Computer science in China: high employment, highest satisfaction and salaries

Each spring I teach on University College Dublin‘s Software Engineering and Internet of Things Engineering Degrees in Beijing. The degree is offered by the Beijing Dublin International College (Chinese language link), a recognised college of UCD and the Beijing University of Technology.

Back in October, I reported on China topping the list of best programming nations. As I am shamefully monolingual (course delivery is in English), my news consumption is limited to English, and it’s not every day that I see English language reports on the state of computer science in China. That report back in October was the last I think I came across until today, when I was pleased to learn that Computer Science is the second most fruitful degree in China in terms of employment prospects from this article.

For those with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, the employment rate was 93.9 percent in 2016 – slightly trailing electrical engineering’s 95.5 percent, according to a report published by MyCOS, a company specializing in higher education data analytics.€

Computer Science also came out on top in terms of income potential, with computer science graduates earning 5,452 yuan ($792) a month, half a year after graduation. This is over 800 yuan ($116) more than finance grads, who came in second. After three years at work, computer science graduates are earning 8,665 yuan ($1,257), almost 1,000 yuan more than finance graduates.

Refreshingly, Chinese computer science graduates are also most satisfied with their jobs, with 75% reporting job satisfaction six months after graduation.

In Ireland, computer science/ICT grads also earn the most of any discipline, with 62% earning €29,000 a year or more which equates to 18,629 yuan per month. This data is for 2014 graduates, so most comparable to the Chinese figure of 8,665 yuan per month meaning that Irish computer science grads are earning more than double their Chinese counterparts in China.

in the US, computer science grads with 1-4 years experience are earning $63,281 a year, or $5,273 (36,323 yuan) per month which is over four times the Chinese salary, and double the Irish salary.

Of course, this all only matters in when the cost of living is taken into account. I just had dinner and drinks with 5 people in Beijing and the bill was $8 each. However, the average rent in Dublin for a one bedroom apartment is well over $1,000 and in Beijing it is just under that (numbeo.com). Let’s hope that the graduates living in the big cities earn more than the average.