A study released by CompTIA, a leading technology association, discovered that technology-related employment in Nevada increased by more than 2 percent in 2017. This growth is likely to be boosted by new developments in the tech sector such as Apple's investment in a downtown Reno facility and Switch's plans to build a massive datacenter campus in Reno.
According to Code.org, the number of open computing jobs in Nevada is more than three times higher than the demand rate for all other occupations across the state. Adults who graduate from computer science programs in Nevada should have no problem finding employment in their field of study and are likely find their education to be a worthwhile investment.
Nevada's Technology Education Initiatives
Government, education, and industry leaders are driving several tech initiatives in Nevada, designed to support and grow the IT sector as well as IT degree programs in Nevada. Here's a brief overview of several of these initiatives:
- Promoting computer science in Nevada schools: Governor Sandoval has partnered with the Nevada Department of Education, College Board, and Code.org to offer two new computer science courses in every Nevada school district. These courses are Advancement Placement Computer Science Principles and Computer Science Discoveries.
- Sharing information about STEM: Nevada STEM Hub is an initiative of the Nevada State Office of Science, Innovation and Technology. Its goal is to collect and share STEM information throughout the state. It strives to assist students, parents, educators, businesses and community members to better understand STEM and the education opportunities IT schools in Nevada offer.
- Improving math and science instruction and student achievement: The Nevada Mathematics Project supports over 140 teachers from the state of Nevada in improving math instruction and developing math and science leaders and inspiring students to pursue IT programs in Nevada.
- Funding STEM education: Tesla has announced plans to contribute $7.5 million annually to Nevada education initiatives related to the STEM field over the next five years. This funding is to be used to establish a robotics program at every Nevada school, develop a teacher-training infrastructure focusing on robotics and STEM, and challenge secondary students to design, build, test and race solar-powered, radio-controlled cars.
Best Computer Science and IT Colleges in Nevada
As a state with a smaller population, Nevada has fewer higher education institutions than other states. Nonetheless, students looking for a technology-oriented career can still find strong programs to prepare them for work in the state’s growing IT industry.
|Ranking||School Name||In-State Avg. Undergrad Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Retention Rate||Number of Tech-Related Programs|
|1||University of Nevada-Las Vegas||$7,169||94%||76%||5|
|2||Great Basin College||$2,963||75%||63%||2|
|3||University of Nevada-Reno||$7,140||89%||81%||1|
|4||Western Nevada College||$2,963||74%||N/A||4|
|5||Truckee Meadows Community College||$2,588||72%||N/A||3|
Spotlight on Computer Sciences Schools
There are a number of computer science programs in Nevada that prospective students may want to explore. Here's a look at a few of them.
- University of Nevada, Reno: One noteworthy option through UNR's Computer Science & Engineering department is their bachelor's program in computer science and engineering, which allows students to receive a strong education in both computer software and hardware. Students can also pursue a minor in big data, cybersecurity, or digital interactive games.
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas: At UNLV, computer science students gain access to a number of resources including an academic honors society for computer science known as Upsilon Pi Epsilon and the Nevada Center for Advanced Computational Methods.
- Truckee Meadows Community College: Students who plan to transfer to a major university to complete a bachelor's degree program in computer science can complete their first two years of courses here. TMCC's computer science program aligns well with the computer science and engineering program at UNR and supports other degree pathways in engineering, math, and computer technologies.
IT Salaries and Career Outlook in Nevada
According to data from Projections Central and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a range of tech-related occupations are increasing in demand in Nevada.
|Career||Annual Mean Wage|
|Computer Network Architects||$112,060|
|Computer Network Support Specialists||$62,320|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$82,640|
|Database Administrators and Architects||$90,780|
|Information Security Analysts||$102,770|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||$86,740|
|Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers||$98,120|
|Web Developers and Digital Interface Designers||$62,760|
What types of companies may be driving this increase? Johnson Electric, a global leader in motion products, Scientific Games, a gambling product and service provider, Boyd Gaming, a gaming and hospitality company, and MGM Resorts International, another hospitality company, are all likely to be interested in hiring degree-holding IT professionals.
Computer Science Scholarships for Nevada Students
By applying for state-specific STEM scholarships, students can save money when pursuing IT programs in Nevada. Here's an example of one of them:
- CyberStart Scholarship: CyberStart is an online education program that gives Nevada students the opportunity to be cyberprotection agents. Students can participate in more than 100 challenges similar to those that occur in the real world. Those who excel in the program can earn scholarships for college and graduate training in cybersecurity.
More general scholarships may be available to eligible students who live in Nevada. Check our partner site, Schools.com's scholarship database to see what might be available. Here's one example of what you might find:
- HSF/Wells Fargo Scholarship: This award is available to eligible Nevada students of Hispanic heritage. While the scholarship isn't only for those who are studying computer science, preference is given to those who are pursuing a degree in a STEM field.
Nevada Professional Organizations and Resources
There are several professional organizations and resources available to IT professionals and students enrolled in IT degree programs in Nevada. Let's dive deeper into a few of them.
- Nevada Technology Association: The goal of this consortium is to build the technology ecosystem in the state. It strives to keep Nevada on top of blockchain, distributed ledger and other technologies while promoting innovation.
- Nevada Telecommunications Association: NTA hosts an annual conference to educate its members in emerging technologies and regulatory events.
- Association for Computing Machinery: ACM is designed for computer science professionals and has a chapter at the University of Nevada, Reno. It offers lifelong learning programs and special events for its members.
- National Supercomputing Institute: Situated at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NSI is a full-service supercomputing facility with high performance computing and high speed networking.
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/
- $650,000 in Scholarships Available for Nevada's Students, STEM Hub, Accessed December 2018, https://www.stemhub.nv.gov/blogs/650000-scholarships-available-nevada-s-students
- Association for Computing Machinery, Accessed December 2018, https://www.acm.org/
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Accessed December 2018, https://www.unlv.edu/degree/bs-computer-science
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, Accessed December 2018, https://www.anderson.edu/academics/computer-science/
- Computer Science at TMCC, Truckee Meadows Community College, Accessed December 2018, http://www.tmcc.edu/physical-sciences/computer-science/
- Information Technology, Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development, Accessed January 2019, http://www.diversifynevada.com/key-industries/information-technology/
- Governor Sandoval Announces Statewide Computer Science Education Initiatives, Nevada STEM Hub, Accessed December 2018, https://www.stemhub.nv.gov/blogs/governor-sandoval-announces-statewide-computer-science-education-initiatives
- National Supercomputing Institute, Accessed December 2018, https://www.nscee.edu/
- Nevada Mathematics Project, Accessed December 2018, http://nevadamathproject.com/
- Nevada Technology Association, Accessed December 2018, https://www.nevadatechnology.org
- Nevada Telecommunications Association, Accessed December 2018, http://www.nevtelassn.org/
- New Report Offers Insights Into Nevada Technology Industry, CompTIA, Accessed December 2018, https://www.comptia.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/2018/03/27/new-report-offers-insights-into-nevada-technology-industry
- Projections Central, Accessed December 2018, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/Download
- State Education Officials Accept First Grants From Tesla's $37.5 Million Investment Promise, Accessed December 2018, https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/state-education-officials-accept-first-grants-from-teslas-37-5-million-investment-promise
- Support K-12 Computer Science Education in Nevada, Code.org, Accessed December 2018, https://code.org/advocacy/state-facts/NV.pdf
- What's a STEM Career, Discover STEM, Accessed December 2018, https://stempathways.epscorspo.nevada.edu/#secondPage