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Tennessee Computer Training Schools

Tennessee is joining the list of states across the country investing in information technology, developing a new business sector to attract new businesses and create jobs. For example Nashville is emerging as a tech hot spot. In September 2014, Google announced Nashville would be one of the first seven cities joining the Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub Network. This program connects emerging tech hubs with Google resources. Nashville Tech Council has launched the T3 Initiative, a collaborative that joins businesses and local schools to create ensure workers are developing the types of tech skills needed in the community. Other cities, such as Chattanooga, are also investing, with the city known for having the best broadband infrastructure in the country.

What do these developments mean for prospective computer science students? The growing tech industry, coupled with a diversity of educational choices positions them for future career success in occupations throughout the industry -- from hardware engineering to software development, research and development to biotechnology.

Computer Science Education in Tennessee

Prospective computer science students can student at major research universities and smaller, but still regionally ranked universities in the state of Tennessee. For example, Tennessee is home to two U.S. News & World Report universities (Vanderbilt University; University of Tennessee), along with numerous regionally ranked universities.

  • Vanderbilt University - #15 (National)
  • University of Tennessee - #103 (National)
  • Belmont University - #5 (Regional)
  • Aquinas College - #19 (Regional)
  • South Adventist University - #25 (Regional)
  • Tennessee Wesleyan College - #33 (Regional)

The higher education system in Tennessee is about choice. Students interested in computer science can complete a program of study at 82 different two- and four-year, public- and private- institutions throughout the state.

Institution

Count

Public, 4-Year

9

Private, 4-Year

24

Private, For-Profit, 4-Year

15

Public, 2-Year

18

Private, 2-Year

1

Private, For-Profit, 2-Year

15

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

In the 2013-2014 school year, more than 1,700 students graduated from a computer-related program of study in the state.

Degree Type

Degrees Conferred

Bachelor's degree

665

Associate degree

611

Award of less than 1 academic year

196

Master's degree

154

Grand Total

1626

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the most popular fields of study within computer science in Tennessee (by total degrees conferred in 2013-2014), include the following:

Area of Study

Degrees Conferred

Computer and Information Sciences, General

570

Computer Science

364

Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management

281

Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications

105

Computer Software and Media Applications

49

Computer Programming

35

Information Science/Studies

24

Computer Systems Analysis

7

Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, Other

3

Data Processing

2

Grand Total

1,440

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Computer Science School Spotlight: Vanderbilt University

Located in Nashville, Vanderbilt University is a private research educational institution that was founded in 1873. In 2014-2015, the university enrolled 11,871 students (6,851 undergraduate; 5,874 graduate) across 10 schools and colleges. Situated on a 330-acre campus, the university is known for its cutting-edge resource and challenging academic programs. Within the School of Engineering, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science offers dynamic educational programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level for computer science students.

  • Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science

The graduate program of study offers six concentrations: software and systems engineering; image processing and graphics; embedded and hybrid systems; distributed and network systems; intelligent systems and theory. Faculty in this program do research in several areas, including the following:

Research Area

Space and Defense Electronics

Security and Fault Tolerance

Software Integrated Systems

Medical Image Processing

Nano/Carbon

Algorithm Research

Computational Economics

Artificial Intelligence

Robotics

Graphics

Software and Systems Engineering

Cyber-Physical Systems

Program Recognition

#56 - U.S. News & World Report, Best Graduate Program in Computer Science

Tech Industry and Career Outlook in Tennessee

Tennessee continues to foster growth in high-tech industries, evidenced by the work of local groups such as the Nashville Technology Council. The NTC is working to promote the development of the technology community in the middle of the state. The efforts are paying off as the state sees an emerging technology industry emerge. For example, the state has served as an attractive region for software development and IT services. In fact, in 2015, 14 companies in the state made the Inc. Magazine's list of the 5,000 fastest growing software and IT services companies in the country. The table below includes that list of companies, their three-year growth percentages, annual revenue and industry.

Rank

Company

3-Year Growth

Revenue

Industry

722

PlayMaker CRM

622%

$4.3m

Software

1618

Conversant Group

251%

$3.1m

IT Services

2338

Conexess Group

164%

$13.5m

IT Services

2624

Rustici Software

140%

$6.2m

Software

2685

LPS Integration

136%

$105.1m

IT Services

2783

Qualifacts Systems

130%

$20.8m

Software

2954

Concept Technology

119%

$6.7m

IT Services

3325

Metova

100%

$7.2m

Software

3619

InfoWorks

87%

$13m

IT Services

3842

Cumberland Consulting Group

79%

$49.7m

IT Services

4039

Claris Networks

72%

$19.5m

IT Services

4364

c3/consulting

62%

$18.4m

IT Services

4741

Transformations

51%

$2m

Software

4910

Advanced Network Solutions

46%

$9.8m

IT Services

Source: Inc. 5000: 2015

CompTIA data shows that 3.5 percent of the state's economy is directly attributable to the technology industry. There are more than 76,000 tech jobs in the state and employment projections remain positive well into the future. Overall, the state ranks 25th nationally for tech employment. By job category, the top employing industries in Tennessee include the following:

  • Engineering Services: 16,600
  • Computer Systems Design: 16,600
  • Telecommunications: 14,900
  • Research & Development and Testing: 10,200
  • Internet Services: 5,700

The leading job categories, according to the CompTIA report, include Computer Systems Analysts, Computer User Support Specialists, Industrial Engineers, Network and Compute Systems Administrators and Computer and Information Systems Managers. In turn, the technology in industry is significant in size and scope, with a payroll exceeding $5.8 billion in 2014. That payroll figure works out to an average tech industry wage of $74,900, which is $30,000 more per year than the average private sector worker in the state.

BLS employment data projects the fastest growing technology careers (between 2014 and 2024) in Tennessee will be Computer Systems Analysts (23.6 percent), Computer Network Architects (21.4 percent) and Computer User Support Specialists (20.9 percent). At least eight computer-related occupations are expected to see double digit growth between 2014 and 2014. The table below provides a career snapshot of Tennessee tech careers, including employment figures, median salary figures and projected growth rates.

Row Labels

Total Employed (2014)

Median Salary (2014)

Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)

Computer Systems Analysts

9,020

$77,270

23.6%

Computer Network Architects

1,330

$98,970

21.4%

Computer User Support Specialists

8,060

$42,340

20.9%

Database Administrators

1,370

$79,470

19.0%

Computer and Information Systems Managers

5,510

$104,950

18.0%

Computer Hardware Engineers

600

$85,420

17.8%

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

5,300

$68,650

16.7%

Computer Programmers

3,790

$72,980

10.4%

Computer Network Support Specialists

2,860

$56,120

9.4%

Computer and Information Research Scientists

330

$69,580

-5.4%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

Location, experience, education and industry are all major influences on potential career earnings in the information technology sector. In its annual salary survey of the IT industry, Robert Half Technology takes location into account -- producing a national salary range for positions throughout IT, as well as local variance table. This table helps determine the salaries for local cities across different technology careers. Overall, the five major areas of Tennessee all paid slightly below the national median, according to Robert Half. The table demonstrates how local variance impacts the salaries of tech occupations in Tennessee.

Occupation

National Median Salary

Chattanooga

Cool Springs

Knoxville

Memphis

Nashville

Mobile Applications Developer

$134,500

$119,705

$133,155

$119,705

$127,775

$133,828

IT Auditor

$114,500

$101,905

$113,355

$101,905

$108,775

$113,928

Database Developer

$121,375

$108,024

$120,161

$108,024

$115,306

$120,768

Data Warehouse Manager

$141,375

$125,824

$139,961

$125,824

$134,306

$140,668

Quality Assurance Engineer

$89,000

$79,210

$88,110

$79,210

$84,550

$88,555

Web Developer

$97,750

$86,998

$96,773

$86,998

$92,863

$97,261

Network Architect

$140,125

$124,711

$138,724

$124,711

$133,119

$139,424

Data Security Analyst

$127,625

$113,586

$126,349

$113,586

$121,244

$126,987

Software Engineer

$121,625

$108,246

$120,409

$108,246

$115,544

$121,017

Source: Robert Half Technology, 2016 IT Salary Survey

Top Metro Employment Centers for Computer Programmers in Tennessee

Tennessee Metropolitan Area

Total Employed

Nashville-Davidson -- Murfreesboro -- Franklin, TN

1,670

Memphis, TN-MS-AR

830

Knoxville, TN

450

Chattanooga, TN-GA

300

Johnson City, TN

70

Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA

50

Jackson, TN

40

Cleveland, TN

40

Grand Total

3,450

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

Inc., Inc. 5000, 2015, http://www.inc.com/inc5000/2014/facts-and-figures.html

Nashville Sun Times, Does Nashville have what it takes to be the next tech hub in the US?, http://nashville.suntimes.com/nash-entertainment/7/118/174697/tennessee-next-tech-hub-us/

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, Tennessee, 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

Vanderbilt University, Computer Science Department, http://engineering.vanderbilt.edu/

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