Female Computer Science Graduates Earn More Than Males

Female Computer Science Graduates Earn More Than Males

Gender inequality remains rife: a male graduate in 2012 had an average starting salary of $55,000, while the average female graduate salary was $50,000. One of the few areas where the starting salary for female grads was actually higher than males? Computer science.

[credit provider=”shutterstock”]

A study released today by Graduate Careers Australia suggests that the overall gap is widening; the average male salary went up by $3,000 compared to 2011, while the female figure was unchanged in that time period. There were just seven areas where the female starting salary was higher, most of which showed a distinctive technology/science bent. Female computer science graduates had an average starting salary of $55,000, while their male counterparts scored an average $52,000.

Discipline Male graduate Female graduate Gender gap %
Biological Sciences $49,500 $50,000 -1.00%
Engineering $63,000 $64,000 -1.60%
Physical Sciences $55,000 $56,000 -1.80%
Social Sciences $45,000 $47,000 -4.40%
Computer Sciences $52,000 $55,000 -5.80%
Earth Sciences $68,500 $75,000 -9.50%
Pharmacy (pre-reg) $36,000 $39,700 -10.30%

These figures don’t tell us the relative number of students in each sector, which could vary the averages significantly. And while the figures for potential IT workers suggest progress (and that working in tech is a sensible career choice for both genders), there’s no logical reason why the gap should exist at all.

Workplace Gender Equality Agency


  • Because these fields have traditionally had much lower female graduates, now these male dominated sectors are keen to get their “women in the workplace” %’s higher to keep HR happy.

    • On the other hand it could be that because the barrier to entry is higher for women (socially at least), the women who complete a degree in computer science tend to be really into computer science. They’d skew towards the top of the field and command higher salaries on average

      Anecdotally: when I did comp sci the few women were all near the top of the class. Unlike the men, none of them seemed to be along for the ride or doing it just to have a degree.

      • Yeah I agree with that much more than the ‘affirmative action’ argument.

        It’s the opposite of hairdressers – I feel more comfortable going to a male hairdresser since hairdressing is a pretty common ‘default’ profession for women. When a man goes into hairdressing it’s more likely to be because they actually wanted to. In the same way IT is typically much more a ‘default’ profession for men than women.

  • Yeah Cameron is right. At all the places i’ve worked we’ve had maybe a small handful of females. It’s always good to have a balance. In any given IT project if 1/10 is a female that’s already quite a lot. That’s why.

  • rubbish. 10 years ago at university…there were the same amount of slackers (men and women) doing the comp sci degrees. it was the ‘IN’ degree to do. The were more men at the top of the rank who did it because they really liked that stuff (and a handful of women). The difference was that the internships and grad roles were were either distributed at 50/50 or pushed for more women. So women didnt have to compete with as many of their own sex for the roles. Before i get flamed, im not taking about one role with multiple candidates. Im referring to grad programs hiring numerous roles hoping to have an even spread etc. So what you got where top male candidates and top (plus plenty of average) female candidates getting the roles. Would love to see a less of a focus on equalising the workforce, and more time hiring the right candidates for the roles. You dont see most of the other industries with more women in there trying to give out handouts to get men into their workplaces?

  • Because of the overly generous maternity leave in this country women such as my self are a liability for companies. Maternity leave should be done away with in favour of affordable childcare. I’d pay me a lower starting salary too if there was a significant risk that I would flit off after a couple of years to have kids on the company $ and then never be able to afford to return. Of course it doesn’t matter that I’ve had my tubes tied and am intentionally child free.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!