A site called “The Best Degrees” has just published a list of the best-paying college degrees . (Caveat: I did not know that site before being led to it by a blog post , and cannot vouch for its methods of arriving at results.) They base their analysis on the study of reports from the US Department of Labor, in in particular their “Occupational Outlook Handbook” and their wage data.
In the list we note:
- #2 best degree: PhD in computer science.
- #3: bachelor’s degree in software engineering.
- #6: bachelor’s degree in computer science.
- #7: bachelor’s degree in databases.
- #9: bachelor’s degree in computer networks.
So: half of the first ten most pay-wise productive degrees in the US are directly in our discipline!
I know of no comparable study for Europe; my informal expectation is that the situation is comparable, with the possible exception of the #2 rating for “PhD in computer science” (as European industry is still all too often scared of hiring PhDs for fear that they will be eggheads not attuned to the reality of business).
The message is clear: if prospective students, those at least for whom salary is a key determinant, knew the reality and not just the image, we would be flooded with hordes of applicants begging us to take them in.
 The top 51 degrees based on job prospects, available here.
 Timothy Lethbridge: Top degrees: Computer Science PhD and Software Engineering Bachelors, blog post available here.