Computer Science in New York
California's Silicon Valley is the historic center of the nation's high tech industry. But it's Silicon Alley, the moniker used for the high tech industry based in the New York City metropolitan region, that's shown the most impressive gains in size and investment in recent years. The state of New York has become especially aggressive in its fostering of technology-based entrepreneurship. An April 2015 Forbes news story reported that New York had more start-up funding applications than California in the first three months of 2015. This tech company development was sparked by last year's START-UP NY program, a governor's office initiative that introduced 100-percent tax breaks to new start-ups, as well as a remarkable 100 percent income tax rebate for employees at new organizations.
New York's high-tech sector has evolved into a vibrant business community and job market. In fact, New York is one of the top three states when it comes to tech industry employment numbers, according to CompTIA's "Cyberstates 2015" report on the nation's tech industry, rivaled only by California and Texas.
The fast-growing tech sector has naturally led to greater interest in the available options for computer science education. New York universities and colleges have responded to this demand with a wide variety of strong computer science programs.
Computer science education in New York
The state of New York is home to more than a hundred colleges, universities and technical schools that offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in computer science. One of these schools, Cornell University, was ranked in the top ten in our 2015 report on the 30 Best Computer Schools in the nation. Additionally, three other New York schools made our list:
- Syracuse University
- Marist College
- Columbia University
New York is also home to a number of schools hosting fully online computer science degree programs, including highly-ranked offerings from New York University, and the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Computer science education starts with the two-year associate's degree, commonly offered through community colleges and technical schools. An associate degree is a good fit for students looking for a shorter program that is, on average, less expensive than other undergraduate degrees in similar programs. Bryant & Stratton College offers two-year associate degrees at its numerous campuses throughout New York.
The education standard for tech industry job seekers is the four-year bachelor's degree in computer science. This degree is generally available in one of two versions: the Bachelor's of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor's of Science (BS). A bachelor's degree program in computer science can often be tailored to focus on specializations such as:
- Computer networking
- Software development and testing
- Internet technologies and security
- Database administration
- Information technology and systems
- Server operating systems
For students who are aiming to enter the industry at a higher level, there are several New York schools that offer master's degree programs in computer science. These programs typically include more advanced subject areas like:
- Machine intelligence
- Algorithm development
- Advanced programming languages
Computer science school spotlight
An Ivy League school founded in 1865 in Ithaca, New York, Cornell was ranked #15 in US News and World Report's list of top national universities. Cornell is a private, not-for-profit university made up of 14 unique colleges and schools divided evenly between undergraduate and graduate programs. Cornell also maintains a medical campus in New York City and another in Qatar on the Arabian Peninsula.
Students taking computer science degree classes at Cornell can opt for either the College of Arts and Sciences program, or the program offered through the College of Engineering. Cornell also features a degree program in Information Systems, Science and Technology. The main campus is home to the Cornell University Center for Advanced Computing, a research facility dedicated to supercomputing technologies and applications.
Cornell University has a reasonable 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and a student graduation rate of 93 percent. The school does participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs.
Cornell has been recognized for the strength of its various tech and engineering graduate programs as well. Here's a list of some of the highest-ranked computer science and computer engineering grad programs at Cornell, as ranked by US News & World Report in 2014:
- Best Engineering Schools -- #13
- Best Computer Engineering Programs -- #9
- Best Computer Science Programs-- #6
- Artificial Intelligence -- #9
- Programming Languages -- #6
- Systems -- #17
- Theory -- #6
Tech industries and careers in New York
New York's tech sector has become so attractive, it tempted the former US Deputy Chief Technology Officer to leave the White House and take on a tech investing job role with Insight Venture Partners, a private venture capital firm based in Manhattan.
In the past, some professionals seeking jobs in the tech industry were leaving New York and heading west to California or Texas. This trend may be set to , as the potential for promising technology-based careers in the Big Apple has risen substantially in recent years.
The CompTIA "Cyberstates 2015" study reported that there are over 346,000 tech industry jobs located in New York State. Over 100,000 of these employees are in New York City, which saw its total number of tech jobs increase by 33 percent between 2010-2014, according to a 2014 article by Business Insider.
Additionally, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Statistics survey displays the median annual wages for high-tech jobs in the New York City metropolitan area. Here are some of the occupations and most recent earnings numbers from the BLS survey, current as of May 2014:
|Occupation||2014 Median Annual Salary|
|Software Developers, Applications||$101,760|
|Computer Network Architects||$109,370|
|Information Security Analysts||$108,280|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$144,580|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014
Top metro employment centers for computer programmers in New York
|New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division||15,880|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014 OES Maps
"15-1132 Software Developers, Applications," US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151132.htm
"15-1134 Web Developers," US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151134.htm
"15-1143 Computer Network Architects," US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151143.htm
"15-1122 Information Security Analysts," US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151122.htm
"11-3021 Computer and Information Systems Managers," US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113021.htm
"May 2014 OES Maps," US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/map_changer.htm
"Silicon Alley Rising: New York Startup Funding Applications Trump The Long-Reigning Valley," Forbes, April 28, 2015, http://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2015/04/28/silicon-alley-rising-new-york-startup-funding-applications-trump-the-long-reigning-valley/?utm_channel=Technology&linkId=13827022
"United States Tech Industry Employs 6.5 Million in 2014," CompTIA, February 10, 2015, http://www.comptia.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/2015/02/10/united-states-tech-industry-employs-6.5-million-in-2014
"Cornell University," US News & World Report, May 7, 2015, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/cornell-university-2711
"New York-Based Tech IPOs Signal East Coast Tech Validation," TechCrunch, April 11, 2015, http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/11/new-york-based-tech-ipos-signal-east-coast-tech-validation/
The NYC Tech Economy, May 29, 2015, http://www.nyctecheconomy.com/
"Tech Jobs Are Booming In New York City [CHART]," Business Insider, May 9, 2014, http://www.businessinsider.com/silicon-alley-growth-report-2014-5