The 2019 Cyberstates report by CompTIA, a worldwide technology industry association, showed that Rhode Island's tech sector contributes $4 billion to the state's economy. The Ocean State is also home to almost 26,000 tech occupation jobs. And new tech startups are also making their way to Rhode Island and promoting innovation in the state.
CompTIA's data shows that although Rhode Island is the nation's smallest state, there are likely to be big career opportunities for students enrolled in computer science programs in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island's Technology Education Initiatives
One of the most effective ways to ensure the technology sector grows in Rhode Island is to encourage students to enroll in online IT programs. To prepare students to pursue college education in tech fields as a way to support future growth in the industry, Rhode Island has active government and business initiatives in place that support technology education at the K-12 level. Here's an overview of a few of them:
- Providing funding to educate computer science teachers: In 2020, $260K has been allocated to help advance the professional development of computer science teachers in the state.
- Attracting tech companies to Rhode Island: Computer Science for Rhode Island or CS4RI strives to attract businesses to invest in Rhode Island by showing that they are committed to bringing them trained and talented workers in the technology sector.
- Collaborating to support tech education in public schools: CS4RI also partners with government, education, and nonprofit leaders to ensure every public school in Rhode Island offers computer science courses.
- Making computer science count: A policy was implemented to allow computer science to count as a math or science requirement toward graduation at high schools across the state.
Spotlight on Computer Sciences Schools in Rhode Island
Computer science schools in Rhode Island can prepare students for fulfilling IT careers. These schools have programs that are particularly noteworthy.
- New England Institute of Technology: At NEIT, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Network Engineering. This program focuses on how to design secure modern networks and includes stimulated lab experiences. It can prepare students to work as digital forensic specialists, cybersecurity analysts, and information security analysts.
- Roger Williams University: RWU offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Students who pursue this program can choose a specialization such as mathematics, digital systems, intelligent and autonomous systems, and data science. They may also create their own specialization by taking electives that peak their interest.
- Providence College: The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at PC focuses on providing students with real-world experiences. Students can compete in a national programming contest, produce presentations for regional conferences, and apply for internship opportunities locally or where they live.
IT Salaries and Career Outlook in Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Department of Labor has highlighted several IT occupations as some of the most in-demand ones in the state, including software developers (applications and systems), computer systems analysts and computer user support specialists.
Lifespan, the health system that operates Rhode Island hospitals as well as Citizens Bank, a large national bank that is headquartered in the state, and CVS, which also calls Rhode Island its headquarters, typically employ these types of tech professionals.
|Career||Annual Mean Wage|
|Computer Network Architects||$128,300|
|Computer Network Support Specialists||$60,110|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$98,840|
|Database Administrators and Architects||$93,070|
|Information Security Analysts||$95,450|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||$93,230|
|Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers||$108,020|
|Web Developers and Digital Interface Designers||$74,220|
Computer Science Scholarships for Rhode Island Students
Below are a few of the program- and state-specific scholarships that can make computer science degree programs in Rhode Island more affordable.
- Project Lead the Way Scholarship: This award, offered through the New England Institute of Technology is for students who have graduated from one of the more than a dozen Project Lead the Way high schools. PLTW high schools focus on STEM education, such as computer science and engineering.
- RISE STEM Scholarship: Students who have been admitted to Roger Williams University and are majoring in computer science may apply for this award. Recipients can participate in an 8-day summer bridge program before they begin their freshmen year, as well as receive individual advising, and enjoy internship opportunities.
To learn about additional scholarships that may be available, explore the scholarship database on our partner site, Schools.com.
Rhode Island Professional Organizations and Resources
Students enrolled in IT programs in Rhode Island may also want to explore the range of opportunities offered by industry-related organizations. Here are some of the active groups in the state:
- Tech Collective: This state-focused association promotes information technology stakeholders in Rhode Island such as IT professionals, students, and government employees. Members can enjoy networking events, career resources, and mentorship programs.
- Rhode Island STEAM Center: Based at Rhode Island College, this research and education hub works to promote science, technology, engineering, art (and design), and mathematics education across the state. It gives students the opportunity to connect to leaders in the technology space.
- Newport Tech Meetup: This group is comprised of developers, coders, entrepreneurs, and others involved in the local tech community in Newport, Rhode Island. Its members meet regularly to network and socialize.
- 2019 State of Computer Science Education, CODE Advocacy Coalition, Accessed January 2020, https://advocacy.code.org/2019_state_of_cs.pdf
- Computer Science, Providence College, Accessed January 2020, https://academics.providence.edu/computer-science/
- Computer Science, Roger Williams University, Accessed January 2020, https://www.rwu.edu/undergraduate/academics/programs/computer-science
- Computer Science for Rhode Island, Accessed January 2020, https://www.cs4ri.org/
- Cybersecurity and Network Engineering, New England Institute of Technology, Accessed January 2020, https://www.neit.edu/Programs/Bachelors-Degree-Programs/Cybersecurity-and-Network-Engineering
- Cyberstates, CompTIA, Accessed January 2020, https://www.cyberstates.org/#interactiveMap?geoid=44
- Newport Tech Meetup, Meetup, Accessed December 2019, https://www.meetup.com/Newport-Tech-Meetup/
- Occupational Outlook 2026, Labor Market Information, RI Department of Labor and Training, Accessed January 2020, http://www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi/pdf/occoutlook.pdf
- Preparing Workers for RI's High-Demand Occupations, RIDataHub, Accessed January 2020, http://ridatahub.org/datastories/occupations/1/
- Rhode Island Steam Center, Accessed December 2019, http://www.risteamcenter.org
- RISE STEM Scholarship, Roger Williams University, Accessed December 2019, https://www.rwu.edu/undergraduate/admission-aid/financial-aid/types-aid/endowed-scholarships-and-awards/rise-stem-scholarship
- Scholarships and Grants, New England Institute of Technology, Accessed December 2019, https://www.neit.edu/Financial-Aid/Scholarships-and-Grants
- Tech Collective, Accessed December 2019, https://tech-collective.org/