Computer Science Majors to Make Less This Year After Tech Layoffs

By Paulina Cachero

New college graduates who hoped to earn top dollar in Silicon Valley may be disappointed.

Starting salaries for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science are projected to drop by 4% to $72,843 for the class of 2023 compared to a year ago, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Other majors that typically serve as a pipeline into tech roles, including math and engineering, are projected to see marginal gains at just 0.7%.

“The drop in starting salary for computer science majors is likely the result of recent recalibration among tech companies, which have traditionally offered top dollar,” said Shawn VanDerziel, executive director of NACE.Tech companies that expanded rapidly during the pandemic have been culling employees this year as they face a slowdown in growth, with more than 100,000 jobs cut since the beginning of January, according to tracker

To be sure, computer science graduates still have very strong earning potential, with NACE projecting they’ll receive the second highest average salary offer after engineering grads. But the class of 2023 will effectively have the same starting salary as their counterparts who graduated in 2021.

Employer demand for finance majors slightly beat out those with degrees related to tech: 69% of respondents to NACE’s survey of employers said they hoped to hire graduates who studied finance, compared to 67% for computer science. 

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