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Employer survey: The graduates and degrees in the highest demand for 2021

Dive In
  • Writer's picturePeter Harris

Wondering what to study for the most lucrative return on your educational investment? The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields continue to be red hot right now and for the foreseeable future.

Computer sciences majors are highly valued in the current job market, according to new research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

“Of course, this is due in large part to the greater need for technology in the new ‘virtual world’ we live and work in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Shawn VanDerziel NACE executive director.

NACE’s Winter 2021 Salary Survey found that the average salary projection for computer sciences graduates jumped 7.1 per cent from last year to $72,173. This marks the highest projected starting salary for this cohort.

This projected salary increase is not limited to just one individual major. Rather, all three of the individual reported computer sciences branches—computer science (7.1%), information sciences and systems (7.1%), and software applications (6.8%)— are all projecting similar increases.

In addition, nearly half of the employers responding to the survey—48.9%—plan to hire Class of 2021 computer science graduates.

The high demand for computer sciences graduates reflects how the starting salary for these graduates far out-paces other, related disciplines in the current job market.

Average salaries by discipline, bachelor’s degrees – Computer sciences: $72,173 +7.1%

– Engineering: $71,088 +1.6%

– Math and sciences: $63,316 +1.3%

– Business: $58,869 + 1.6%

The other degrees that employers surveyed indicated the greatest intention to hire this year included accounting, finance, business administration, and mechanical engineering.

See the most in-demand work from home jobs right now.

These are the fastest growing in-person jobs hiring at the moment. As this survey was conducted by NACE, average salary figures are in USD.

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