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Utah Computer Training Schools

While Silicon Valley in California is the technology epicenter in the U.S., Utah is quickly becoming a rival. During the past ten years, the "Silicon Slopes" has emerged, a cluster of technology companies in the Provo, Salt Lake City and Provo region that are driving innovation across the industry. Low cost-of-living, an educated workforce, affordable real estate and public transit system have made Utah a new destination for big and small companies alike -- from health tech company, Edwards Lifesciences, to analytics powerhouse, Domo. In turn, Utah has created a diverse technology sector that covers areas such as medical device manufacturing, software development, aerospace products and more.

The diversity, exploding job growth and strong educational system make the state an attractive option for students considering a career in the technology field.

Computer Science Education in Utah

Although it's a relatively small state, Utah is home to several nationally recognized universities and colleges, including Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. The universities are known for graduating skilled and prepared students, which is one reason why tech companies are moving into the state. U.S. News & World Report ranked Brigham Young University #66 in its list of the top national universities, while the University of Utah was ranked #115. However, students can also select from a variety of other affordable colleges and universities across the state, including Dixie State University (Saint George), Utah State University (Logan), Utah Valley University (Orem), Westminster College (Salt Lake City).

In addition to those colleges, students can complete their computer science education at 40 two- and four-year higher education institutions.

Institution

Count

Public, 4-Year

7

Private, 4-Year

9

Private, For-Profit

12

Public, 2-Year

7

Private, 2-Year

5

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

During the 2013-2014 school year, nearly 6,000 students graduated with a degree in a computer-science related field in Utah.

Degree Type

Number Conferred

Bachelor's degree

3,874

Master's degree

1,064

Associate degree

584

Doctoral degree - research/scholarship

60

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

The most popular fields of study included computer science and information technology. The table below outlines the number of degrees conferred in 2013-2014 by area of study.

Area of Study

Degrees Conferred

Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

2,791

Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management

750

Computer and Information Sciences, General

704

Computer Science

559

Information Science/Studies

259

Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications

207

Computer Programming

164

Computer Software and Media Applications

140

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Computer Science School Spotlight: University of Utah

Located in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah is the state's flagship university, a public institution that serves more than 31,000 students. With more than 80 undergraduate majors, a diverse graduate school with more than 70 majors, as well as a medical and law school, the University of Utah is known for its top-tier academic programs. Situated on a 1,500-acre campus, the university has been ranked #115 in U.S. News & World Report's list of the top national universities in the country.

Multiple academic programs at the University of Utah are ranked among the country's best by U.S News & World Report, including computer science -- offered through The School of Computing. The School of Computing is highly regarded with faculty conducting research across 15 primary areas:

Algorithms and Computational Geometry

Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing

Architecture and VLSI

Networking, Embedded Systems, and Operating Systems

Data, Databases and Information Management

Parallel Computing

Formal Methods and Verification

Programming Languages and Compilers

Graphics and Animation

Robotics

Image Analysis

Scientific Computing

Human Computer Interaction

Security and Privacy

Visualization

In total, The School of Computing serves more than 500 undergraduate and 200 graduate students. Undergraduate students may choose between multiple academic tracks, including following:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Computer Science

Graduate students may select from four main degree programs, two at the master's level and two at the doctoral level:

  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Computing
  • PhD in Computer Science
  • PhD in Computing

The Computing track includes seven specialization areas of study, allowing students to refine their studies in either the master's or doctoral programs.

  • Computer Engineering
  • Data Management and Analysis
  • Graphics and Visualization
  • Image Analysis
  • Networked Systems
  • Robotics
  • Scientific Computing

Program Recognition

  • U.S. News & World Report - Best Graduate Program in Computer Science - #40

Tech Industry and Career Outlook in Utah

In the past ten years, Utah has firmly established itself as an attractive location for technology companies -- established and start-ups alike. Fueled by a strong higher educational system that graduates local talent, a business friendly climate and government-private sector economic partnerships, the Wasatch Front region has emerged as a sister region to Silicon Valley. Containing Provo, Ogden and Salt Lake City -- more than 80 percent of the state's population lives there -- the Wasatch Front is home to companies ranging from Adobe to Microsoft, eBay to Symantec. Yet, the region is not only bringing in established technology companies, it is fostering the growth of an entrepreneurial spirit as well.

That spirit is evidenced by the venture capital pouring in the state. According to figures from the Associated Press, Provo-Orem and Salt Lake City-Ogden placed #1 and #3, respectively, on the list of areas attracting the highest per average deal on venture investments:

#1 - Provo-Orem: $51.3 million per deal average
#2 - San Francisco: $18.4 million per deal average
#3 - Salt Lake City-Ogden: $17.2 million per deal average

In 2015, nine companies appeared on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, a list of North America's (U.S. and Canada) fastest growing technology, media, science, energy technology and telecommunications companies. The table below includes the complete list of Pennsylvania companies on the Fast 500:

Rank

Company

Location

Primary Industry

366

HealthEquity

Draper

Biotech/Pharmaceutical

95

Pluralsight

Farmington

Digital Content/Media

373

Packsize

Salt Lake City

Electronic Devices/Hardware

321

Profire Engery Inc.

Lindon

Energy Tech

63

HireVue

South Jordan

Software

107

PrinterLogic

St. George

Software

136

Health Catalyst

Salt Lake City

Software

378

Workfront

Lehi

Software

429

InMoment

Salt Lake City

Software

Source: Deloitte, Fast 500, 2015

With its rapidly growing technology sector, Utah presents great professional opportunities for prospective students. Consider, the average technology worker earned slightly more than $74,000 in the state in 2014, which was 56 percent more than the average private sector worker, according to CompTIA. These salaries are part of an industry with a state payroll pushing $6 billion across more than 5,600 tech companies. CompTIA estimates there are approximately 79,000 tech jobs in the state - and those figures are only expected to increase. Some of the largest industries, notes CompTIA, include the following:

  • IT Services: 20,600
  • Internet Services: 9,300
  • Engineering Services: 9,000
  • Measuring and Control Instruments Manufacturing: 7,500
  • Software Publishers: 7,400

Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the best occupational opportunities in the state are projected to be for Computer User Support Specialists (38.5 percent), Computer Systems Analysts (38 percent), and Computer and Information Systems Managers (30.9 percent). The top five fastest growing technology jobs in the state are all expected to see employment increases of 21 percent or more between 2012 and 2022. The table below includes an employment overview of computer- and tech-related careers in Utah.

Occupation

Total Employed (2014)

Average Salary (2014)

Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)

Computer User Support Specialists

6,870

$43,330

38.5%

Computer Systems Analysts

3,640

$74,420

38.0%

Computer and Information Systems Managers

2,850

$117,250

30.9%

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

3,430

$72,130

25.0%

Computer Network Architects

740

$89,590

23.2%

Computer Programmers

4,060

$78,470

21.2%

Computer Network Support Specialists

1,550

$58,480

19.3%

Computer and Information Research Scientists

680

$88,710

12.5%

Electronics Engineers, Except Computer

1,880

$83,030

9.3%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

Earning potential varies by not only experience and position, but location as well. In its 2016 IT salary guide, Robert Half Technology reported that some areas -- such as Salt Lake City -- actually pay above the national average for tech salaries. The table below details the 2015 median salaries for tech workers in Utah, according to Robert Half.

Occupation

Median Salary

Mobile Applications Developer

$135,845

Database Developer

$122,589

Network Security Administrator

$120,064

Network Engineer

$112,110

Software Developer

$111,984

Web Developer

$98,728

Web Designer

$85,598

QA Analyst

$80,548

PC Technician

$42,168

Top Metro Employment Centers for Computer Programmers in Utah

Metro Area

Total Employed

Ogden-Clearfield, UT

454

Provo-Orem, UT

449

Logan, UT-ID

255

St. George, UT

253

Salt Lake City, UT

70

Grand Total

1,481

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

CNBC, Technology's New Home is Located in Silicon Slopes, Utah, http://www.cnbc.com/id/100860405

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

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

Projections Central, Utah, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

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

Inc., Move Over Silicon Valley, Utah Has Arrived, http://www.inc.com/ilan-mochari/silicon-valley-utah.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/

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

Silicon Slopes, About, http://siliconslopes.com/about/

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

University of Utah, School of Computing, http://www.cs.utah.edu/

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