Professional Development
Computer science / Education / Tech jobs

As graduation approaches, 14 DMV colleges shared how many alums might enter the tech workforce

And what that means for the greater computer science employment pipeline.

Howard University students. (Courtesy photo)
Clarification: This article has been updated since its initial publication to note that Northern Virginia Community College reported 2,371 computer science students, and not alumni, in the 2021-2022 academic year. (4/12/2023, 11:33 a.m.) 

Here at Technical.ly, we often chat about (and report on) the pipeline of talent coming into the tech world.

Despite the presence of boot camp grads, self-taught coders and otherwise certified technologists, college graduates still constitute a huge portion of the brand-spanking-new developer workforce each year. But gauging that number, as well as visualizing what it looks like, can be difficult.

Still, quantifying this tells an important story of who actually makes up the pipeline. According to BestColleges, 42.2% of undergraduates and 42.5% of graduate students are white — meaning that despite much highly touted DEI work, a disproportionate amount of white technologists enter the workforce every year. In other words: Making college and tech more accessible requires plenty more work.

At this critical juncture, just how many students of DMV colleges will graduate this May with the necessary qualifications to enter the tech workforce, whether locally or further afield? Below, check out the number of graduate and undergrad computer science majors that each of the local colleges and universities expects to graduate in 2023. Note that not every school was able to give us its predictions for 2023 graduates; therefore, some numbers come from 2022 and provide an approximate estimate for this year. Other figures came from CollegeFactual.com, which scrapes graduate data across the entire school year from 2021-2022.

Excluding the full count of NVCC students from the prior academic year, that’s 2,456 students entering the workforce in the next few weeks from DC-area universities. While not everyone definitively wants to stay in the area, the group still represents a large potential presence of new tech talent for DMV companies.

Still, bearing in mind the demographic information above, a key part of the pipeline remains less diverse than it should be. For some pipeline builders and local companies, diversifying the talent pool requires reaching all the way back to elementary, middle and high school students to get them interested in the field and increase access to higher education.

But after reaching the collegiate level, employers also look to engage with students that could become their next generation of hires. Mahreen Rashid, executive VP of people services at Arlington, Virginia IT company Excella, said that the company partners with local schools like Howard University to host hackathons and an AI ethics event. Excella also sponsored the university’s Vertically Integrated Project and a team of computer science students looking to adapt generic language models.

For Rashid, working with students at multiple points in their scholastic life is crucial for cultivating new talent.

“Driving this exposure in various points in a student’s educational journey is a great way to remove barriers and build a more inclusive tech industry as a whole,” Rashid told Technical.ly. “There is more work to do, but we are committed to strengthening our partnerships here in the DMV and across the country to build opportunities for underrepresented candidates.“

Companies: Bowie State University / Georgetown University / George Washington University / Howard University / American University / University of Maryland, College Park / George Mason University
Series: How to Get a Tech Job Month 2023

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