Compsci degrees aren't returning on investment for coders – research

Spend £50k to get just £3k per year more than non-grads


University in the UK has never been more expensive. But at least doing a computer science degree guarantees a nice fat, well-paid job at the end, right? Wrong.

Coders with a bachelor's degree only earn £3,000 more a year than those who don't have one, according to a survey of 4,700 developers in the UK by Stack Overflow, a community site frequented by developers for answers to technical questions.

This is despite the average degree now costing £9,000 a year in tuition fees alone. Average student debt is now more than £50,000, according the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

The research found that the median salary of those who did not have higher education was £35,000 per year, while those who gained a bachelor's degree earned £38,000 and postgraduates took home £42,000.

It found that 48 per cent of developers with less than four years of professional experience currently hold a Computer Science-related undergraduate degree, while 49 per cent had completed an online course instead.

The research also found that JavaScript developers were most in demand, with almost 27 per cent of jobs advertised on Stack Overflow now requiring this skill, followed by Java (22 per cent), Python (16 per cent), C# (15 per cent) and ReactJS (9 per cent).

This week Stack Overflow launched its Salary Calculator too, intended to inform developers about professional pay practices and suitable job opportunities.

By doing so it aims to help coders gain a better understanding of their salary potential and the most lucrative skills to learn. ®

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