California Computer Training Schools

The state of California is ripe with opportunities for businesses that operate in computers and technology and workers with degrees in computer programming or a computer-related field. As the home of Silicon Valley and numerous industry giants such as Apple, Inc. HP, Google, Facebook, and Intel, California is a hub for students across the country seeking computer training in the state.

Because of the continued demand for professionals and graduates of computer training programs, employment in this field is expected to surge. Specifically, as the U.S. Department of Labor's Projections Central notes, job openings for computer programmers could increase in California by as much as 12 percent from 2012 to 2022, adding 4,800 new jobs in the process.

Fortunately, the state of California offers 268 schools that offer degree programs in computer and information science and support services. Although programs offered by these schools vary, each aims to prepare computer programming students for a promising career in computer science or other computer or tech-related fields.

Computer Science Education in California

Some of the prominent four-year schools offering computer science degrees in California include California Polytechnic State University, California State University, San Diego State University, San Francisco State University and the University of California, among others.

With any of these schools, and no matter which type of degree a student choose to pursue, students seeking computer science careers in California will learn the skills required to excel in this field. However, certain degree requirements may apply for certain professions. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that most programmers earn a Bachelor's degree in computer science or a computer-related field, but that certain workers may find entry level employment with an associate degree.

Once computer programmers and other computer professionals earn a degree and find work, it's often expected for them to earn additional certifications as technology changes. These certifications can be earned in a standalone format at on-campus or online California schools, or as a component of a full-fledged degree program. The BLS also stated that some employers prefer to hire computer programmers who are certified in certain job-specific software programs and products.

Computer Science School Spotlight

Although California is home to some of the best computer training programs in the nation, some California computer science and training schools have been recognized on a national level. Here are a few of the top computer programming and computer science programs offered by California institutions, alongside their national rank as calculated by U.S. News & World Report:

University of California - Berkeley

Located in the Bay Area, the University of California at Berkeley offers more than 350 degree programs across their 14 highly-regarded colleges and schools. UC - Berkeley is known for more than its top degree programs, however; it's also known for conducting groundbreaking research and producing some of the top scholars in the world.

U.S. News & World Report Rankings:


  • Computer Science (2015): No. 1
  • Artificial Intelligence (2015): No. 4
  • Programming Language (2015): No. 2
  • Systems (2015): No. 1
  • Theory (2015): No. 1

Stanford University

With total enrollment north of 16,000 students, Stanford offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees in fields such as humanities and sciences, earth sciences, and engineering. Stanford's highly-ranked graduate programs also produce the best and brightest graduates in law, education, and medical professions.

U.S. News & World Report Rankings:


  • Computer Science (2015): No. 1
  • Artificial Intelligence (2015): No. 1
  • Programming Language (2015): No. 3
  • Systems (2015): No. 3
  • Theory (2015): No. 3

University of California - San Diego

The University of California - San Diego is an urban university with a total undergraduate enrollment of more than 23,000. The school offers six undergraduate colleges, five academic divisions, and five graduate and professional schools. Current degree options include over 100 undergraduate majors in six disciplines.

U.S. News & World Report Rankings:


  • Computer Science (2015): No. 15
  • Systems (2015): No. 11
  • Theory (2015): No. 14

University of Southern California

Located in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is a private, urban institution that sits on 226 beautiful acres. Current enrollment includes 18,455 students, and the school offers a wide range of degree programs across dozens of popular disciplines, including computer science.

U.S. News & World Report Rankings:


  • Computer Science (2015): No. 20
  • Artificial Intelligence (2015): No. 15

University of California - Los Angeles

As a larger public institution, UCLA boasts an undergrad enrollment of 28,674 students. Located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, the school sits just five miles from the Pacific Ocean. Undergraduate and degrees and offered in computer science, education, engineering, law, nursing and public affairs, among other disciplines.

U.S. News & World Report Rankings:


  • Computer Science (2015): No. 13
  • Artificial Intelligence (2015): No. 9
  • Programming Language (2015): No. 17
  • Systems (2015): No. 14
  • Theory (2015): No. 17

California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology is a private institution of higher education with an undergraduate enrollment of less than 1,000 students. With a focus on science and engineering, Caltech offers top undergraduate and graduate programs in subjects of study such as computer science, engineering, biology, mathematics and physics.

U.S. News & World Report Rankings:


  • Computer Science (2015): No. 11
  • Artificial Intelligence (2015): No. 16
  • Systems (2015): No. 18
  • Theory (2015): No. 15

Tech Industries and Careers in California

In a field as wide and varied as computer science, opportunities in many careers exist. Here are some of the top computer science occupations in California by employment, plus their median annual wages in 2014:


Employment in 2014

Annual Median Wage in 2014

Software Developers, Systems Software



Computer Systems Analysts



Computer User Support Specialists



Computer and Information Systems Managers



Network and Computer Systems Administrators



Computer Programmers



Computer Hardware Engineers



Computer Network Support Specialists



Web Developers



Computer Network Architects



As you can see, a degree in computer science or a related field could be an excellent investment in California due to high salaries and high levels of employment. According to the BLS, computer and mathematical occupations in California boasted a total enrollment of 514,330 workers in 2014, and those workers earned an annual median wage of $99,450.

Top Metro Employment Centers for Computer Programmers in California

With 37,990 computer programmers working in California in 2014, the state reported the highest level of employment in this occupation that year. Certain metropolitan areas had higher than average employment for computer programmers in 2014, however. The following metro regions employed more than their share of computer programmers in California as of 2014:

Metro Center Total Employment Mean Annual Wage
Los Angeles - Long Beach - Glendale 8,020 $89,820
San Jose - Sunnyvale - Santa Clara 6,780 $94,020
San Francisco - San Mateo - Redwood City 5,700 $104,770
Santa Ana - Anaheim - Irvine 4,750 $81,790
San Diego - Carlsbad - San Marcos 3,500 $83,810


California Institute of Technology, All Rankings, U.S. News and World Report, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/california-institute-of-technology-110404/overall-rankings

Computer Programmers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.htm

Long Term Occupational Projections, Projections Central, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, California, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ca.htm#15-0000

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, Computer Programmers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151131.htm

OES Data, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm

U.S. News & Wordl Report, School Rankings: "Stanford University," http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/stanford-university-243744/overall-rankings, "University of California - Berkeley," http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-california-berkeley-110635/overall-rankings, "University of California - Los Angeles," http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-california-los-angeles-110662/overall-rankings, "University of California - San Diego," http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-california-san-diego-110680/overall-rankings, "University of Southern California," http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-southern-california-123961/overall-rankings