dcsimg

North Carolina Computer Training Schools

Although Silicon Valley is the technology epicenter in the United States, a selection of up-and-coming tech hubs are emerging across the country. Anchored by the Research Triangle -- the University of North Carolina, Carolina State University and North Carolina State University -- North Carolina has established itself as a leader in advanced manufacturing and information technology. The Research Triangle is home to more than 200 companies across the tech sector, from biotechnology to telecommunications, microelectronics to telecommunications. For prospective students, completing a computer science program of study in the state could lead to a diverse array of professional opportunities in a number of tech-related industries in North Carolina.

Computer Science Education in North Carolina

According to a 2015 study from Economic Modeling Specialists, higher education is of central importance to economic growth in the state. North Carolina has one of the strongest higher education systems in the country, led by the Research Triangle. Students can pursue computer science degrees at 16 institutions in the University of North Carolina system, at 36 campuses in the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities System and across 59 institutions in the North Carolina Community College System.

This system of research-focused universities and colleges supports workforce development, entrepreneurial innovation, and serve as a launching pad for professionals into the technology industry in the state. Computer science is a top program of study at many of the state's universities and several of these programs have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report, including the following:

  • Duke University - #25
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill - #25
  • University of North Carolina - Charlotte - #101

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), more than 3,200 students graduated with a degree in a computer science field in North Carolina during the 2012-2013 period (the most recent year for which data is available).

Degree Type

Total

Bachelor's degree

1,302

Associate degree

1,212

Master's degree

620

Doctoral degree

74

Grand Total

3,208

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

The most popular computer science majors included the following:

  • Computer Science
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications
  • Information Science
  • Computer Software and Media Applications
  • Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management
  • Computer Programming

Computer Science School Spotlight: North Carolina State University

Located in Raleigh, North Carolina State University was founded in 1887. A public research university, North Carolina State University serves more than 34,000 students on a 2,100 acre campus. With 12 colleges, students can study in every major academic discipline. In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university #89 in its list of best national universities. The College of Engineering, which houses the Computer Science Department, is the largest college at the university and offers 18 bachelor's, 21 master's and 13 doctoral level degree programs. Research in the college is engaged in the latest engineering and computer systems research in areas such as nanotechnology, health care and energy.

The Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University offers degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate level: Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Master of Computer Science, Master of Science in Computer Networking, and Ph.D. in Computer Science. The department has 42 tenured-track faculty members, more than 1,000 students, and is ranked as the top program in the country based on the number of graduates in computer science. The department reports the following highlights:

  • 5th nationally in enrollment for Master of Science in Computer Science
  • 5th nationally in enrollment for PhD in Computer science

Research interest areas span the entire computer science discipline. According to the department, the funding level in 2014 exceeded $66 million across the following categories:

  • Theory (e.g. algorithms)
  • Systems (e.g. operating systems; high performance computing)
  • Networks (e.g. performance evaluation; networking)
  • Security (e.g. software and networks systems security)
  • Software Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence (e.g. data mining; information visualization)
  • Computer-Based Education

The department's curriculum focuses on the fundamental principles of modern engineering and provides students with an opportunity to work with the latest developments in technology. The program offers 12 research centers, approximately 35 teaching and research laboratories, holds a National Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Research from the NSA and DHS and is an Academic Alliance Member of the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

Program Recognition

  • U.S. News & World Report - Best Graduate Program in Computer Science - #48
  • U.S. News & World Report - Best College of Engineering - #16

Tech Industry and Career Outlook in North Carolina

North Carolina has cultivated a growing technology sector, emphasizing the growth of home-grown talent in its nationally recognized higher education system. As a tech hub, the state continues to attract new private and government partnerships, including the Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute at North Carolina State University. This program is a $140 million partnership between universities, federal agencies, and private organizations and was announced by President Obama in 2014.

Overall, the information technology industry is one of the state's largest sectors, employing more than 176,000 people, according to CompTIA's 2015 report: Cyberstates. Raleigh, in particular, has become a hotbed for tech activity, spurred by its ability to develop skilled tech professionals in the Research Triangle. In 2015, Information Week Rated Raleigh as the number one city in its list of "Hot Cities for Information Technology Pros" and research from Praxis Strategy Group reports the number of technology-based jobs increased by 62 percent between 2004 and 2014.

Major tech companies call North Carolina home, including the following:

Company

Location

Apple

Maiden

Cisco

Research Triangle Park

Cree

Research Triangle Park

Disney Entertainment

Kings Mountain

Facebook

Forest City

Google

Lenoir

IBM

Research Triangle Park

Lenovo

Morrisville

Microsoft

Charlotte

NetAPP

Research Triangle Park

Red Hat

Raleigh

SAS

Cary

In addition to bringing in established tech companies, the state has also fostered a business climate that's attractive to start-ups. The state has twelve major accelerators and accelerators, such as Launch, First Flight Venture, NC State Technology Incubator, The Start-Up Factory, and HUB Raleigh. Example Start-up companies in the state include iContact (email marketing); Passport (mobile payments); Adzerk (advertising platforms); EvoApp (customer service) and PloWatt (energy efficiency). In its 2014 rankings of the country's fastest growing private technology businesses, Deloitte included five companies in North Carolina:

Rank

Company

Location

Primary Industry

40

MaxPoint

Morrisville

Internet

263

Issuer Direct Corporation

Morrisville

Internet

290

Bronto Software

Durham

Software

297

Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.

Raleigh

Biotech/Pharma

479

Cree, Inc.

Durham

Semiconductor

Source: Deloitte, Fast 500, 2014

With its diverse tech sector, ranging from semiconductor manufacturing to software development, North Carolina offers an array of educational and professional opportunities to prospective computer science students. There are nearly 15,000 tech companies in the state with a total payroll that exceeds $15 billion annually. North Carolina ranks, according to CompTIA, #15 in tech employment and #19 nationally for average tech wages. The average tech worker earns double what the average private sector worker takes home ($89,400 versus $43,800). In turn, it should come as no surprise that 5.3 percent of the state's economy comes from the tech industry.

The best career opportunities are projected to be in computer systems, computer and information research, networking, and computer user support, notes research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fastest growing tech position -- Computer Systems Analyst -- is projected to see employment gains of 25.2 percent in the state between 2012 and 2022. The table below includes a breakdown of the salaries and employment figures of tech-related careers in North Carolina.

Occupation

Total Employed (2014)

Average Salary (2014)

Projected Job Growth (2012-22)

Computer User Support Specialists

25,350

$49,860

19.30%

Computer Systems Analysts

23,180

$84,800

25.20%

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

14,600

$75,970

11.20%

Computer Programmers

14,310

$78,060

9%

Computer and Information Systems Managers

10,780

$134,760

14.90%

Computer Network Support Specialists

5,380

$65,310

10.50%

Computer Network Architects

3,640

$95,090

11.70%

Computer Hardware Engineers

1,220

$90,310

14.70%

Computer and Information Research Scientists

280

$111,670

15.50%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

In addition to the expected job growth, the tech sector offers some of the highest paying positions. In Raleigh, according to Robert Half Technology's IT salary survey, tech workers in Raleigh earn 4 percent more than the national average. The table below outlines the low and high salary ranges for surveyed tech professionals in Raleigh.

Occupation

Low

High

Web Designer

$69,680

$116,740

Systems Administrator

$70,200

$111,800

Web Developer

$81,640

$134,680

Front-End Developer

$82,940

$115,700

Software Developer

$94,640

$151,060

Database Administrator

$99,809

$148,460

Product Manager

$109,980

$158,860

Data Scientist

$113,360

$159,900

Network Security Engineer

$114,660

$158,860

Top Metro Employment Centers for Computer Programmers in North Carolina

Metro Area

Total Employed

Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC

2,410

Raleigh-Cary, NC

1,720

Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

1,350

Greensboro-High Point, NC

400

Winston-Salem, NC

340

Wilmington, NC

220

Asheville, NC

190

Fayetteville, NC

70

Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC

70

Burlington, NC

50

Greenville, NC

30

Grand Total

6,850

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

EMSI, The Connection Between Higher Ed and Economic Development in North Carolina, http://www.economicmodeling.com/2015/04/09/the-connection-between-higher-ed-and-economic-development-in-north-carolina/

Deloitte, Deloitte Fast 500, http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/technology-media-telecommunications/us-tmt-fast500-2014-ranking-list.pdf

North Carolina Tech Industry, State of Technology - 2015 Industry Report, http://www.ncstir.com/tech-report/industry-regional-trends/

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

Projections Central, North Carolina, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

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

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

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

Connect with Schools & Programs