Computer Science Majors Significantly Increase for the Second Year in a Row
The number of undergraduate students majoring in computer science significantly increased for
the second year in a row according to the Computing Research Association (CRA). The upward
trend reverses the steep decline experienced in computer science enrollment during the 2000's.
CRA reported these trends as part of the 2008-2009 annual CRA Taulbee Survey. This growth in
student enrollment comes as recent government projections highlight computing careers as
among those expected to grow the fastest over the next decade.
"The best and brightest students recognize that computer science is a field that offers tremendous
intellectual excitement, great job prospects, and the ability to change the world," said Dr. Eric
Grimson, Chair of CRA. "The ability to earn high salaries and receive good job opportunities
undoubtedly plays an important role as students decide to major in computer science. As these
students graduate, the U.S. tech industry will gain an enormous competitive advantage in future
research and development."
"This upward surge proves that computer science is cool again," said Grimson. "Computers,
smartphones and online social networks are a daily part of young people's lives. It should come
as no surprise that today's students want to learn more about computing."
The Computing Research Association collected enrollment data in fall 2009 from the computer
science, computer engineering and information technology departments of 185 Ph.D.-granting
universities. Specific findings include:
-- Total enrollment by majors in computer science is up 5.5 percent over
last year. Computer science enrollment increased 14 percent
cumulatively over the previous two years, reversing a steep decline
-- The number of new students majoring in computer science in the fall of
2009 increased by 8.5 percent over last year. Computer science
graduation rates should increase in two to fo