In terms of "what economic sector is most aimed-at by top STEM students at top US universities," before the Internet sector it was investment banking, and before investment banking it was management consulting. If the 1967 film "The Graduate" is to be believed, back then it was material science ("plastics"). I think this is most influenced by the 90th or 95th percentile early-career salary in a sector combined with the size of demand for such high-end workers in that sector. Software Developer is a Pareto-optimal point on those dimensions; per BLS statistics from 2020, the 90th percentile salary is $170,100 and there are over 147,000 jobs paying that much or more. Compare that with Mathematician, where the 90th percentile salary is almost exactly the same ($170,150) but there are only 246 such jobs, or Nuclear Engineer, where the 90th percentile salary is $185,550 but there are only 1,570 such jobs.
The natural next question is why the economy has so much demand for high-priced software developers. I think you're onto something with "universalizability". There's tremendous potential economic value in computing infrastructure (namely, the digital-circuitry and digital-communications technological-bases), which can be manifested in a bunch of different ways, each of which needs the specific attention of dedicated software developers. Those people need to be moderately talented and moderately educated, but only very slightly experienced, to catalyze the materializing of a lot of economic value. That's a recipe for a large pool of high-paying new-grad jobs—currently more so than any other occupation—and that's what is attracting a substantial fraction of the human resource flow from top universities.
I don't think it has much to do with early founders or funders. As another commenter pointed out, it's about the economics: the tools and materials that are necessary inputs to the Internet industry keep getting cheaper, the potential economic value of that technology keeps getting greater, and the human skills and training required to turn those inputs into those outputs keep being moderate (high enough to support a high wage, but low enough that young people can see how they'd get there within their time horizon).
Good point, the control system aspect is another side of the universalizability thing.