Every parent imagines a happy future for their child. While happiness is a multifaceted concept and the idea of a “better” future is subjective, there is no denying that financial stability is a contributing factor. Research indicates that income does indeed influence happiness.1

The Role of Higher Education

In this ever-changing economic landscape, guiding your child toward a financially stable future is crucial. Higher education is the most reliable way to ensure their stability. Statistics2 from the Federal Reserve reveal a stark contrast in earnings based on educational levels. Those with a high school diploma earn a median income of $34,320, while individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn significantly more, starting at $52,000, marking a 50% increase.

Median Income of Individuals With  High School Diplomas vs Bachelor's Degrees

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Selecting the Right Degree

Not all degrees are created equal–or rather, are valued equally in the eyes of the job market. Computer science stands out in several fields. Graduates in computer science make significantly higher earnings, with a median starting salary of $73,000–a staggering 40% higher than the average bachelor’s degree. Even mid-career, computer science professionals still outperform their peers, sustaining an average of $30,000 more in income.

Median Income of Individuals With Bachelor's Degrees in Computer Science vs All Bachelor's Degree Graduates (Early Career)

Notably, computer science graduates are also 50% less likely to be underemployed, underscoring the high level of demand for their skills in the job market. We do not recommend that your child pursue computer science solely because it pays well. First and foremost, computer science should be an area of interest for your child for it to be worth considering. 

Underemployment Rage of Individuals With Bachelor's Degrees in Computer Science vs All Bachelor's Degrees

Importance of College Selection

While selecting the right degree is a vital step, choosing an institution at which to pursue it can further influence your child’s earnings trajectory. Graduates from the top 10 computer science colleges earn $130,000, which is a significant $57,000 more compared to the average income of those with a bachelor’s in computer science. This compares the top 10 versus all colleges for a bachelor’s in computer science degree. However, it’s important to note that the focus should not solely be on prestigious institutions. College fit, which encompasses a student’s interests and values, should be the primary consideration when choosing a school. The most befitting environment will foster learning and personal growth, enhancing your child’s college experience.

Beyond the Numbers

However, it’s not all about the income. A happy future is shaped by one’s attitude and approach to life. Happiness and fulfillment stem from passion and purpose.  Being a supportive parent means embracing your child’s passions and helping them explore. Parents should assess if computer science is an area of interest for their children by introducing it to them. The earlier they are familiarized, the better– particularly for girls who remain underrepresented in the field. Even if they pursue a different career, a foundation in coding will make your child an asset in any field.

These realizations motivated me to introduce computer science to my daughter. Unable to find a high-quality program for her, I started CodeWizardsHQ. Read our full origin story here

  1. A study by Nobel Prize Winner, Daniel Kahneman and fellow researchers suggests that happiness steadily increases with income plateauing at $500,000 – https://www.pnas.org/doi/epdf/10.1073/pnas.2208661120. A more accessible article about this research is available here – https://www.cbsnews.com/news/money-happiness-study-daniel-kahneman-500000-versus-75000/. ↩︎
  2. Federal Reserve of New York research on the labor market for recent college graduates including median wage early career, median wage mid-career, unemployment rate, unemployment rate by major-https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/college-labor-market#–explore:wages. ↩︎