IT Degree ROI: Which Majors Make the Biggest Salary?

When you’re in college, it’s easy to put off thinking about your post-graduation job options. All the work involved in directing a college career can feel like a full-time job in and of itself, so who has time to pore over job listings and rewrite your resume?

While in school, the prospect of a post-graduation job and salary might seem more like a hazy assumption than a reality for most students. But it makes sense to put some real thought into the earning potential of any given degree.

Obviously, the major a student selects will have a big effect on that.

Ranking the Majors
The National Association of Colleges and Employers ranks the earning potential of computer science majors as follows (in descending order): computer programming, computer science, information science and systems, and computer systems analysis. Those rankings are current as of September and represent feedback from hundreds of universities and employers.

Bruce Mueller, chief people officer, instructor and executive director of the Career Management Center at the Illinois Institute of Technology, said these rankings hold true at IIT.

“Our experience is similar to those [rankings] based upon the job offers and starting salaries that the students are receiving in the computer field,” he said.

Computer programming (or, put another way, code) has been dominant for a long time, Mueller said.

Because of this, “[companies] need software folks — people who know how to manipulate code, install applications or ERPs, customize applications and make different applications…


Daniel Margolis

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