It might be known for the bright lights of Las Vegas and casinos, but there's a lot more to Nevada than gambling. Though tourism is the largest driver of the economy in the state, Nevada is also the fourth-largest producer of gold in the world, so mining also is a major industry. The seventh-largest state by geography is the 35th in terms of population and has around 16,140 of its 2.84 million people working in computer and mathematics fields according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But as reported by Nevada Business, the tech industry is growing in Nevada in a number of different sectors, driving partially by the state's geography and by its tourism and gaming industries.
Because it sports so much open, flat space, Nevada is an ideal place to develop the large data centers many companies need to run their businesses. The state is also well suited for structures that house huge numbers of computer mainframes that handle things like ecommerce traffic, and companies such as Apple and Switch Communications have looked to create a presence in the state. Tech companies focusing on agricultural applications and mining safety also have found homes in the state, Nevada Business reported, as they look to work closely with its existing industries.
Computer Science Education in Nevada
|Institution Name||No. of Computer Science Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees||Admission Rate|
|University of Phoenix-Nevada||4||$9,840||N/A|
|Western Nevada College||2||$2,910||N/A|
|University of Nevada-Las Vegas||2||$7,183||82.78%|
|University of Nevada-Reno||2||$7,142||82.81%|
As a state with a lower population, Nevada has fewer higher education facilities than other states. Of those, several include computer-related degree programs that can help students get the education they need to secure a career in fields like computer engineering and information technology. Though there aren't as many in the state as others, students looking for a technology oriented career can still find strong programs to teach them what they need to know, and a growing industry in which to work.
The variety of school sizes, coupled with a smattering of private universities and community colleges, as well as for-profit institutions, means that while Nevada has fewer higher education offerings than some other states, it's still more than possible for students to find the right school for their needs.
Tech Industries and Careers in Nevada
|Career||Annual Mean Wage||Statewide Projected Job Growth Rate||Statewide Current Number of Jobs|
|Computer Network Architects||$103,200||14.6%||390|
|Computer Network Support Specialists||$56,040||24%||720|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$81,830||33.7%||1,920|
|Information Security Analysts||$88,300|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||$82,200||24.5%||1,520|
|Software Developers, Applications||$101,010||37.9%||2,590|
|Software Developers, Systems Software||$93,490||35.1%||780|
Following the Great Recession, Nevada has looked to diversify its industries, which has given rise to an increase in tech-focused and information technology jobs within the state. A report from the Brookings Institution noted that growth of tech-related jobs is beginning to outpace the Nevada education system's ability to provide workers to fill them -- meaning there are more and more opportunities for There also are plenty of well-paying jobs in computer- and technology-related fields where workers can find success with the right training, rather than the right degree.
Of course, education for any jobs in fields focusing on computers can vary greatly, and whether to pursue a four-year or a two-year degree will depend on what your goals are as a student, what your budget is like for education, and plenty of other factors. Many companies also value on-the-job training as much as education, thanks to constant changes in the technological fields. With so much variation, it pays to research which fields are a good fit for you personally, as well as what kind of employees companies are actively hiring.
"May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nv.htm#15-0000
"The Cyber State: Nevada's Burgeoning Technology Industry," Nevada Business, October 1, 2013, http://www.nevadabusiness.com/2013/10/cyber-state-nevadas-burgeoning-technology-industry/
"Nevada Information Technology," Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development, http://www.diversifynevada.com/key-industries/information-technology
"College Majors With the Best Return on Investment," U.S. News & World Report, September 12, 2012, http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2012/09/12/college-majors-with-the-best-return-on-investment?page=2
"University of Nevada -- Reno," U.S. News & World Report, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-nevada-2568
"University of Nevada -- Las Vegas," U.S. News & World Report, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/unlv-2569
"Western Nevada College," U.S. News & World Report, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/western-nevada-college-10363
College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
"Computer Science and Engineering," University of Nevada, Reno, http://www.unr.edu/engineering/departments/cse
"Department of Computer Science," University of Nevada Las Vegas, http://www.unlv.edu/cs
"Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering," University of Nevada Las Vegas, http://www.unlv.edu/engineering/cita
"Computer Information Technology (CIT)," Western Nevada College, http://www.wnc.edu/academics/discipline/cit/
"Cracking the Code on STEM: A People Strategy for Nevada's Economy," Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, 2014, http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/reports/2014/11/nevada-stem/bmpp_nevadastem_es-web-final.pdf
"Follow these guideposts to shape Nevada's technology future," Las Vegas Sun, November 23, 2014, http://lasvegassun.com/news/2014/nov/23/follow-these-guideposts-shape-nevadas-technology-f/
"Nevada forecasts massive job growth through 2017," Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 1, 2015, http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/nevada-forecasts-massive-job-growth-through-2017
"The 10 Best and 10 Worst States for High-Tech Business," The Atlantic, February 14, 2012, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/the-10-best-and-10-worst-states-for-high-tech-business/253043/#slide3