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You probably should have majored in computer science

REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Hopefully they’re studying computer science.
By Sarah Kessler
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

If you’re looking for a college major that gives you an incredible job outlook, we have two words for you: computer science.

There are almost 10 times more US computing jobs open right now than there were students who graduated with computer science degrees in 2015.

That year, the most recent for which the National Center for Education Statistics has collected data, about 60,000 students graduated from US institutions with bachelor degrees in computer and information services. There are about 530,000 computing jobs currently open, according to, which used data from business research association The Conference Board. “Of course,” wrote former education secretary Arne Duncan in a recent article for the Brookings Institute, ”we wouldn’t expect new graduates to fill all job vacancies in a healthy labor market—as many open positions will require more experience—but filling less than 10 percent is indicative of demand for talent far outstripping supply,”

The Obama White House predicted that by 2020, there would be 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available, and only about 400,000 computer science graduates who have the skills necessary to apply for those jobs.

In his op-ed, Duncan called for the US to help fill the gap by making technology education a priority. Some non-profits have seen the shortage of qualified tech workers as an opportunity to encourage companies to hire employees with less traditional (and more equal opportunity) credentials, such as simply being able to do the work.

But for now, it’s easy to see why computer science majors are the highest paid recent college graduates.

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