Enrollment in computer science and related fields is booming at two branch campuses of the University of Washington.
Washington’s colleges and universities are finding it hard to keep up with the insatiable demand for computer science degrees, as we reported last month. The same is true at two of the state’s branch campuses, where hundreds are studying software engineering, cyber-security and related fields.
This year, the University of Washington Bothell has 531 students majoring in computer science and related fields, or pursuing a master’s in those fields — a 76 percent increase from 2010. This spring, about 200 of them are expected to graduate.
The University of Washington Tacoma’s Institute of Technology has 781 computer science students enrolled in its bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, and last year graduated 199 students. The number of students studying computer science at UW Tacoma has roughly doubled in just four years.
“If you combine numbers from Bothell and Tacoma, we are producing a significant proportion of graduates going into the workforce annually,” said UW Tacoma spokesman Mike Wark. In fact, the demand is so high in Tacoma that “space is starting to get tight” in the branch campus located in downtown Tacoma, Wark said.
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UW Bothell’s high numbers of computer science graduates have helped it land on a prestigious list: According to state figures, a year after graduation, UW Bothell bachelor’s degree graduates are, on average, earning more than the average at any other Washington public college or university.
University officials say UW Bothell’s high average is due, in part, to the large number of graduates in computer science, as well as other high-demand professions in health, business and engineering.
The analysis comes from the Education Research and Data Center, part of the state’s Office of Financial Management, which found that for 2013, the average pay for a UW Bothell graduate was $54,498, compared with an average of $47,573 for all UW campuses.
The success of UW Bothell graduates is echoed by a recent ranking from Payscale.com, which puts UW Bothell as 42nd in the nation as a best value college for in-state students. It’s the highest ranking of any college in the Northwest. And this week, the UW Bothell topped Money magazine’s list of great colleges that still have room in the fall.
Based on incorrect information in a news release, an earlier version of this story said $47,543 was the average pay for a graduate from all public university campuses in Washington. That figure is the average for all UW campuses.