4

To satisfy my professional curiosity, I'm trying to find a reliable statistic as to the number of students that declare their major as computer science and graduate with a degree in 6 years.

I was wondering if any organization compiled data on a per-major basis. I'd like the info partly to satisfy my own curiosity, and possibly use to motivate students (i.e. you made it through a tough class).

  • "number of students that declare their major as computer science and graduate with a degree in 6 years" - are you asking for the number of students that graduate with a degree in computer science? or students that graduate with any degree? That is, do you want to know how many CS students drop out entirely or how many leave CS? – ff524 Sep 23 '14 at 18:55
  • I'm asking how many leave CS. For example, if a student switches from CS to Management he would have "dropped out" of CS even though he successfully completed his Management major. – sevensevens Sep 24 '14 at 13:39
2

The National Center for Education Statistics in the United States surveys cohorts of first-time, beginning students at the end of their first year in post-secondary education, and then three and six years after first starting.

Per their official report, 59% of beginning bachelor's degree students in computer and information science in 2003-04 had either left post-secondary education without a degree (31%), or switched to a non-STEM field (28%) by 2009.

However, this number doesn't identify those who switch from computer science to a different STEM field as drop-outs. It also doesn't differentiate between

  • students who persisted in computer science and earned a bachelor's degree by 2009,
  • students who persisted in computer science but were still enrolled in 2009, or
  • students who persisted in computer science but earned an associate's degree or certificate by 2009.

Fortunately, the NCES also allows you to create custom tables from this dataset using the PowerStats tool on their website. (You have to create an account to use the tool.) This is a valuable tool if you're interested in exploring these statistics further.

Using PowerStats, I found out that among those who enrolled in a bachelor's degree program with a computer/information science major in 2003-04:

  • 51.3% had earned a bachelor's degree by 2009
  • Of these students that earned a bachelor's degree by 2009, 67.6% said that their major when last enrolled was computer/information science.

So, 34.7% of beginning bachelor's degree students in computer and information science in 2003-04 earned a bachelor's degree in computer and information science by 2009 and 65.3% did not.

Here's part of the data table I generated for this answer:

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.