A 2017 report by Software.org discovered that Louisiana's software industry is among the fastest growing in the country. It also stated that the state's software industry employed more than 11,000 individuals and impacted the economy by $1.5 billion. In addition, software companies in the state have invested $22 million in research and development — an effort likely to have a positive impact on future career opportunities for graduates of one of Louisiana's campus-based or online IT programs.
Regardless of whether you are hoping to pursue a career in the software industry or another growing technology field in the state, all of these statistics can be great news for adults pursuing computer science programs in Louisiana — at the associate, bachelor's or master's level.
Louisiana's Technology Initiatives
Several initiatives have been implemented in Louisiana to support and grow interest in IT fields and careers. Here's a brief overview of a few of the most noteworthy ones:
- Expanding the number of computer science degrees awarded: Louisiana is funding a $25 million dollar higher education initiative to increase the number of degrees awarded each year in computer science, management, and STEM-related fields. Computer science schools such as the Louisiana State University System, University of Louisiana System, Southern University System and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System are all participants.
- Creating more IT jobs in New Orleans: DXC Technology, a global IT services provider announced in July 2018 that it plans to create 2,000 technology-related jobs in New Orleans over the next five years. This initiative, known as Louisiana's largest tech-centric economic development project, it likely to raise interest in IT degree programs in Louisiana.
- Preparing students for IT programs in Louisiana: Louisiana STEM Pathways is a career and technical education program with a mission to better prepare students to seek STEM degrees in college. Secondary school students enrolled in this program may take courses such as Introduction to Robotics, Exploring Computer Science, Coding for the Web, and Introduction to Computational Thinking.
- Promoting STEM education in schools: With ExxonMobil's $13 million dollar grant, awarded in 2016, Louisiana schools have received access to the resources they need to improve student performance in the core subjects of science and math so that students are better equipped to attend IT programs in Louisiana and pursue careers in STEM.
Best Computer Science and IT Colleges in Louisiana
|Ranking||School Name||In-State Avg. Undergrad Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Retention Rate||Number of Tech-Related Programs|
|1||Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College||$8,038||96%||84%||3|
|2||Northwest Louisiana Technical College||$2,081||75%||49%||2|
|3||University of Louisiana at Lafayette||$5,407||96%||75%||3|
|4||South Louisiana Community College||$3,335||85%||53%||6|
|5||Southern University and A & M College||$4,973||98%||64%||2|
|6||South Central Louisiana Technical College||$2,202||84%||N/A||2|
|7||Tulane University of Louisiana||$50,780||80%||94%||1|
|8||Louisiana Tech University||$6,400||98%||79%||2|
|9||SOWELA Technical Community College||$3,335||83%||60%||6|
|10||Delgado Community College||$3,335||88%||47%||4|
Spotlight on Computer Sciences Schools in Louisiana
Although there are many computer science schools in Louisiana, the following schools feature programs that are particularly interesting.
- The University of New Orleans: At UNO, students may earn a Bachelor of Science in computer science with a concentration in game development. The game development concentration is designed to build the knowledge and skills necessary to build interactive visual artifacts for education, training, and entertainment.
- Tulane University: Tulane offers a computer science coordinate major, which requires students to complete a major in another discipline as well as a series of computer science courses and a two-semester senior capstone project. The capstone project should demonstrate their application of computer science to a related subject.
- Xavier University of Louisiana: A Bachelor of Science in computer science with a dual degree in computer engineering program is available at Xavier. Upon completion of this program, students are awarded a Bachelor of Science in computer science as well as a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering.
- Louisiana State University Shreveport: Students enrolled in an undergraduate computer science degree program at LSU Shreveport may transition directly into the accelerated Master of Science in Computer Systems Technology degree program called 4+1 MSCST. The 4+1 MSCST programs allow undergraduates with at least a 3.0 to take graduate classes toward their master's degree in computer science, biomedical informatics, or business administration during their senior year.
IT Salaries and Career Outlook in Louisiana
According to a career site called Zippia, web developers, software engineers, software developers are three of the fastest-growing jobs in Louisiana. Many of the companies that employ these types of professionals are located in New Orleans. See the chart below for more information about growth rates projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Career||Annual Mean Wage|
|Computer Network Architects||$81,630|
|Computer Network Support Specialists||$56,520|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$81,620|
|Database Administrators and Architects||$77,540|
|Information Security Analysts||$75,250|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||$69,620|
|Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers||$84,100|
|Web Developers and Digital Interface Designers||$52,550|
Lucid, the world's largest programmatic platform for sourcing and understanding human answers; Zilen, a cloud-based payment platform for the construction industry; and Waldemar S. Nelson and Company, a design and project management consulting firm are all companies that are likely to need graduates from computer science programs in Louisiana.
Computer Science Scholarships for Louisiana Students
While a large number of general scholarships may be available to students in Louisiana, according to our partner site, Schools.com's scholarship database, a number of scholarships specific to computer science or IT students may be available through Louisiana school's computer science departments. Here are some examples.
- Louisiana State University's webpage for their Division of Computer Science and Engineering notes six different awards for eligible full-time undergraduate students.
- The University of New Orleans offers the UNO Scholarship for Women in Computer Science, which can be renewed.
- Louisiana Tech University has a CyberCorps Scholarship program. The award, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, is available to undergraduate and graduate students.
- Southern University's Computer Science Department also has a scholarship for eligible C.S. majors. Students must attend school full-time.
Louisiana Professional Organizations and Resources
Students attending IT schools in Louisiana as well as working IT professionals may find value in the following professional organizations and resources:
- Louisiana Association of Business and Industry: LABI strives to support technology policies that allow Louisiana businesses to be more competitive in the global marketplace.
- Louisiana Women in Technology: LaWIT provides support and resources for women in the technology, engineering, and science industries. It also helps empower young women to pursue challenging careers in the tech sector.
- Louisiana Technology Park: Louisiana Technology Park acts as a hub for technology development in Louisiana. It provides high-tech startups with support and resources so they can bring their products and services to market faster.
- American Society for Engineering Education Gulf-Southwest Section: ASEE is a nonprofit that focuses on improving technology and engineering in Louisiana as well as several other states. It offers networking events, workshops, and conferences for educators.
- IEEE Region 5: IEEE is known as the largest professional technical organization in the world. There are chapters in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette, which all offer social events, educational resources, workshops, and conferences.
- Greater New Orleans .NET User Group: This .NET User Group is dedicated to advancements in Microsoft's .NET platform. It meets monthly at the New Horizons Computer Learning Center in Metairie.
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/
- 20 Best Companies to Work for in New Orleans, Zippia, Accessed December 2018, https://www.zippia.com/research/best-companies-in-new-orleans-la/
- American Society for Engineering Education, Accessed December 2018, http://www.aseegsw.com/
- Computer Science B.S., University of New Orleans, Accessed December 2018, http://new.uno.edu/academics/cos/computer-science/computer-science
- Coordinate Major, Tulane University, Accessed December 2018, http://www2.tulane.edu/sse/cs/academics/undergraduate/coordinate-major.cfm
- Degree, Minor, and Certificate Programs, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Accessed December 2018, https://www.lsus.edu/academics/college-of-arts-and-sciences/school-of-mathematics-and-sciences/department-of-computer-science/degree-minor-and-certificate-programs/41-program
- Department of Computer Science, Xavier University of Louisiana, Accessed December 2018, http://catalog.xula.edu/preview_entity.php?catoid=3&ent_oid=94
- ExxonMobil Awards $13 Million to Expand Louisiana STEM Program, Philanthropy News Digest, Accessed December 2018, https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/exxonmobil-awards-13-million-to-expand-louisiana-stem-program
- Greater New Orleans .Net User Group, Accessed December 2018, http://www.gnodnug.org/
- IEEE Region 5, Accessed December 2018, http://ieeer5.org/areas/
- Louisiana's Software Industry Among Country's Fastest Growing, Report Says, Government Technology, Accessed December 2018, http://www.govtech.com/products/Louisianas-Software-Industry-Among-Countrys-Fastest-Growing-Report-Says.html
- LABI, Accessed December 2018, https://labi.org/issues/technology
- Louisiana STEM Initiative, Louisiana Department of Education, Accessed December 2018, https://www.louisianabelieves.com/courses/louisiana-stem-initiative
- Louisiana Technology Park, Accessed December 2018, https://www.latechpark.com/
- Louisiana Women in Technology, Accessed December 2018, http://www.la-wit.org/
- New Technology Centers Will Create Nearly 3,000 Jobs, Site Selection Magazine, Accessed December 2018, https://siteselection.com/issues/2018/jul/louisiana-new-technology-centers-will-create-nearly-3000-jobs.cfm
- These are The 10 Fastest Growing Jobs in Louisiana in 2017, Zippia, Accessed December 2018, https://www.zippia.com/advice/fastest-growing-jobs-in-louisiana/