20 Computer Science Degrees: The Most Bang For The Buck

The computer science programs at these universities offer the best long-term return on investment, according to PayScale's calculations.

Susan Fogarty

September 15, 2014

10 Slides

Remember all those grueling hours combing through code for that one tiny bug? Or turning a project in seconds before the professor's deadline after staying up all night, fueled by NoDoz, Doritos, and Mountain Dew? It was all worth it, right? Apparently it's been more worth it for those who chose wisely when selecting their institutions of higher learning. 

Still, the value of any degree, especially one in computer science, is very worthwhile. According to a survey of the class of 2014 by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average starting salary for new college graduates earning bachelor’s degrees in computer science was $67,300. That's $18,600 more than the overall average for bachelor's degrees, which stood at $48,700.

And that value grows over time as professionals acquire market expertise and experience. Data analysis company PayScale tracked graduates and salaries to develop an ROI Report on US colleges, sortable by major and several other factors. Here the site will estimate the annual return on your college investment based on the total college costs (tuition, room, board and supplies minus the average financial aid award) to get a bachelor's degree at hundreds of colleges, and -- if you graduate today -- what your total expected income will be over 20 years.

We sorted to find the schools whose computer science majors earned the most after graduation. Some of the heavy-hitters you'd expect turned up, as well as some schools that may not be on your radar at all.

Is your alma mater in the top 20? Are you surprised at the results? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author(s)

Susan Fogarty

Director of ContentSusan Fogarty is the Director of Content for Interop and UBM’s media properties InformationWeek and Network Computing. She’s an industry veteran who knows the IT audience very well, having served in content development for the event for four years and media for IT professionals for more than 20 years. Prior to joining UBM in 2012, she held an Editor position with Dell and worked at TechTarget, where she served as an Editorial Director, for 11 years.

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