A recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) shows nearly a 10% bump in pay rates for computer science graduates. Kurt Linberg explains how this increase came about in today's article.

The latest quarterly National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Survey suggests nearly a 10% increase in salary for new computer science graduates (and 4-6% increases for business and management graduates). Check out the WSJ for more information.

The following information was most interesting to me:

The NACE press release states: "As a group, those earning computer-related degrees saw their overall average salary soar 9.6 percent from $58,189 to $63,760. The overall average offer for those majoring specifically in computer science jumped 9.3 percent to $66,084, while information sciences and systems majors saw their average salary offer increase by 5.9 percent to $55,619."

What would explain this significant increase in compensation? Is it possible that we are starting to see a supply and demand issue for computer programmers, software engineers, and other IT professionals in this country? If so, then higher education institutions MUST work to recruit, retain, educate, and graduate more CS majors (especially displaced workers that can retrain and get back into the workforce).

Why?

This is typically a 3-5 year process. As our economy recovers, businesses will want to hire CS grads. If they can't find talent, there will be more lobbying to increase foreign H-1B visas for well educated CS grads from India, China, and other countries. Remember the headlines in the late 1990's and early 2000's like "500,000 shortage in IT professionals!" This is an excellent opportunity for higher education institutions to step up to the challenge and provide more access to CS education.

I'm proud to report that the faculty members in my school at St. Scholastica are launching a 100% online CS program in January with a blending of traditional CS courses and new topics like mobile application development. The program is geared for non-traditional students that demand: 1) a rigorous academic program that will prepare them for good careers in computer programming; and 2) more flexibility with our 8-week online courses. I'd like to think that our timing is perfect!

Do you see an increased demand for CS graduates? If so, do you think that higher education can meet the needs of the workforce in preparing more CS graduates?

This post originally appeared on my blog, Higher Education: Are We Making the Grade? Learn more about St. Scholastica's online B.A./B.S. in Computer Science here!

Previously: 5 Tips to Keep in Mind if You're Planning to Transfer

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