Texas is wide open when it comes to geography, but also can be broad when it comes to jobs in the information technology industry, too. In fact, more than 11,000 jobs were added in the technology industry in the state in 2017, according to information from CompTIA.
If that's not impressive, the state rates second in the nation for employment in the tech industry — with more than 590,000 workers total. This could be great news for adults interested in IT tech careers. From private to public education, there are plenty of computer science and IT schools in Texas that create opportunities for students to gain new skills and learn more about the computer science and IT field.
Texas's Technology Education Initiatives
More than six technology bills passed the Texas state legislature in 2017. These bills related to IT issues such as cybercrime, online confidentiality and cybersecurity, all of which can be studied at IT schools in Texas. Of course, cybersecurity continues to be a is a hot ticket item, with nearly every organization needing to protect its information, whether that's electronic health records or a database of customer addresses. Other initiatives in Texas include:
- Preparing for the future. The state's "Generation Texas Campaign" is focused on helping Texas high school students set a goal of college in their future. That could mean attending online IT programs, computer science schools or enrolling for other degree types. Under-represented students may find this initiative particularly helpful.
- Affordable degrees. Many people heard the news, in 2011, when then-Texas governor Rick Perry challenged higher-education institutions to create $10,000 bachelor's degree programs — meaning the cost of the program was $10,000 total for all four years. These degree programs continue to be offered and include the addition of five new programs in 2017. One of these new degree programs is the Bachelor of Applied Technology in Computer Information Technology offered through South Texas College, in McAllen.
- Supportive industry. As far back as 2005, tech leaders in the state realized the importance of a strong workforce. They formed the "Texas IT Cluster," which included members from various segments of IT assessing regional and statewide technology needs and successes. One finding was that public education is an important factor in IT growth in the state. To align education with industry need, Texas universities have invested more than $100 million in computer science research — something that support opportunities for IT graduate students.
Best Computer Science and IT Colleges in Texas
|Ranking||School Name||In-State Avg. Undergrad Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Retention Rate||Number of Tech-Related Programs|
|2||Texas A & M University-College Station||$7,537||76%||92%||3|
|4||North Lake College||$3,330||48%||62%||7|
|5||Mountain View College||$3,330||66%||67%||7|
|6||North American University||$9,450||98%||60%||2|
|8||Southern Methodist University||$48,364||77%||91%||3|
|9||Central Texas College||$3,390||66%||54%||4|
|10||Wharton County Junior College||$768||58%||71%||5|
Spotlight on Computer Science Schools in Texas
Knowing about unique computer science degree programs in Texas can be helpful in planning for a college education and setting goals. Details about four schools in Texas are listed below.
- Texas A&M University, College Station: Students enrolled in their bachelor of science in computer science degree program can fast track toward a master's degree by receiving nine graduate credits while finishing their four-year degree. Students in the program also can take advantage of the Peer Teacher (PT) network to develop further understanding of their coursework.
- South Texas College, McAllen: This community college is just one of three in the state approved by the state board of education to offer four-year degree programs in areas such as computer and information technologies, technology management and medical and health services management (this latter degree includes a health care information technology class).
- The University of Texas at Dallas: This university offers computer science degree programs at every study level, but includes fast-track options and the ability to minor in nanoscience and technology. Furthermore, the university's engineering and computer science school is located in the second largest high-tech economy in the U.S. — the Telecom Corridor.
- Southern Methodist University, Dallas: Computer science degree programs from the undergraduate to graduate level are available at this private university. Students in a bachelor's degree program in computer science or computer engineering may be eligible for the school's 4+1 program, allowing them to finish a master's degree in one year.
The growth of the tech industry depends on developing and training a highly educated workforce. Texas is home to several of the country's top ranked computer science programs, including five ranked in the top 100, according to U.S. News & World Report. In addition to academic leaders, such as the University of Texas, prospective students can select from more than 160 public and private institutions to complete their education in a tech-related program of study.
IT Salaries and Career Outlook in Texas
Jobs of many types are growing for computer scientists in Texas. In fact, information security analysts, computer and information research scientists and computer and information systems managers may see jobs grow in their fields by more than 19 percent in upcoming years, according to Projections Central.
The Telecom Corridor, located in Richardson, Texas, north of Dallas, could become a home for graduates of computer science schools in Texas. Employers there include Fujitsu America, Inc., a producer of IT products and services; Dell EMC, providing cloud computing; Armor, focused on cybersecurity; id software, developing video gaming; and others.
|Career||Annual Mean Wage|
|Computer Network Architects||$118,060|
|Computer Network Support Specialists||$71,530|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$102,120|
|Database Administrators and Architects||$101,450|
|Information Security Analysts||$108,810|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||$88,840|
|Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers||$107,940|
|Web Developers and Digital Interface Designers||$73,890|
Texas IT and Computer Science-Related Scholarships and Grants
The Texas Space Grant Consortium offers these STEM-related scholarships:
Texas Professional Organizations and Resources
Joining an IT or computer science association in Texas can help you to network with others, find education opportunities and learn about new trends in technology and resources in the state. Below is a list of some of the organizations and resources that could help graduates of online computer science programs in Texas.
- Association for Computer Educators in Texas
- Hispanic Association of Computer Scientists
- Information Technology Association - South Texas Chapter
- Texas Association of Governmental Information Technology Managers
- Association for Preservation Technology Texas Chapter
- Association for Computing Machinery (37 different chapters in Texas)
- Association for Information Technology Professionals, Houston or Dallas-Fort Worth chapters
- Information and Computer Tech, Texas Economic Development Corporation
- Texas CTE Resource Center, Information Technology Career Cluster
- The Texas IT Services Industry
- The Austin Forum on Technology & Society
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/
- Association for Computer Educators in Texas, Accessed October 2018, https://acet.ecs.baylor.edu/2018Conference/callForProposal.htm
- Bachelor of Science Computer Science, Texas A&M University, Accessed October 2018, https://engineering.tamu.edu/cse/academics/degrees/undergraduate/bs-cs.html
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, University of Texas at Dallas, Accessed October 2018, https://www.utdallas.edu/academics/fact-sheets/ecs/bs-computer-science/
- CSE Degree Programs, Southern Methodist University, Accessed October 2018, https://www.smu.edu/Lyle/Departments/CSE/DegreePrograms
- Find a Chapter Near You, Association for Computing Machinery, Accessed October 2018, https://www.acm.org/chapters/find-a-chapter
- GenTX, Texas Higher Education, Foundation, Accessed October 2018, https://txhigheredfoundation.org/initiatives/gentx-3/
- Information and Computer Tech, Texas Economic Development Corporation, Accessed October 2018, https://businessintexas.com/industries/information-computer-tech
- Long Term Occupational Professions, Projections Central, Accessed October 2018, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
- Major Employers, Richardson Economic Development Partnership, Accessed October 2018, https://www.telecomcorridor.com/community-data/major-employers
- Peer Teacher, Texas A&M University, Accessed October 2018, https://engineering.tamu.edu/cse/academics/peer-teachers/index.html
- South Texas College Bachelor's Degrees, South Texas College, Accessed October 2018, https://bachelors.southtexascollege.edu/
- State of Texas Information and Computer Technology Cluster Assessment, Accessed October 2018, https://texasindustryprofiles.com/PDF/twcClusterReports/TexasITCluster.pdf
- Technology Legislation, Texas Department of Information Resources, Accessed October 2018, https://dir.texas.gov/View-Resources/Pages/Content.aspx?id=31
- The Austin Forum on Technology & Society, Accessed October 2018, https://us9.campaign-archive.com/?u=5cc72f8b5eb1c444bf81b7dfa&id=49e67728dd
- Texas Technology Industry Added More Than 11,000 Jobs in 2016, CompTIA, Accessed October 2018, https://www.comptia.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/2017/04/03/texas-technology-industry-added-more-than-11-000-jobs-in-2016