Here's The Course One-Eighth Of Harvard Undergraduates Enrolled In This Semester

Harvard students graduationRobert Spencer/Getty ImagesNearly 12% of Harvard students enrolled in an introductory computer science course this semester.

This semester, a record-breaking 818 Harvard students — nearly 12% of the entire college — enrolled in one popular class, reports The Crimson.

The course, Computer Science 50: “Introduction to Computer Science I” (CS50), pulled in 100 more students than the 700 that signed up last fall, making it the single largest class in the course’s 30-year history, as well as the biggest class at Harvard College this semester.

Economics 10a: “Principles of Economics,” which attracted more students last year, now comes in second with only 711 currently enrolled.

CS50, taught by David J. Malan, PhD., provides an introduction to computer science and programming, covering topics such as algorithms, software engineering, and web development, according to Harvard’s course catalogue. Students also learn computer languages including PHP and JavaScript.

As STEM-based occupations — those in science, technology, engineering, and maths — continue to be some of the highest-paying and in-demand, it’s no wonder so many students are clamoring for a chance to learn these valuable skills. While computer science used to be a specialised skill set, it’s now widely utilized across a number of industries.

“Harvard students are smart people,” Harry R. Lewis, director of undergraduate studies for Computer Science, told The Crimson. “They have figured out that in pretty much every area of study, computational methods and computational thinking are going to be important to the future.”

A recent study supports this, finding that students with strong maths and social skills earn more money over the course of their careers.

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