As technology becomes a larger part of daily life and business operations, the field of computer science is growing rapidly across the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of computer and information research scientist positions to increase 19% by 2026, making now an ideal time to earn an online computer science degree in Arizona and enter a technology-based profession.
Arizona universities offer numerous options to launch or advance your computer science career. Institutions throughout the state offer on-campus and online computer science degrees, and the growing number of computer science positions in Arizona create ample job opportunities for graduates.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of computer and information research scientist positions to increase 19% by 2026
Higher Education in Arizona
Home to more than 130 colleges and universities, Arizona provides plenty of options for students pursuing a computer science degree. Arizona State University is the state’s most prominent public university system and features campus locations throughout Arizona.
Public and private institutions are located across Arizona, but Phoenix has the greatest concentration of colleges and universities. Phoenix’s population of more than 1.6 million people enjoy access to educational, cultural, and recreational experiences. Phoenix also holds professional networking advantageous for students in computer science schools in Arizona, as many of the state’s top computing companies have offices in the city.
Students residing in other states can still attend Arizona computer science schools. Online computer science programs in Arizona allow distance learners to complete coursework from anywhere. Online degree programs closely mimic on-campus programs and provide the same quality education.
Computer Science Careers in Arizona
Phoenix has one of the fastest-growing technology industries in the country. Demand for computer and information research scientists grows as businesses in the public and private sectors require new technologies. The BLS projects a 2.7% job growth for computer programmers in Arizona and a 20.1% growth for all computer science positions in Arizona by 2024.
Median Salary for Computer Science Careers by Degree
Computer Science Employers in Arizona
- IBM: IBM manufactures machines such as the famous Watson learning platform, and many private companies and hospital systems rely on IBM for cloud-based services and software design. IBM employs computer science professionals to staff its Arizona programming and research departments.
- Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo, a national banking chain, offers cloud-based services to help customers manage their accounts and work through complex financial planning. They recruit Arizona computer science professionals to design, build, and maintain the bank’s online services.
- Oracle: Oracle is a global technology company known for its database management systems. The company also builds cloud-based systems and enterprise software packages and is one of the highest paying computing companies in Arizona.
How Much do Computer Scientists Make in Arizona?
The salary a computer science professional earns depends on the individual’s education, experience, and position. Salaries also vary by geographic location. Although computer science professionals in Arizona average lower wages than the national average, Arizona’s cost of living is also lower than the national average — even in the Phoenix metropolitan area, the state’s most populous region.
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Computer Science Programs in Arizona
Arizona institutions offer a variety of computer science programs, both on-campus and online. Students who prefer to in-person interaction with professors and peers typically enjoy learning in a structured classroom environment. Several prominent on-campus computer science programs are available to Arizona students, including programs at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University.
Online programs are ideal for students balancing professional or personal commitments with education. Pursuing a computer science degree online eliminates expenses associated with commuting or living near campus, saving money and time. Most online courses are taught by the same professors who teach on campus, providing distance learners with the same quality education. Advanced learning technology allows online students to receive support from dedicated advisors and connect with professors and peers through video conferences and live chat rooms.
The best computer science schools in Arizona are accredited. During the accreditation process, schools and programs are reviewed by external agencies to ensure they meet set academic standards. The two most common types of accreditation in the U.S. are regional and national. Regional accreditation is the oldest and most prestigious type and is granted by six accrediting bodies. National accreditation typically focuses on vocational programs; credits earned from nationally accredited institutions rarely transfer to regionally accredited schools. Computer science students should also look for field-specific accreditation from the Computing Accreditation Commission.
Types of Computer Science Degrees
There are many types of degrees students can choose when pursuing education in computer science: associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate degree. In general, further formal education within a field results in a higher salary. In addition, some positions require a certain level of degree. For instance, many research positions or teaching positions at the university level require at least a master’s or doctorate degree. The table below features descriptions and basic data about each degree type.
An associate in computer science provides students with foundational knowledge in computer languages and programming. In addition to learning about computer systems, students will emerge with general education courses usually required by four year colleges. Graduates with an associate degree qualify for entry-level computer science positions in the job market.
Average Program Length – 2 Years
Median Salary – $32,897
A bachelor’s in computer science provides students with knowledge of operating systems, a variety of programming languages, database management, and computer systems and architecture. These programs typically require 120 credit hours of coursework and a capstone project. Many employers in the industry are increasingly hiring individuals with a bachelor’s degree.
Average Program Length – 4 Years
Median Salary – $60,835
A master’s in computer science provides students with a deeper understanding of computer systems, design, and programming languages. Some master’s programs may provide specializations for those who wish to concentrate further in a specific area. Individuals with a master’s degree typically earn a higher salary upon graduation than those with a bachelor’s.
Average Program Length – 1 to 2 Years
Median Salary – $104,269
A doctorate degree in computer science is designed for individuals who wish to pursue research in the field. These intensive programs often require students to narrow their field of study and design and carry out a specific research project that culminates in a dissertation. Graduates with a Ph.D in computer science often go into academia as computer science professors.
Average Program Length – 4+ Years
Median Salary – $126,744
What Schools Offer a Computer Science Degree in Arizona?
Because Phoenix, Arizona, is one of the fastest-growing computer science markets in the country, the state’s colleges and universities offer a number of rigorous computer science degree programs to train new programmers, researchers, and innovators. The list below details curricula, costs, and unique aspects of all accredited computer science programs in the state.
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Professional Computer Science Organizations in Arizona
Professional associations provide continuing education and networking opportunities to help members advance their careers. Organizations keep professionals updated regarding the latest computing innovations and trends, and conferences and networking events connect members with like minded individuals and employment opportunities. Given the presence of technology professionals across industries, many computer science professional associations have a national or international presence that includes Arizona chapters.
- Arizona Technology Council: ATC is Arizona’s premier networking association for technology professionals. Members attend annual conferences, educational panels, and events that connect the state’s diverse tech-centered business community.
- Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence: AAAI members study the processes that create and drive thought and apply them to machines. The organization is a national scientific society.
- Association for Women in Computing: Founded in 1978, AWC is one of the oldest professional associations for women in computing. The association provides networking opportunities and professional growth.
Additional Computer Science Resources in Arizona
- Code.org: Code.org works to improve computer science education. The organization provides resources for Arizona schools, making the field more accessible to women and minorities. This nonprofit organization receives support from some of the biggest names in computer science, including Facebook and Microsoft.
- Association for Computing Machinery: With chapters around the globe, ACM is the world’s largest computer science association and, in Arizona, is most prevalent on college campuses. ACM unites industry professionals, researchers, and programmers to investigate and solve problems.
- IEEE Computer Society: With more than 60,000 members in 168 countries, IEEE is a thriving community of industry leaders and professionals. The organization facilitates networking, career support, and continuing education on a large scale. IEEE hosts more than 200 conferences per year.
- Computing Research Association: CRA works with more than 200 American computing organizations dedicated to advancing computer research. The association works with political leaders to encourage federal investment in computing research. CRA also provides mentorships to researchers.