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Colorado Computer Training Schools

Colorado is at the forefront of tech industry trends due to its business friendly environment, strong startup community and a commitment to investing in high-tech industries like software development and aerospace. Tech entrepreneurship is a central focus within the state. In 2013, the Kauffman Foundation released a study of the country's communities with the highest density of tech start-ups. Four of the top 10 cities are in Colorado: Boulder, Fort Collings, Denver and Colorado Springs.

Indeed, Colorado is a tech-heavy state, one that depends on the industry to create jobs and contribute to the state's economic well-being. According to CompTIA's 2015 report, Cyberstates, 12 percent of the state's economy is directly attributable to the tech industry, which ranks second nationally. With a workforce highly concentrated in technology and growing demand for skilled workers, the state is an attractive location for prospective students to consider an education in a computer science-related field.

Computer Science Education in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Education projects continued growth in computer-related occupations due to the pace of technological advancements, emergence of new technologies and the need for specialized knowledge (e.g., databases). In order to meet that demand, the state is committed to fostering a talent pipeline of skilled workers. In its 2015 report to the state legislature, the Department of Education noted the state needs to increase the number of mid-level (certificate and associate degree) and bachelor's degree graduates in computer science-related fields.

A potential shortage in supply, coupled with growing demand for computer-related occupations means greater opportunity for prospective students. For example, comparing the state's 2010-2012 annual employment growth for computer occupations (3,399 annually) to the number of graduates with computer science-related fields of study (2,930) indicates the state is not producing enough graduates to meet the demand.

In turn, the higher education system in Colorado is committed to developing skilled and talented graduates for the growing demand of technology and information professional in the state. The state is home to a diverse collection of postsecondary institutions, including 28 public colleges (both two- and four-year), 15 private technical schools and approximately 40 religious or private institutions. At these schools, students can select from more than 200 various information and technology-related educational programs of study. During the 2012-2013 school year, postsecondary institutions conferred more than 7,500 certificates and degrees to students in computer and information science fields of study. Below is a snapshot of the total number of academic awards in those fields:

  • Bachelor's degree: 2,949
  • Master's degree: 2,031
  • Award of less than 1 academic year: 1,278
  • Associate degree: 1,020

By area of study, graduation data from the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), the most popular areas of study in the computer sciences include the following:

Area of Study

Number of Academic Awards

Computer and Information Sciences

1,356

Computer Science

423

Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications

245

Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management

189

Computer Software and Media Applications

139

Information Science/Studies

80

Computer Programming

46

Computer Systems Analysis

37

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

At the certificate and associate level, the institutions that conferred the most academic awards in 2012-2013 included Intellitec College (Colorado Springs) Front Range Community College and Pikes Peak Community College. At the undergraduate and graduate level, there are 18 private and public universities that offer degree programs in computer and information sciences. Example institutions include Colorado College, University of Colorado -- Boulder, University of Denver and Colorado State University. The following institutions awarded the greatest number of bachelor's and master's degrees during the 2012-2013 school year:

  • Colorado Technical University (Online)
  • Regis University
  • Colorado State University
  • University of Colorado -- Boulder
  • Colorado Technical University (Colorado Springs)
  • Colorado State University (Global Campus)
  • University of Denver

Area of Study

Bachelor's degree

Master's degree

Associate degree

Grand Total

Computer and Information Sciences

490

368

118

976

Computer Science

218

160

6

384

Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications

23

3

170

196

Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management

57

99

19

175

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2015

Computer Science School Spotlight

University of Colorado -- Boulder


Nestled near the Rocky Mountains, the University of Colorado-Boulder is a four-year public institution that has nearly 26,000 undergraduate students across a 600-acre campus. As one of only 34 public institutions in the U.S. belonging to the Association of American Universities, the University of Colorado -- Boulder is well-known for its commitment to academic and research excellence. The University has an 18:1 student-faculty ratio and offers approximately 150 different areas of study (85 at the undergraduate level; 70 at the master's level and 50 at the doctoral level).

The institution is ranked as the 88th best national university and 38th best public institution in the country by U.S. News & World Report and has an award winning program in computer science. The computer science program offers five tracks of study: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science; Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science; Master of Science in Computer Science, Master of Engineering in Computer Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science. Specialized research is a core focus of the program and undergrads can explore subjects such as human-centered computing, computational science and engineering and networked devices and systems. The department offers seven different graduate research tracks in areas such as artificial intelligence, numerical computing, computational biology, and theory of computing.

Program Recognition

  • US News and World Report, Best global university - #58
  • US News and World Report, National universities - #88
  • US News and World Report, Computer science - #40
  • US News and World Report, Public schools - #38

Tech Industry and Career Outlook in Colorado

The technology and IT sector in Colorado includes a collection of companies working in arenas such as software, hardware, computer facilities management, computer manufacturing, wireless communications, and other information services. The effort to position the state as a technological leader has paid off, as the state ranks third with 9.2 percent of its private sector workforce working in the tech industry and 18.4 percent of the state's payroll coming from the tech industry (5th nationally).

Colorado has created a hub for the technology and information industry, building an infrastructure to support entrepreneurship and a business friendly climate to attract new investments. For example, in 2014, Deloitte recognized the country's fastest growing technology companies on its Fast 500 Ranking. As a high-tech state, Colorado was well-represented, placing seven companies on the list in industry sectors ranging from software to biotech, clean technology to networking. The top-ranked companies in the state included the following:

Rank

Company

Location

Primary Industry

84

Arc Group Worldwide, Inc.

Longmont

Communication/Networking

102

Cherwell Software LLC

Colorado Springs

Software

103

Gevo Inc.

Englewood

Clean Technology

232

Rally

Boulder

Software

349

Advanced Energy Industries, Inc.

Fort Collins

Computers/Peripherals

419

Array Biopharma Inc.

Boulder

Biotech/Pharma

495

Junction Solutions

Denver

Software

Source: Deloitte Fast 500 Ranking

CompTIA's profile of Colorado revealed that there are more than 186,000 tech industry jobs across approximately 14,000 technology companies. In 2014, tech payroll reached $19 billion and the average salary for a tech worker surpassed $101,000. To get a sense of the breadth of employment opportunities, prospective students can turn to CompTIA's list of the top employing technology industries in the state:

  • Computer Systems Design (50,800)
  • Engineering Services (35,500)
  • Telecommunications (27,600)
  • Research & Development Testing Labs (15,000)
  • Software Publishing (11,500)

At the individual job level, some of the top opportunities include software development, computer user support, systems software, and computer systems analysis. Employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the highest earning occupation in the field in 2014 was computer and information systems management ($148,170 average salary). The table below details the highest paying positions in the technology sector in Colorado in 2014:

Occupation

2014 Average Salary

Computer and Information Systems Managers

$148,170

Computer Hardware Engineers

$106,840

Computer and Information Research Scientists

$105,140

Computer Network Architects

$100,850

Computer Systems Analysts

$95,320

Computer Programmers

$92,070

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

$80,160

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Colorado Occupational and Wage Estimates, 2014

A review of employment projections from Projection Central (a site that aggregates employment data from each state's labor department), the best opportunities in the tech sector in Colorado include computer systems analyst, computer user support specialist, and computer hardware engineering. Below is a list of tech careers in the state expected to see the biggest employment gains between 2012 and 2022.

Occupation

Number of Openings

Percent Growth

Average Annual Openings

Computer Systems Analysts

4,160

36.5%

600

Computer User Support Specialists

4,250

31.6%

640

Computer Hardware Engineers

940

28.9%

160

Computer and Information Systems Managers

1,560

27.1%

240

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

2,470

25.7%

400

Computer Programmers

960

21.4%

210

Computer Network Architects

650

18.7%

120

Computer and Information Research Scientists

40

15.3%

10

Computer Network Support Specialists

750

14.3%

160

Source: Projections Central, 2015

Top Metro Employment Centers for Computer Programmers in Colorado

Metropolitan Area

Total Employed

Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO

2,810

Colorado Springs, CO

470

Boulder, CO

380

Fort Collins-Loveland, CO

170

Greeley, CO

70

Grand Junction, CO

60

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Colorado

Sources

Deloitte, Deloitte Fast 500, http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/technology-media-telecommunications/us-tmt-fast500-2014-ranking-list.pdf
University of Colorado, Colorado Business Economic Outlook 2015, https://www.colorado.edu/leeds/sites/default/files/attached-files/2015%20Colorado%20Business%20Economic%20Outlook.pdf
Advance Colorado, Advanced Industry Technology and Information, http://www.advancecolorado.com/sites/default/files/Assets/KeyIndustries/Documents/Profiles/CO-Technology-Profile.pdf
Colorado Office of Economic Development and Trade, Technology & Information, http://www.advancecolorado.com/key-industries/technology-information
Kauffman Foundation, Tech Starts: High-Technology Business Formation and Job Creation in the United States, http://www.kauffman.org/~/media/kauffman_org/research%20reports%20and%20covers/2013/08/bdstechstartsreport.pdf
CompTIA, 2015 Cyberstates, https://www.comptia.org/resources/2015-cyberstates
Projections Central, Colorado , http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
Inc., 2014 5000, http://www.inc.com/inc5000/list/2014/state/co/
Inc., Inc. 5000, http://www.inc.com/inc5000/2014/facts-and-figures.html
National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter
National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
US News and World Review, Best Computer Science Graduate Programs, http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/computer-science-rankings

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