Computer Science Bachelor's Degrees

Goals

To determine the total number of computer science Bachelor's degrees awarded globally in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, with an additional breakout of the U.S. degrees for each year.

Early Findings

U.S. Data

  • According to the Digest of Education Statistics, the number of Computer and Information Sciences degrees awarded by year are:
    • 59,586 in the 2014-15 school year
    • 64,402 in the 2015-16 school year
    • 71,420 in the 2016-17 school year
    • Data for the school years ending in 2018 and 2019 were not available, so data is being provided for 2013-14 (55,271) and 2012-13 (50,961).
  • The numbers reported by the National Science Board were slightly different from those provided above, but they were close and overall confirmed that the numbers were reasonable. 2017 was the last year reported here as well.
  • The most recent data release on degree statistics was the Digest of Education Statistics, released in December 2019. Although this contained data on the total number of degrees awarded in 2018, there was no breakdown by field of study.
  • Using the data from the Digest and a CAGR calculator, we determined the average annual increase in degrees from 2013-2017 was 6.98%. If that remained consistent for 2018 and 2019, it can be estimated that the number of degrees in 2018 was 76,405 (71,420 x 1.0698) and the number of degrees in 2019 was 81,738 (76,405 x 1.0698).

Global Data

  • In a research report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, it was reported that China has about three times as many computer science graduates as the U.S., while India has about 3.5 times as many.
  • China awarded a total of 1.7 million "first-university" (the equivalence of a Bachelor's degree in the U.S.) degrees in science and engineering fields in 2016, which represents almost 70% of the total "first-university" degrees awarded.

Summary of Findings

  • In our initial research we were able to find the requested data for the U.S. for 2013-2017, and triangulate estimates for the 2018 and 2019 data, which was not found to be publicly available.
  • Our initial research did not uncover any publicly available data on the global number of computer science degrees awarded, although we had limited time to spend on it.

Proposed next steps:

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