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  • Are More Computer Science Grads Becoming Entrepreneurs?

    October 26, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Trends & Predictions
    A computer science grad takes a break from working on his startup idea.

    TAGS: first destination, graduate outcomes, spotlight

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    Recent outcomes for computer science graduates are somewhat puzzling in that the percentage who were fully employed in a traditional setting decreased even though their median salary increased, according to NACE’s First-Destination Surveys.

    The percentage of computer science graduates working for an employer for more than 30 hours per week and receiving employee benefits dipped from 73.2 percent in 2014 to 72.0 percent in 2015.

    At the same time, the median salary for these graduates increased by 11.3 percent. The salary increase suggests that the demand for computer science graduates did not decrease, but rather that it is still growing.

    So, where did these graduates go that was more attractive to them? The answer seems to be that they became entrepreneurs. The percentage increase in full-time entrepreneurship almost completely accounts for the decline in full-time standard employment. Full-time entrepreneur outcomes increased from 0.8 percent in 2014 to 1.8 percent in 2015.

    These swings are not large, but suggest that the path of starting one’s own company in computer science is so attractive that it can siphon off graduates, even in a relatively hot labor market.

    For NACE’s Class of 2015 First-Destination Survey, 279 colleges and universities nationwide, representing nearly half a million graduates, provided data for Class of 2015 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree graduates. Overall, data were reported for nearly 244,000 bachelor’s degree graduates in 34 broad disciplines and 185 majors. Detailed results of the survey, which also covered first destinations for associate, master’s, and doctoral degree-level graduates, and details about outcomes by specific major, are available on NACEWeb.