I often refer to data from NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which works with college placement offices to collect data on trends in starting salaries, by field.
The figures for computer science, though higher than for most other majors, as has been the case over the years, have never shown a sharp upward trend indicating a labor shortage. The CS figure in the current survey, Fall 2015, at $65,004, is nearly 4% below the one reported last fall, when the figure was $67,500. (These numbers are specific to CS; read the text part rather than the charts.) This is particularly interesting in that salaries overall rose 5.2%.
Also interesting are the results for petroleum engineering, often cited by researchers such as Hal Salzman of Rutgers as evidence that, rather than bringing in foreign workers, national policy should just let the market work. There was a sudden demand for petroleum engineers, so enrollment in such majors went up accordingly. Now, as we know, the boom has turned to bust, and sure enough, the average starting salary plummeted from $86,255 to $72,063. Still high, but the effect of market forces is clear.
All this is especially important in view of the “staple a green card” proposals in Congress, which would give fast-track green cards to foreign Master’s and PhD students in U.S. STEM programs. These workers become permanent fixtures in the labor market, which hardly justifies bringing them in to remedy “shortages,” which are typically not real and are short-lived even when they are real.