Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Computer Science Continues to Be One of the Most Popular and Rewarding Programs at Michigan

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The ECRC annual report shows CS students are highest earners

Computer science is a fast-growing and highly popular discipline, and this is reflected at Michigan via two measurements: the number of declared majors in the CS undergraduate program, and employment survey data from students regarding their salaries for co-ops, internships, and full-time hires. The popularity of CS is no surprise; it has become a key enabler for almost every field of endeavor and holds the promise for enormous impact. There are lots of reasons that students choose CS.

CS is the Second Most Popular Undergraduate Major at the University

According to Winter 2017 reports published by the Office of the Registrar, the Computer Science undergraduate major continues to be the second most popular at Michigan. Here are selected undergraduate program enrollment numbers for comparison:

photo of a full cs classroom
Computer science classrooms across campus are full.
  • Business Administration: 1730
  • Computer Science (College of Engineering): 1017
  • Mechanical Engineering: 810
  • Economics: 737
  • Psychology: 645
  • Nursing: 675
  • BioPsychology: 609
  • Political Science: 564
  • Computer Science (College of LSA): 373

Note that the Computer Science programs offered through CoE and LSA are in almost all respects the same except for college requirements, and both programs are administered and taught by CSE. Combined, this makes for a total number of 1390 declared CS undergraduates at Michigan.

By Many Measures, CS is #1 at the College of Engineering

CS is the most popular undergraduate program at the College of Engineering, with 1017 declared undergraduate majors as of Winter 2017. According to documentation from the Engineering Career Resource Center (ECRC), CS students earn the highest median salary in every category of employment. Students from the department's CS-LSA undergraduate program are included in the ECRC's computer science statistics.

The just-issued ECRC Annual Report (PDF) for the hiring year ending April 2016 includes reported placement and salary survey data for College of Engineering Co-op students, Interns, Bachelor's students, and Master's students. It reflects the continuation of these now well established trends. Here are some of the numbers from this year's report:

Co-ops: CS students were most hired and were tied with Computer Engineering students for the highest median monthly salary ($6500).

Bachelor's Internships: CS students were most hired and received the highest median monthly salary ($4333).

Master's internships: CSE students received the highest median monthly salary ($7083).

Bachelor's full-time hires: CS students were most hired and received the highest median annual starting salary ($95,000).

Master's full-time hires: CSE students received the highest median annual starting salary ($105,000).

The high demand and pay for CS students and graduates continues a trend since the hiring year ending in August 2010, the first year such statistics were published by the ECRC. Recent past ECRC Annual Reports can be seen here.


Posted: March 15, 2017