Computer science enrollments rocketed last year, up 22%

Demand for technical workers lures B.S. candidates in CompSci

A sneak peek at the annual Computing Research Association's (CRA) report on computer science enrollments at colleges shows that strong demand for technically-savvy workers is luring students in a big way.

The full 2013 Taulbee Report will be published in May, but the CRA revealed a few tidbits on Monday in its Computer Research News publication. Among the findings:

*Among 123 departments responding last year and the year before, there was a 22% increase in enrollment for computer science bachelor’s degree programs at U.S. schools. Degrees awarded increased 0.9% and new enrollments rose 13.7%.

*Ph.D. degrees awarded by 129 U.S. computer science departments that reported each of the past two years jumped 6.8%. The total number of Ph.D.s awarded (1,991) was the highest ever reported in this survey, and is based on data from Ph. D.-granting departments of computer engineering and information as well as computer science, plus includes Canadian Ph.D.-granting departments.

* Enrollments in doctoral programs among U.S. computer science departments that reported the past two years actually fell a smidge, by 1.2%, and new enrollments were down 8.1%.

+ More on NetworkWorld: Top 20 colleges for computer science majors, based on earning potential +

The good news for those studying in these fields is that hiring is up (well, depending on which reports you read) and pay numbers are on the rise.  

The latest IT hiring numbers show positive signs from February, though the reality is that degrees in computer science and engineering can translate into jobs that might not necessarily fall into the IT jobs category.

Also, while hiring numbers have been mixed in recent months, some studies have found that demand for technical skilled workers is still very hot in some big markets, such as Boston and San Francisco. 

For those that do find jobs, the money is generally good. A report from salary data analyzer PayScale last September found that Computer Engineering ranked No.6 and Computer Science No.8 among 129 college majors in terms of earning potential.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

SD-WAN buyers guide: Key questions to ask vendors (and yourself)