After the 2017 hurricanes took a serious toll on Puerto Rico, the island's government and residents made it a priority to use technology to rebuild its economy and future. They partnered with SunRun and Tesla to update its energy grid as well as Google and Facebook to restore internet connections.
These improvements in infrastructure may provide optimism for students interested in pursuing computer science degree programs in Puerto Rico. The significant focus on technology shows that it's likely for these students to land meaningful employment after graduation.
Puerto Rico's Technology Education Initiatives
Business leaders and nonprofit organizations on have implemented several initiatives to foster technology and promote IT careers on the island. A few of the most notable initiatives include:
- Improving technology and human capital: Ric Elias, a Puerto Rican who founded Red Ventures, a multi-billion dollar marketing and technology company launched Forward787. This initiative injected $100 million into various companies on the island so they could improve technology and human capital. Its goal is to help professionals who graduate from computer science schools succeed.
- Creating smart cities: In an effort to assist Puerto Rico in creating smart cities, a new technology center in Bayamon was developed. Its focus is on the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. AT&T, IBM, and Microsoft are a few of the companies expected to support this operation, which may hire computer science students.
- Encouraging technology jobs: The Puerto Rico Science, Technology, and Research Trust is a nonprofit organization that is dedicating to promoting technology-related jobs on the island to students and current professionals.
- Supporting technology startups: An accelerator called Parallel18 partnered with Facebook to establish Startup Hub Caribbean, a 12-week program that aims to help 10 tech startups solve its challenges and give them the tools they need to thrive.
Best Colleges for Computer Science and IT in Puerto Rico
In order for Puerto Rico's technology industry to thrive, an educated workforce is essential. Prospective students who are interested in pursuing technology-focused degree programs in Puerto Rico can select from a variety of institutions. Based on our analysis of the data, here are the best IT schools in Puerto Rico.
|Ranking||School Name||In-State Avg. Undergrad Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Retention Rate||Number of Tech-Related Programs|
|1||Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Fajardo||$4,488||93%||70%||5|
|2||Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Aguadilla||$4,488||98%||70%||4|
|3||University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez||$3,910||76%||88%||2|
|4||Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Bayamon||$4,488||93%||71%||5|
|5||University of Puerto Rico-Arecibo||$3,910||87%||80%||1|
|6||University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras||$3,910||75%||84%||1|
|7||Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Barranquitas||$4,488||99%||69%||3|
|8||Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Metro||$6,732||90%||69%||5|
|9||Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Ponce||$4,488||98%||77%||3|
|10||Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Guayama||$4,488||94%||74%||2|
Spotlight on Computer Sciences Schools in Puerto Rico
Several schools that offer particularly interesting IT degree programs in Puerto Rico include:
- Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Fajardo: Students at this school can pursue an associate, bachelor's or master's degree in computer science. At the associate and bachelor's level, a computer and network technology degree program is available. Other technology options at the bachelor's level include video game design and development.
- Atlantic University College: AUC offers a bachelor's degree program in video game design with a concentration in programming. It aims to prepare students to become programmers in the video game industry and consists of courses like concepts of video game design and integration of interactive elements.
- University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez: The program that culminates in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering also offer students a variety of technical electives. Options include bioinformatics algorithms, big data analytics, artificial intelligence and cloud computing infrastructures.
IT Salaries and Career Outlook in Puerto Rico
Computer network support specialists, software developers, and information security analysts are a few examples of IT professionals that are expected to grow in demand on the island. Wovenware, an artificial intelligence and software development firm, Claro Puerto Rico, one of the largest telecommunications companies on the island, and Cortelco Systems, an international distributor of telecommunication systems may all potentially employ these types of professionals. Many of these companies are located in or near the capital of San Juan.
|Career||Annual Mean Wage|
|Computer Network Architects||$63,200|
|Computer Network Support Specialists||$35,700|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$51,900|
|Database Administrators and Architects||$50,680|
|Information Security Analysts||$49,420|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||$45,560|
|Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers||$52,680|
|Web Developers and Digital Interface Designers||$42,920|
Computer Science Scholarships for Puerto Rico Students
Since computer science degree programs in Puerto Rico (or anywhere!) can get expensive, students may be able to find scholarships that can reduce some of the expense. Here are a few examples of these scholarships.
- The Southeastern DX Club Scholarship: This award is for eligible part-time and full-time undergraduate students who live in Puerto Rico (and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Georgia, and Alabama). Students must be pursing a degree in computer science, data processing or engineering technology.
- The Computer Science Department at the University of Puerto Rico Piedras: Several different awards may be available for undergraduate and graduate computer science students. For example, the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PR-LSAMP), has scholarship opportunities for undergraduate research students in STEM fields like technology and computer science.
Puerto Rico Professional Organizations and Resources
There are a few professional organizations and resources that IT professionals and computer science students in Puerto Rico may find useful. These include:
- Information Systems Security Association: The Puerto Rico Chapter of ISSA offers educational forums, publications and peer interaction opportunities for Puerto Ricans in the information security industry.
- Computer Science for All in Puerto Rico: This organization helps incorporate computer science in Puerto Rico schools and colleges. Their primary focuses are on information exchange, curriculum development, networking for educators, and professional development for teachers.
- 10 Facts about Puerto Rico's Technology-Focused Future, Launchway Media, Accessed January 2020, https://www.launchwaymedia.com/blog/2019/4/29/facts-about-puerto-rico-technology-future
- Bachelor of Science in Video Game Design, Atlantic University College, Accessed January 2020, https://www.atlanticu.edu/
- BS Computer Science and Engineering, University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Campus, Accessed January 2020, https://www.uprm.edu/cse/bs-computer-science-and-engineering/
- Cortelco, Accessed January 2020, https://www.cortelcopr.com
- Claro Puerto Rico, Accessed January 2020, https://www.claropr.com
- Department of Computer Science, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, Accessed January 2020, http://natsci.uprrp.edu/ccom/students/#scholarships
- Information Systems Security Association- Puerto Rico Chapter, Accessed January 2020, https://puertorico.issa.org/
- Computer Science for All in Puerto Rico, Accessed January 2020, http://www.cs4allpr.org/
- Sciences and Technology, Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Fajardo, Accessed January 2020, https://www.fajardo.inter.edu/ciencias-y-tecnologia/
- Southeastern DX Club Scholarship, Peterson's, Accessed January 2020, https://www.petersons.com/scholarship/southeastern-dx-club-scholarship-111_188492.aspx
- Wovenware, Accessed January 2020, https://www.wovenware.com/en/