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Washington D.C. Computer Training Schools

Although Washington D.C. is a relatively small area, it has emerged as a technology powerhouse. During the past decade, the region has started competing with Silicon Valley, introducing aggressive tax breaks and other incentives to attract venture capitals, start-ups and established technology companies. The result has been a flourishing tech scene, one that presents opportunities for students considering a computer science education.

Computer Science Education in the District of Columbia

Washington D.C. has a strong educational infrastructure and is home to 19 postsecondary institutions -- including the highly regarded Georgetown University. However, Georgetown is not the only nationally recognized university in the area. Six universities in the District of Columbia were ranked in U.S. News & World Report's list of the top national universities in the country.

  • Georgetown University - #21
  • George Washington University - #53
  • American University - #72
  • The Catholic University of America - #123
  • Gallaudet University - #19
  • Howard University - #135

In addition to these institutions, students can also pursue computer science education at several other colleges, including the Catholic University of America, Trinity Washington University, University of the District of Columbia and University of the Potomac. The table below outlines the number of two- and four-year institutions offering computer science programs throughout the area.

Institution

Count

Public, 4-Year

1

Private, 4-Year

7

Private, For-Profit, 4-Year

4

Public, 2-Year

0

Private, 2-Year

0

Private, For-Profit, 2-Year

0

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

In 2013-2014, nearly 1,300 students completed a computer science-related field of study in the District of Columbia. The most popular degree type was a master's degree, followed by bachelor's and associate degree.

Degree Type

Degrees Conferred

Master's degree

810

Bachelor's degree

422

Associate's degree

48

Doctoral degree

14

Grand Total

1,294

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

According to 2013-2014 graduation data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Computer and Information Science was the most popular major for students in the District of Columbia. The table below includes a detailed look at the fields of study by the total number of degrees awarded in the region in 2013-2014.

Field of Study

Degrees Conferred

Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

647

Computer Science

252

Information Science/Studies

212

Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management

91

Computer and Information Sciences, General

67

Computer Systems Analysis

17

Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications

7

Computer Programming

1

Grand Total

1,294

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Computer Science School Spotlight: Georgetown University

Georgetown University is a private research institution and one of the oldest universities in the country. Situated on a 104-acre campus, the university serves more than 17,500 students. The university offers 14 areas of study across its nine colleges and schools and has more than 2,400 faculty members. Ranked as the 21st best national university by U.S. News & World Report, the university generated $172 million in research expenditures in 2014.

The Department of Computer Science offers undergraduate and graduate academic tracks and has 18 full-time faculty members and six adjunct faculty conducting research across 19 emphases in the field, including the following:

  • Algorithms

  • Information Assurance

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • Information Retrieval

  • Bioinformatics

  • Machine Learning

  • Computer and Network Security

  • Networking

  • Cryptography

  • Non-Standard Parallel Computing

  • Database Systems

  • Parallel Computing

  • Data Mining

  • Parallel Algorithms

  • Distributed Algorithms

  • Theory

  • Distributed Systems

  • Visual Analytics

  • Human-Computer Interaction

There are six distinct undergraduate, graduate and non-degree tracks in computer science at Georgetown University:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science. Designed for students who wish to combine their study of computer science with another academic field, such as biology, psychology or physics
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. A technical program of study for students who want to continue into graduate school or pursue careers in the information technology/science industry
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate. Created for students who hold an undergraduate in a field other than computer science and want to take courses that can help advance their careers or prepare for graduate studies in computer science
  • Accelerated Master of Science. Available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program, the accelerated MS offers both a thesis and coursework option -- preparing students for technical careers or continued graduate work
  • Master of Science in Computer Science. Students choose their area of concentration and may complete a thesis to prepare for a career in applied research or enroll in a doctorate program
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science. This degree is designed for students interested in a career in research, academia or technical positions in industry or government

Tech Industry and Career Outlook in Washington D.C.

The D.C. Tech Corridor is booming, evidenced by the R.I.S.E. Center in Ward 8 the first building in D.C.'s new "Innovation Hub." The city spent $8 million on the center, which offers meeting rooms, classrooms, a computer lab and lecture and demonstration halls. The center is partnering with select companies such as Microsoft to use the space. The effort is important as it is the first step in the city's plan to develop the Innovation Hub and attract new academic institutions, technology firms, retail operations, hotels, and residential housing to the area.

With city- and business-led efforts, it should come as no surprise that nearly 9 percent (8.7 percent) of the District's economy comes from the information technology sector. CompTIA's report, Cyberstates, also found that the region has nearly 35,000 tech jobs and a tech payroll of $3.7 billion. In short: the District is a major player in the technology industry. In fact, Microsoft announced it was building an innovation center in D.C. -- a facility that brings product development testing and software training to the region. Across the board, tech companies are proving to be some of the best employers and were found throughout the Washington Post's 2015 list of the best places to work. Example companies on the list included:

  • 2U - educational technology
  • MicroPact - .web-based software
  • Appian - business management and PaaS software
  • Social Tables - cloud-based events management software
  • Track Maven - marketing data analytics
  • Webs - website design and creation software

By total employment numbers, the leading tech sectors -- according to CompTIA -- included the following:

  • IT Services: 20,400
  • Engineering Services: 4,900
  • Research and Development: 4,700
  • Telecommunications: 2,300
  • Internet Services: 1,200

Employment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals a robust and growing job market across the technology industry in Washington DC. Several career avenues are projected to experience job growth of 20 percent or more between 2012 and 2022. The fastest growing occupation, Computer Systems Analyst, should see 31.2 percent growth, followed by Computer User Support Specialist (22.9 percent), and Computer Hardware Engineer (21.4 percent). The table below includes employment information, including projected job growth, total employment numbers, and average salary in 2014 for nine different IT jobs in Washington D.C.

Occupation

Total Employed

Average Salary (2014)

Job Growth (2012-2022)

Computer Systems Analysts

2,890

$102,680

31.2%

Computer User Support Specialists

4,520

$64,480

22.9%

Computer Hardware Engineers

1,100

$113,940

21.4%

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

3,380

$89,070

20.0%

Computer Programmers

1,470

$89,650

14.2%

Computer and Information Research Scientists

550

$118,390

8.5%

Computer and Information Systems Managers

3,400

$146,520

5.9%

Computer Network Architects

1,140

$103,070

NA

Computer Network Support Specialists

1,050

$84,530

NA

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

As a growing technology hub, Washington D.C. has a major impact on the earning potential for individuals in the information technology industry. CompTIA's salary survey reported the average tech worker in the region earns 28 percent more in annual salaries than the average private sector worker ($105,600 versus $76,900). That placed D.C. 5th nationally on CompTIA's earning index for tech workers. Robert Half Technology's 2016 IT salary survey accounted for local variance and found that tech workers in the area earned 133 percent of the national median. The table below includes a calculated median salary from the Robert Half Technology survey and demonstrates the difference between Washington DC and national earnings.

Tech Occupation

Median Salary (Washington DC)

National Median Salary

Mobile Applications Developer

$178,885

$134,500

Database Developer

$161,429

$121,375

Network Security Administrator

$106,068

$79,750

Network Engineer

$130,008

$97,750

Software Developer

$112,718

$84,750

Web Developer

$147,630

$111,000

Web Designer

$158,104

$118,875

QA Analyst

$147,464

$110,875

PC Technician

$55,528

$41,750

Source: Robert Half Technology, 2016 IT Salary Survey

Top Metro Employment Centers for Computer Programmers in Washington DC

Metro Area

Total Employed

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division

705

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

Sources

Business Insider, The Best 50 Computer Science and Engineering Programs in the Country, http://www.businessinsider.com/best-computer-science-engineering-schools-in-america-2015-7

CompTIA, 2015 Cyberstates, https://www.comptia.org/resources/2015-cyberstates

Deloitte, Fast 500, http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/technology-media-telecommunications/Technology-Fast-500-Winners-Ranking-List.pdf

Georgetown University, Department of Computer Science, https://cs.georgetown.edu/academics

Inc., 2014 5000, http://www.inc.com/inc5000/list/2014/state/ut/

Inc., Inc. 5000, http://www.inc.com/inc5000/2014/facts-and-figures.html

National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/

National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter

Projections Central, District of Columbia, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

Robert Half Technology, 2016 IT Salary Guide, http://www.roberthalf.com/sites/default/files/Media_Root/images/rht-pdfs/robert_half_technology_2016_salary_guide.pdf

US News and World Report, Best Computer Science Graduate Programs, http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/computer-science-rankings

Washington Post, Washington area pops onto tech radar as alternative to Silicon Valley, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/washington-area-pops-onto-tech-radar-as-alternative-to-silicon-valley/2014/01/20/b16003c4-6662-11e3-a0b9-249bbb34602c_story.html

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