workers.

2) An occupation is placed into 1 of 11 categories that best describes the postsecondary education on training needed by most workers to become fully qualified in that occupation. For more information about the categories, see Occupational Projections and Training Data, 2008-2009 edition bulletin 2702 (Bureau of Labor Statistics -- online at
[Table above taken from]

Within Computer Science, this can be further broken down as follows (from
Fastest Growing Jobs Titles
Computer Jobs Broken Down

The above Bureau of Labor Statistics 2008-2018 Employment Projections for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) have been made into a nice graphic by Calvin College:
2008-2018 STEM Jobs

The Calvin site goes on to state that:

For the foreseeable future, nearly 3 out of 4 new science or engineering jobs in the U.S. are going to be in computing! By contrast, just 16% will be traditional engineering jobs, and even fewer will be in the sciences or mathematics.

What kind of “computing” jobs are these? The pie-chart on the right breaks the “computing” jobs down in the different career categories, and shows that the US-BLS is predicting:

Note that basic computer literacy (i.e., knowing Microsoft Word, Excel, or Powerpoint) or CAD-design will not qualify you for one of these jobs. These jobs require skills that you will only gain by studying computer science, information systems, and/or software engineering.

The Computer Research Association (CRA) reported on 3/16/09 that "according to the United States Department of Labor, computer science graduates on average earn 13 percent more than the average college graduate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, future job prospects for computer science graduates are higher than for any other science or engineering field." It also states that CS enrollment is up for the first time in 6 years.

Hybrid Careers:
The New York Times (12/21, B1, Lohr) reports on the front page of its Business Day section that "hybrid careers" combining "computing with other fields will increasingly be the new American jobs of the future, labor experts say."

Network World (3/30/09) reports that "Amid the worst job market in 25 years, IT is holding steady. Most CIOs are maintaining their current staffing levels; while a few are hiring specialists who have in-demand IT skills."

Top 10 jobs in America today (1/6/09), according to

  1. Mathematician
  2. Actuary
  3. Statistician
  4. Biologist
  5. Software Engineer
  6. Computer Systems Analyst
  7. Historian
  8. Sociologist
  9. Industrial Designer
  10. Accountant

You may also be interested in seeing the 10 worst jobs.

Top 10 Recession-proof Jobs: The Chicago Sun Times reported 11/4/08 on the top 10 recession-proof jobs, taken from "150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs," a book by Laurence Shatkin, a career information consultant who crunched government data to come up with the list.

1. Computer systems analyst.
2. Network systems and data communications analyst.
3. Network and computer systems administrator.

4. Registered nurse.
5. Teacher, postsecondary.
6. Physical therapist.
7. Physician and surgeon.
8. Dental hygienist.
9. Pharmacist.
10. Medical and health services manager.

ZDNet (Nov 17, 2008) reports that "IT offshoring is exaggerated and the IT labor shortage is real." Only about 5% of IT jobs are outsourced, and that there is a shortage of trained people to fill the needs in IT.

Information Week (April 8, 2008) reports that US IT jobs are up 12% from a year ago. IT unemployment is up slightly, hitting 2.6%, up from 2.1% a year ago. The article describes where US IT job growth is coming from:
"By far the largest growth category has been computer support specialists, which leaped 41% the past year, adding 127,000 jobs. Next is network and data communication analysts (68,000 new jobs, 19% growth), computer scientists and system analysts (65,000 new jobs, 8% growth), and network/system administrators (51,000 new jobs, 31% growth). The economy also added 51,000 IT management jobs, growing 11%"

See ACM's Career News for recent articles describing employment opportunities and trends.

A recent study finds H-1B visas do not inhibit domestic hiring.

From on 3/11/2008
PC World(3/11) reports that, according to a study by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), "For every H-1B position requested, tech companies listed on the S&P 500 stock index increased their employment by five workers in an analysis of 2002 to 2005." Furthermore, for "tech firms with fewer than 5,000 employees, each H-1B request corresponded with an average increase of 7.5 workers." The study weakens the argument "that raising the annual cap will cause Americans to lose out on jobs to foreigners -- or see their wages depressed," according to CNET(3/10, Borache). The study also found that, "when companies were reducing their hiring numbers, their applications for H-1B visas also dropped off," suggesting "that companies don't seek out H-1B workers to save money on wages."

However, Information Week (3/11, McGee) points out that the "NFAP research did not examine the types of job positions that S&P companies added to their employment, or the pay for those positions." India received majority of H-1B visas in 2007. ComputerWorld (3/10, Thibodeau) reported that, according to figures from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, "India-based offshore outsourcing companies continued to dominate the top 10 H-1B recipients" in 2007. In fact, "Indian offshore outsourcing firm Infosys Technologies Ltd. received 4,559 H-1B visas in fiscal 2007, the largest number received by any company." Still, the report "shows that H-1B use has spread far and wide. It includes more than 29,000 H-1B recipients, both private companies and institutions, such as universities, some of which are exempt from the 65,000 visa cap." The Austin American-Statesman's(3/10, Moscoso) Border Line blog added that "Indian outsourcers accounted for nearly 80 percent of the visa petitions approved last year for the top 10 participants in the program."


The spring 2010 issue of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Salary Survey shows that the average salary offer to a 2010 bachelor's degree candidate is $47,673, which is 1.7 percent lower than the average offer of $48,515 made to 2009 bachelor's degree candidates.
      ...As a group, graduates earning computer-related degrees saw their average salary offers soar in comparison with the other disciplines: Their average offer rose 5.8 percent, to $58,746. And the average offer to computer-science majors increased by 4.7 percent, to $60,426.
     ...Graduates earning degrees in liberal arts may be the hardest hit by the effects of the recession: Currently, their average salary offers remain well below last year's levels: 8.9 percent lower, at $33,540
April, 2010:

"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." The article goes on to describe enrollments are rising with the job market fueling the growth.
4/28/2010 Network World


March 2009
The drop in CS enrollment seems to be turning around. According to Network World, "computer science majors rose 8.1% in 2008."
For more details on the Taulbee Study, see

See the 3/12/2008 NPR article
All Things Considered, March 12, 2008 · The number of students enrolled in computer science programs is at its lowest in at least a decade.
"Comp Sci" was one of the hottest majors during the dot-com boom of the late '90s, but the numbers dropped after the bust of 2001. Now, despite a strong market for IT professionals and a resurgence in Web millionaires, college students just aren't interested in studying computing. Larry Abramson talks to some students and professors to find out why.

Compared to other disciplines in the sciences, CS has many more job openings.

Degrees vs Jobs

The Computing Research Association (CRA) site has many articles on this topic. In particular see the Taulbee Report, which gives the most recent enrollment statistics for CS/CE majors.
The CRA site shows a graph (see below) of peak CS enrollments in 1986 and 2003, with a downward forecast. (Note that this spells opportunity when combined with the job growth forecasts for CS and IT, as described above).
Bachelors Degrees Granted

CS undegrraduate enrollments may be poised to turn the corner, as shown at
While the yellow line in the graph above is a forecast of CS graduates, the graph below shows number of actual majors as freshman rising in 2006. If this continues this would lead to a rise in the number of CS graduates starting around 2010.
CS Undergraduate Numbers Poised to Turn the Corner

At we can see the distribution for CS Bachelor's Degree recipients by gender and ethnicity:

Gender in CS
Male Female
85.8% 14.2%

Ethnicity in CS
Native American

See the November 16, 2008 NY Times article about fewer women entering CS.