What Tech Labor Shortage?

By John Miano on May 21, 2024

The Wall Street Journal has an article this week on the grim job market for computer science majors.

Students were told the myths about the great shortage of computer workers and they responded by flocking to computer science programs. Now they are discovering that the shortage claims were a sham when they apply for after-graduation jobs.

Between 2022 and 2023 the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the number of computer jobs grew by 127,000.

In 2020, there were over 105,000 computer science graduates. In 2023, there were over 600,000 computer science undergraduate majors in U.S. schools. About 23 percent of these are foreign students, so there are somewhere around 81,000 to 115,000 American computer science graduates in 2023.

Yet the United States imported 65,000 computer workers on H-1B visas in 2023.

Take away the 65,000 computer jobs filled by H-1B workers in 2023 and that left 62,000 computer jobs for 81,000 to 115,000 U.S. computer science graduates.

But that is just the start of the pool of computer workers. Add in the American graduates in related fields, such as mathematics and engineering, who also take computer jobs. Throw in the quarter of computer programmers who lack a degree entirely and the computer job market is grim indeed.