This article is published in the August 2016 issue.

Ph.D. Students’ Interest in Computing Career Options

Aug 2016 inforgraphic

In 2015, CERP asked 1,335 students enrolled in Ph.D. programs to report their interest in a variety of computing professions. The distribution of students’ year in their program was as follows: 22% first year, 21% second year, 13% third year, 12% fourth year, 10% fifth year, 10% sixth year or greater, and 12% unspecified. As seen in the graphic above, students were most interested in pursuing a computing research job in industry, followed by tenure track computing faculty at a research university, computing researcher in a government lab, and entrepreneurial work in computing. Students were least interested in becoming a middle or high school computing teacher.


This analysis is brought to you by the CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP). CERP provides social science research and comparative evaluation for the computing community. To learn more about CERP, visit our website at

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number (CNS-1246649; and/ or DUE-1431112). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.