The nation\u2019s premier tech colleges are reporting white-hot demand for seniors majoring in computer science and other IT-related fields.\nStudents who will graduate in May with computer science, software engineering and computer engineering majors are fielding multiple offers, with top students accepting starting salaries over $100,000, career services departments say.\nIndeed, tech colleges are reporting standing-room-only job fairs with a feeding frenzy atmosphere, as companies including Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Intel try to recruit the best budding computer scientists.\n\n\nAndrew Moore, Dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)\n\n\n``We have cases of students with more than 50 offers,\u2019\u2019 says Andrew Moore, Dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). ``I was an executive at Google up until a few months ago. I know how much work large companies put in to attract the very best computer scientists in the world, and I also know from CMU\u2019s end the huge demand and excitement when it comes to recruiting our students.\u2019\u2019\n+ ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD Top 20 colleges for computer science majors, based on earning potential +\nGraduates of CMU\u2019s School of Computer Science have the highest starting salaries of any science or engineering program in the United States, according to the Web site Nerdwallet.com. Nerdwallet reported that starting salaries from CMU\u2019s School of Computer Science were $89,832 a year ago, but Moore said the average initial offer this year is $100,000.\n``It really is a sign of the amount of competition that is going on, with the companies fighting over the students,\u2019\u2019 Moore says. ``For the students, it\u2019s not just about the salary. It\u2019s about making sure that the work environment is pleasant and the meaningfulness, importance and relevance of the jobs.\u2019\u2019\nAt Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, starting salaries for Computer Science and Software Engineering majors are up more than 40% from 2010, with superior students receiving offers approaching $110,000.\n``Demand for our IT graduates is sky high,\u2019\u2019 says Kevin Hewerdine, Director of Career Services and Employee Relations at Rose-Hulman, which is based in Terre Haute, Ind. ``We don\u2019t have enough grads to even come close to what industry wants. The demand is driving the starting pay up.\u2019\u2019\u00a0U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.\n SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics\nEven at less selective colleges, demand for tech majors has reached a new high. PayScale reports that starting salaries for undergraduates majoring in computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering from all U.S. universities have risen 9% in the last five years.\u00a0\n PayScale\n``Starting salaries for the IT job family are growing stronger and faster than any other engineering field,\u2019\u2019 says Katie Bardaro, lead economist for PayScale in Seattle. ``There is upward pressure on wages because of the higher demand for these positions.\u2019\u2019\nDemand for undergraduates majoring in computing-related fields is outpacing all other STEM [Science Technology Engineering Math] fields. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 71% of all newly-created jobs in all STEM fields between 2012 and 2022 will be in computing.\n+ The 10 computer science programs with the biggest payoff +\n\n\nProf. Ed Lazowska, the Bill & Melinda Gates Chair of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington\n\n\n``Both nationally and in our region, the vast majority of all STEM jobs are in computing,\u2019\u2019 says Professor Ed Lazowska, the Bill & Melinda Gates Chair of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. ``In Washington State, computer science is one of only four fields with a gap between degrees granted and jobs available at the Baccalaureate level and above. The gap in computer science is greater than the total gap in the other three fields.\u2019\u2019\nThe gap between available computing jobs and the number of newly minted techies is what\u2019s driving up starting salaries.\nAt Rose-Hulman \u2013 an engineering school that is ranked by PayScale as having among the best return-on-investment ratios in the United States \u2013 the highest starting salaries are for Computer Science and Software Engineering majors. Last year, the average accepted offer for Rose-Hulman\u2019s computer science majors was $84,300, while software engineering majors received an average of $75,300. These figures are expected to rise around 5% for the Class of 2015.\nHewerdine says students majoring in these two fields are in demand not only from tech companies, but also General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Honda.\n``The automobile companies are looking for individuals who can create software to run the robotics on an assembly line and to support the manufacturing process,\u2019\u2019 he says. ``There is enormous demand for people who can write code.\u2019\u2019\nCorporate recruiting frenzy\nOne sign of the rising demand for these students is the level of corporate recruiting on tech campuses. The number of companies recruiting on Rose-Hulman\u2019s rural Indiana campus is up 20% from a year ago, with more than 240 companies attending the October job fair and another 100 companies attending the January job fair aimed at recruiting underclassmen for summer internships.\n``Seventy percent of the companies that recruit on campus want to talk to Computer Science and Software Engineering students,\u2019\u2019 Hewerdine says. ``The opportunities are plentiful. We have students who if they wanted to could get 20 job offers, but most of them are pretty selective.\u2019\u2019\nMore than 200 companies attended CMU\u2019s Technical Opportunities Conference, including Dropbox, Facebook and Twitter as well as banks, pharmaceutical companies and local startups like Duolingo.\n``There was so much energy in the room and so much urgency for the students to meet the companies and the companies to meet the students,\u2019\u2019 Moore said of the conference, which is the largest job fair on CMU\u2019s campus.\nMoore said corporate demand is highest for students specializing in robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. He said corporate recruiters are scouring resumes to find students who have aced particular CMU courses, such as 10-601 Machine Learning and 15-451 Algorithms.\n``We have the premier machine learning class in the world. Facebook and Google will be fighting over you if you\u2019ve done well in that class,\u2019\u2019 Moore says.\nWith many seniors having already accepted job offers, tech companies are targeting underclassmen for summer jobs. Nearly 100 companies attended Stanford University\u2019s Computer Forum Career Fair in January, which is open to Computer Science and Electrical Engineering majors only and is aimed at internships.\n+ Computer engineering degrees pay off big time +\n``This is the career fair where we had the most companies ever,\u2019\u2019 says Connie Chan, Executive Director of the forum. ``In the past, we had 70 or 80 companies attend.\u2019\u2019\nChan said corporate recruiters are interested in all of Stanford\u2019s Computer Science and Electrical Engineering majors, including undergraduates, masters and PhD candidates. That\u2019s one reason that Computer Science and Electrical Engineering are now the most popular engineering-related majors at Stanford.\n``Our students are getting a lot of offers. Most of them have three or four offers in hand,\u2019\u2019 Chan says. ``For the class of 2015, 80 percent of them have already accepted full-time offers. They have a job in hand that they will be starting after graduation. Most had at least one full-time offer by December of their senior year.\u2019\u2019\nChan says starting salaries for the Class of 2015 are up 15 percent over last year. ``The demand is definitely more on the software side. Starting salaries are a little bit less for those who focused on the hardware side.\u2019\u2019\nDemand driving supply\nThe sky-high salaries for computer science majors are prompting more students to enter the field.\nThe Computing Research Association said the number of bachelors of science degrees awarded by U.S. computer science departments rose 14 percent between 2013 and 2014.\nThe so-called Taulbee survey tracks degrees from PhD-granting computer science departments and is a bellwether for the industry. The total number of BS degrees in computer science at these research-oriented universities rose from 12,503 in 2013 to 14,283 in 2014.\nThe survey ``ends up being about a quarter to a third of all U.S. bachelor\u2019s degree recipients,\u2019\u2019 says Elizabeth Bizot, Director of Statistics and Evaluation for the CRA. ``But we usually reflect the same trends seen in the larger group.\u2019\u2019 The complete findings of the annual Taulbee survey will be released in May.\nAt Stanford, the number of computer science majors has doubled in the past 14 years, Chan says. ``The enrollment is going up because there are plenty of jobs for them,\u2019\u2019 she added. ``If you want a really good job that pays well and allows you to be financially stable, you should consider software.\u2019\u2019\nThe trickle-down effect can be seen in high schools, where more seniors are applying to top tech colleges.\n``What we\u2019re seeing at CMU is that the number of students applying for the School of Computer Science is skyrocketing,\u2019\u2019 Moore says. ``It rose another 15% this year. We have spots for 138 students, and 6,500 applied. Now computer science at CMU has reached the same level of selectivity as Harvard is for the humanities.\u2019\u2019\nMoore encourages highschoolers to study computer science in college, whether or not they end up majoring in the field.\n``I firmly believe that the people who will be running the world in 2040 are going to be computer scientists because of the complexity of the world and the increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning,\u2019\u2019 Moore says. ``If you\u2019re a high school student who loves physics or who loves history, just make sure you have the computer science skills to go with it because every industry needs people who understand algorithms and how the cloud works.\u2019\u2019\nAt the University of Washington, the number of students applying as Computer Science & Engineering majors more than tripled between 2008 and 2014, from roughly 800 to 2,750. In the same time frame, the number of students from all majors who enrolled in the university\u2019s two introductory computer science courses more than doubled.\n``Nationally, demand for computer science is booming \u2013 demand for intro courses, demand for the major and demand for upper-division courses by students in other majors,\u2019\u2019 Lazowska says.\nHe added that more companies that are not in the IT sector are attracting the university\u2019s Computer Science & Engineering majors.\n``There was a time, not too long ago, when Nordstrom\u2019s IT was accounts payable, accounts receivable and inventory. As far as I know, we didn\u2019t have a single UW CSE alum working there. Now there is lots of mobile and social,\u2019\u2019 he says. ``Ditto Starbucks; there is lots of truly leading-edge work going on in their IT department. So it\u2019s not just that Amazon and Microsoft are booming\u2026.It\u2019s broader than that.\u2019\u2019\nTech colleges that are benefitting from this trend see no end in sight to the rising demand \u2013 or starting salaries \u2013 for computer scientists.\n``I am very confident that this trend is going to continue,\u2019\u2019 Moore says. ``We\u2019re only glimpsing the impact that AI and robotics are going to have in all aspects of our lives. The growth is going to be incredible. The high salaries are a symptom of all the competition for these skills.\u2019\u2019\nCarolyn Duffy Marsan is a Milwaukee-based reporter who covers high-tech business and STEM education.