CompTIA, a leading technology industry association, found Hawaii’s tech sector to be responsible for $3.2 billion of Hawaii’s overall economy in 2018. There are more than 31,000 tech workers in the Aloha State. And the future looks looks promising, as job postings related to emerging technologies increased more than 50 percent in 2018.
Although Hawaii is known as a tropical paradise, it is quickly becoming recognized for its growing technology and innovation economy. While the state needs cybersecurity and other IT professionals to support multiple military installations, state and local government agencies across the islands are also working to develop new infrastructure to support Hawaii’s growing tech sector. This can be great news for adults who are enrolled in IT degree programs in Hawaii.
Hawaii’s Technology Education Initiatives
There are several initiatives in Hawaii that are intended to help grow and support technology as well as IT and computer science programs in Hawaii. Here’s a brief overview of several of them:
- Improving technology jobs: The Hawaii Technology Development Corporation works to accelerate the growth of technology in Hawaii by providing capital, building infrastructure, and developing talent to promote innovation and diversify the economy in the Aloha State. It offers a flexible space for tech startups, grants to fund R&D companies, sponsorships to support innovation, and technical assistance to small and early stage companies.
- Promoting STEM to students: Hawaii Public Schools works to prepare its students for the challenges and opportunities in the 21st-century global economy by implementing STEM education and inspiring students to pursue STEM careers. Students can participate in STEM capstone projects and earn STEM honors certificates.
- Connecting students and teachers to STEM: The Hawaii STEM Conference is an annual two-day event designed to empower STEM education in students and teachers. It features STEM student sessions, professional development for teachers, and lectures by STEM professionals. The 2019 conference, held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, marked the event’s seventh year.
- Funding to expand STEM education: Twelve Hawaii schools were able to expand STEM education for their students because they were the recipients of a multi-year, $2.2 million grant. This program, a partnership between Project Lead The Way and USA Funds aims to increase students’ readiness for college, including IT degree programs in Hawaii.
Southern New Hampshire University
- Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
- Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
- Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
- Offering over 200 online degree programs
Purdue University Global
- Experience world-class education online with more than 175 programs at associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.
- Apply eligible work experience and prior college credits toward up to 75% of your undergraduate degree.
- You have the option of trying out a Purdue Global undergraduate program for an introductory 3-week period. There’s no cost beyond the application fee.
- Competency-based ExcelTrack™ programs may allow you to earn your degree faster and for less money
Best Computer Science and IT Colleges in Hawaii
Prospective students can pursue information technology or computer science degree programs in Hawaii at both public and private institutions. Two- and/or four-year IT schools in Hawaii offer associate, bachelor’s, and advance degree programs. Here’s our list of the schools we think best serve computer science students in Hawaii.
|Ranking||School Name||In State Avg. Undergrad Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Retention Rate|
|1||University of Hawaii at Manoa||$11,088||82%||79%|
|2||Kapiolani Community College||$3,084||59%||63%|
|3||Chaminade University of Honolulu||$25,260||99%||79%|
|4||Hawaii Pacific University||$25,630||98%||60%|
|5||Brigham Young University-Hawaii||$5,560||84%||63%|
|6||Hawaii Community College||$3,084||74%||57%|
|7||University of Hawaii at Hilo||$7,272||86%||66%|
|8||Honolulu Community College||$3,084||61%||59%|
Spotlight on Computer Science Schools in Hawaii
Hawaii is home to several computer science schools. Here are some particularly noteworthy programs at these institutions.
- Hawaii Pacific University: In addition to small class sizes, the computer science degree program at HPU offers a Computer Club, which allows students to connect to like-minded classmates and participate in the ACM International Collegiate Programming competition.
- University of Hawaii at Manoa: At UH Manoa, students may pursue a Bachelor of Science in Security Science. This unique degree enables students to understand, design and manage a variety of resource security tasks like access control.
- University of Hawaii at Hilo: The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at UH Hilo includes heavily laboratory-oriented courses to give students valuable hands-on experience. A few examples of these courses include animation programming, digital media with flash, and website management.
IT Salaries and Career Outlook in Hawaii
Information security analysts, software developers, and computer support specialists are among the fastest-growing IT occupations in Hawaii. A number of large companies in the state are likely to need these types of professionals.
Some of these companies include Eco Science Solutions, a health and wellness company with a strong focus on technology; Forward Slope, Inc., a technology services company offering comprehensive business solutions; and Computer Sciences Corp., a computer programming and technical consulting provider.
|Career||Annual Median Wage|
|Information Security Analysts||$90,100|
|Database Administrators and Architects||$94,050|
|Computer Network Architects||$96,210|
|Web Developers and Digital Interface Designers||$62,630|
|Computer Network Support Specialists||$62,990|
|Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers||$90,840|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$76,600|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||$81,030|
2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.
Computer Science Scholarships for Hawaii Students
Scholarships can help students pursuing information or computer science degree programs fund their education. Here are examples of some state-specific scholarships featured by the Hawaii Community Foundation:
- Eo Na Punawai Scholarship Fund: This scholarship is open to full-time students of Hawaiian ancestry to are majoring in one of the STEM fields, including computer science.
- Joan Aidem Scholarship Fund: Molokai students who are studying natural sciences, including information and computer science, are encouraged to apply to this award.
- Kawasaki-McGaha Scholarship Fund: This award is available to students majoring in computer science at Hawaii Pacific University.
- AAUW Honolulu Branch Education Funds: The American Association of University Women provides financial support to eligible female students who are residents of Hawaii and who are pursuing degrees in STEM majors.
Hawaii Professional Organizations and Resources
There are several professionals organizations that may be useful resources for technology professionals and students enrolled in IT programs in Hawaii. Let’s take a closer look at a few of them.
- Hawaii Society for Technology in Education: HSTE is for educators and educational leaders. It focuses on using and integrating technology effectively and providing professional development opportunities.
- American Council of Engineering Companies of Hawaii: The ACECH works with consulting engineering firms to help them meet their technology goals. Member firms have the opportunity to take part in learning and networking.
- Hawaii Information Communications and Technology Association: Members of the HICTA may attend conferences, luncheons, and networking events. This organization focuses on the development of communications and technology in Hawaii.
- 12 Hawaii Schools Receive Funding to Implement New STEM Education Programs, PLTW, Accessed December 2018, https://www.pltw.org/news/12-hawaii-schools-receive-funding-to-implement-new-stem-education-programs
- American Council of Engineering Companies of Hawaii, Accessed July 2019, https://acechawaii.org/
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Accessed December 2018, http://www.ics.hawaii.edu/academics/undergraduate-degree-programs/bs-ics/
- Computer Science, Hawaii Pacific University, Accessed December 2018, https://www.hpu.edu/cncs/comp-sci/computer-science/index.html
- Computer Science, University of Hawaii Hilo, Accessed December 2018, https://hilo.hawaii.edu/catalog/computer-science
- Hawaii Information Communications and Technology Association, Accessed July 2019, https://www.hicta.org
- Hawaii Society for Technology in Education, Accessed July 2019, http://www.hste.org/page-1393625
- Hawaii STEM Conference, Women in Tech, Accessed December 2018, http://womenintech.com/HawaiiSTEMConference/conference-program/
- Hawaii Technology Development Corporation, Accessed December 2018, https://www.htdc.org/
- New Report Details Employment, Economic Impact of Hawaii’s Tech Industry, CompTIA, https://www.comptia.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/2019/03/26/new-report-details-employment-economic-impact-of-hawaii-s-tech-industry
- Scholarships Database, Schools.com, Accessed December 2018, https://www.schools.com/scholarships-database
- STEM, Hawaii Public Schools, Accessed December 2018, http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/TeachingAndLearning/StudentLearning/Stem/Pages/home.aspx
- Top 20 Occupations, University of Hawaii Community Colleges, Accessed December 2018, http://uhcc.hawaii.edu/promo/top20_occupationsByGrowth.php
To be included in the rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria:
- Be an accredited U.S. institution
- Offer either 2 or 4-year degree programs
- Be active in the 2016-17 school year
- Offer a degree in a technology-related subject
- Have awarded at least one degree in that subject in 2015-16
- Have reported data for all ranking variables listed below
- Related subjects, based on the number of relevant programs that are offered at any level
- Flexibility, based on number of relevant programs that are offered at any level via distance education
- Average in-state undergraduate tuition
- Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
- Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students
- Graduation rate
- Retention rate
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/