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The Average Starting Salary for Computer Science Majors Declined 2.5% from 2012 to 2013

Posted on 08-Sep-2013
Topics: Effects of Immigration on American Workers  

As a group, graduates in the computer sciences field saw their overall average starting salary decrease 2.5 percent from $60,038 last year to $58,547 this year.

From Dr. Norm Matloff:

When discussing H-1B-related analysis with people who hated their statistics course in college--almost all members of Congress, probably most journalists, and probably most engineers and programmers--nothing beats couching things in terms of wages. People's eyes may glaze over when one talks of regression models, but everyone understands that if wages are flat, there ain't no shortage.

Well, then, everyone will get this one: According to the latest NACE survey, starting salaries for new Computer Science grads are not just flat, they are DOWN by 2.5%. See "Salary Survey: Average Starting Salary for Class of 2013 Grads Increases 2.4 Percent.

The wages for Computer Engineering majors are also down, though the above summary didn't say how much.

Starting salaries for new engineering majors in general were up a bit, 2.3%. An exception was for Bioengineering, still an infant field yet to stabilize, at 10.1%. But hey, Sociology majors beat that, at 10.8%.

As you know, though, for relevance to the H-1B issue, the computer field is dominant. Though the figures vary from year to year, about 50% of all H-1Bs are in that field, with the next largest one, electrical engineering, being far smaller, at about 5%. It has consistently been the case that the loudest corporate voices for expanding the H-1B program have been from the computer field, notably Microsoft.

Wages for new college grads in computer science are of special interest. As I've pointed out, by many employers' own public admission, they are focusing on hiring new or recent grads, shunning older applicants. So, starting salaries should be going up. The fact that they are actually DOWN slightly highlights the fact that, in spite of the industry lobbyists' claims, hiring in the computer field is a buyer's market.

In other words, NO SHORTAGE.



[1] "Salary Survey: Average Starting Salary for Class of 2013 Grads Increases 2.4 Percent", National Association of Colleges and Employers, 4-Sep-2013

[2] Email from Dr. Norm Matloff

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