It’s no secret that the Information Technology (IT) career field is expected to continue rapid growth. As our society relies more on technology, IT jobs are becoming more plentiful and in demand.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates computer and IT occupations will grow by 12% between 2018 and 2026, which is much faster than the average rate of growth for all U.S. occupations.
Not only are IT jobs abundant, but they’re also lucrative. The median annual wage for someone in an IT occupation was more than $86,000 in May 2018.
There’s no shortage of colleges and universities in the U.S. that offer excellent technology degrees and programs. Many of these schools offer majors in IT-related topics such as computer science, database management, and network engineering.
Obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree in one of these IT-related majors will prepare you for a wide array of IT occupations and careers, like computer network architect or computer support specialist.
We’ve identified four U.S. colleges and universities that offer the best IT programs. This list is not exhaustive by any means, but most of these schools were ranked highly by US News, Niche, and College Choice.
1. Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) was founded in 1900 by the renowned Scottish American entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie, and the school is in the heart of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
CMU is consistently ranked as one of the top research and computer science universities globally. Research at the school has contributed to the development of robotics technology and software on the Mars rover.
The prestigious university offers a wide range of cutting-edge programs in areas such as machine learning, software engineering, and human-computer interaction. CMU’s computer science school strongly encourages research and hands-on experience, which top students say prepares them well for life after college.
CMU’s acceptance rate was 22% in 2018, making the university extremely competitive. The school’s tuition is also very expensive, as the total cost of attending full-time in the 2017/2018 school year was more than $70,000.
2. Cornell Tech
Cornell Tech didn’t open until 2012, but the elite graduate school has already built a solid reputation for its ambitious technology programs.
Cornell University is the Ivy League parent institution of Cornell Tech, which recently opened a new campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. Cornell Tech was created in response to an economic development initiative started by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The new tech school offers masters programs in areas like computer science and information engineering, as well as newly invented areas of study like connective media.
When the school opened, Mayor Bloomberg estimated it would generate $23 billion in economic activity, 8,000 permanent jobs, and hundreds of new companies in the next several decades in New York City.
Cornell Tech’s goal is to stimulate bright students to create new tech startups in New York City, like how Stanford University has been a catalyst for startups and new technology trends and ideas in Silicon Valley.
By some accounts, the plan is working so far. Cornell Tech’s students and graduates have so far created more than 50 startup companies, and more than 500 graduates have been hired by tech companies.
3. New York University
New York University (NYU) is another school that’s highly regarded for its computer science and technology programs. Located in New York City, the university offers certificates, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in 15 computer science programs.
Like Cornell Tech, NYU is a great school to study technology because of its NYC location, where students have plentiful opportunities for internships and post-graduate jobs at startups and tech companies in the Big Apple.
Also, like the other universities we’ve listed, NYU is a tough school to get into. The university had a record-low acceptance rate of 16% for the Class of 2023.
4. Purdue Polytechnic Institute
The Purdue Polytechnic Institute is one of ten academic colleges at Purdue University in Indiana, and it’s one of the largest tech schools in the nation.
The Institute offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a wide range of tech disciplines, including computer and information technology and technology leadership and innovation.
Purdue’s Institute has garnered high rankings from many publications in recent years, including the nation’s top school for cybersecurity studies and the fourth-best information technology program in the country.
Unlike the other schools we’ve listed, Purdue is a public university that has very affordable tuition. The average total cost of attending the university per year is about $12,000 after financial aid is considered. While Purdue may not first come to mind when you think of technology studies, the university has a solid reputation for the field and is a great value.