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Computer Science Degrees - Software Development and More

Computer science programs can open the door to a wide variety of professions in the computing world. There are a lot of different career paths to follow with a computer science degree, including computer programming, data mining and robotics, and these answers to common questions about computer science education can help lead aspiring students to the right educational path.

What are some notable accredited computer science schools or programs?

Computer science is the basis of many of the nation's most in-demand professions, including that of computer programmer, video game designer, software developer and more. In response to the demand for highly educated computer gurus, many top schools have created notable computer science programs. Most computer science jobs require at least a bachelor's degree, and many computer scientists opt for an advanced degree. According to U.S. News and World Report Rankings, the top graduate programs for computer science include the following schools:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Cornell University
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Washington
  • Princeton University
  • University of Texas
  • Georgia Institute of Technology

Are there financial aid options for computer science students?

Just as there are many computer science programs, there are many organizations willing to offer a helping hand with tuition and other costs. To see if they qualify for federal financial aid, students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. They can also look for state aid, as well as private look for grants and scholarships that are designed for computer science majors. A few examples of scholarships that might be available for qualifying students to apply to include:

  • TELACU Scholarship Program
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Scholarships
  • The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship
  • The Google Lime Scholarship Program
  • Microsoft Scholarships
  • ENTELEC Wayne V. Black Scholarship

Are there internships for computer science students?

When it comes to any profession in the computing world, experience is highly valued. That means that internships are not only a good bet, but often a must for those want to compete in the job market upon graduation. According to Forbes, some of the best internship opportunities to apply for in 2014 can be found with Capital One, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Accenture, Deloitte and Credit Suisse. Local internships might also be available for those who live in larger cities or metro areas.
Where is the highest concentration of computer science schools or programs located?

As any aspiring computer science student knows, the heart of technology is found in California, where Silicon Valley has become a mecca for those who dream of joining the ranks at places like Apple, Google and Microsoft. But there are also many other great schools and programs located all across the nation, and several great educational opportunities are also available through online programs, which can help students get a top-notch computer science education, no matter where in the world they are.

What's the career outlook for computer scientists?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the computer science industry is expected to see steady growth through 2022, with 15 percent growth projected nationally. Aside from that strong national growth, certain states are projected to have especially high job growth for computer scientists through 2020, according to state data aggregated by Projections Central. The states with the best projected growth include:

  • Wisconsin: 32.2%
  • Massachusetts: 27.7%
  • Iowa: 26.5%
  • Montana: 25.9%
  • Connecticut: 25.1%
  • Texas: 24.4%
  • Washington: 23.4%
  • Virginia: 23.1%
  • New Hampshire: 22.4%
  • Michigan: 22.2%

Why are computer science programs well-suited for working professionals?

Those who already have an established career but want to move into computer science or hope to enhance their resume with further computing knowledge might find that online or hybrid computer science programs work for them. Online computer science schools are often tailored for working professionals, with courses that can be taken on a flexible schedule. This means it's possible for students to earn their degree without sacrificing work or family commitments in the process.

How can you receive additional information about computer science schools or programs?

Choosing the right computer science program can seem daunting, so students who want a top educational experience should begin with a firm grasp of what format might be best for them. Will online learning be required, or would a hybrid experience be suitable? Is a classroom setting preferred? Then begin the search by contacting schools that offer top-notch, accredited programs in the desired format. Ask questions about course schedules, requirements, graduation rates, job placement, financial aid and more. The admissions office is usually a great place to start.

Sources:

"The Best IT Internships for Fall 2014," Susan Adams, Forbes, Nov. 8, 2013,
http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/11/08/the-best-it-internships-for-2014/

Computer and Information Research Scientists, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan. 8, 2014,
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm

"Wayne V. Black Scholarship: ENTELEC Scholarship Information & Application," The Energy Telecommunications and Electrical Association,
http://www.entelec.org/ENTELEC/About/WayneVBlackScholarship

The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship,
http://www.google.com/anitaborg/

The Google Lime Scholarship Program,
http://www.limeconnect.com/opportunities/page/google-lime-scholarship-program

"Scholarships," Microsoft,
http://careers.microsoft.com/careers/en/us/internships-scholarships.aspx

Long Term Data for Computer Scientists, Projections Central,
http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

SHPE Foundation Scholarships, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers,
http://www.shpefoundation.org/scholarships/

Scholarships, TELACU,
http://telacu.com/site/en/home/education/programs/college.html

Computer Graduate Program Rankings 2014, U.S. News & World Report,
http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/engineering-doctorate-computer

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