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Intro to computer science is now the most popular course at Harvard

Reuters/Brian Snyder
Where’s the laptop?
Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Harvard students know which way the wind is blowing. According to a report from the Harvard Crimson, the school’s introductory computer science class (CS50) has a record 818 undergraduates this fall. Twelve percent of undergraduates are taking the course, making it the most popular Harvard course in at least a decade.

Here’s the increase in course enrollment since 2004, the year Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his Harvard dorm room:

Despite its reputation as one of the school’s hardest courses, CS50 has surpassed the perennial favorite, Principals of Economics (Ec10A). There appears to be some cannibalization: CS50 enrollment jumped to 818, from 768 last year. Ec10A enrollment dropped to 711, from 772.

It’s a rational response to rapidly rising salaries for computer science graduates, reports of skill shortages, and the growing roster of tech billionaires.

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