The field of computer science is growing both nationally and throughout Arkansas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 24% growth for software developers by 2026, much faster than the national average for all occupations.
While the BLS projects demand for traditional computer programmers to decline, positions for computer and information research scientists are increasing at a rate faster than average. Network engineers are also in high demand in Arkansas, which is the base for several prominent tech companies. These statistics mean graduates of online computer science programs in Arkansas will find plenty of employment opportunities.
Network engineers are also in high demand in Arkansas, which is the base for several prominent tech companies.
Higher Education in Arkansas
With more than 50 public and private institutions, Arkansas offers a wealth of options for higher education. The University of Arkansas has campuses in Little Rock, Fayetteville, Monticello, Pine Bluff, and Fort Smith.
With more than 200,000 residents, Little Rock is Arkansas’ most populous city. Students who attend school in Little Rock enjoy cultural activities such as the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Arkansas Repertory Theater, and the Arkansas Arts Center. Although many universities are located in the state’s most populous areas, students can find educational opportunities throughout Arkansas. U.S. News and World Report ranks Fayetteville, which is home to the University of Arkansas’ main campus, as the third best place to live in the United States.
Even students who do not reside in Arkansas can still earn a quality education from Arkansas computer science schools by pursuing a degree online. Online programs are as rigorous as their on-campus counterparts, but they allow busy students scheduling flexibility and do not require relocation or a commute.
Computer Science Careers in Arkansas
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects computer science occupations to grow from 6% to 24% by 2026, depending on position. The BLS projects demand for computer programmers to decline, but at a slower rate than the national average.
Arkansas is home to several prominent tech companies that hire computer science professionals. IBM is located in the capital city of Little Rock, and Infosys is based in the city of Bentonville. These companies provide opportunities for recent graduates to enter the field.
Median Salary for Computer Science Careers by Degree
Computer Science Employers in Arkansas
- Infosys: Infosys is an international company that provides consulting and technology solutions and specializes in software development. The company’s offices in Bentonville, Arkansas, employ computer science professionals to design and maintain technology and software.
- UST Global: Founded in America, UST provides information technology services including advanced analytics, algorithm building, cybersecurity, and engineering. In Arkansas, UST hires computer scientists to support its diverse operations.
- IBM: IBM provides cloud-based services for large private companies and develops software for hospitals and health insurers. IBM also builds learning machines, such as the Watson platform, and employs programmers and research specialists.
How Much do Computer Scientists Make in Arkansas
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Computer Science Programs in Arkansas
Students can attend traditional, on-campus programs or online computer science programs in Arkansas. On-campus programs allow in-person interactions with professors and peers and provide structure through regularly scheduled classes. The state offers a number of respected on-campus computer science programs, such as the University of Arkansas’ program.
Students who need flexibility to balance professional or personal commitments with academics may consider pursuing a computer science degree online. Online programs save time and money spent commuting or living near campus, and because online classes are often taught by the same professors as on-campus students, distance learners receive the same rigorous education. Professors are available for video chats and emails, and online students receive support from dedicated advisors.
The best computer science schools in Arkansas are accredited. Accreditation ensures programs meet set educational standards. The two main types of accreditation in the U.S. are regional and national. Regional accreditation is the oldest and the most prestigious. National accreditation is typically reserved for vocational programs. Students pursuing a computer science degree in Arkansas 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 Arkansas?
Arkansas is home to large technology companies, and the state’s universities offer computer science programs to train the next generation of tech employees. The list below includes accredited computer science programs in Arkansas and provides information including admissions requirements and tuition rates.
schools that match your search
Professional Computer Science Organizations in Arkansas
Professional associations provide opportunities for students and graduates to continue their education and form connections within the computer science industry. As technology evolves, professional associations keep members updated on the latest trends and innovations. Conferences and social events, online and in-person, allow professionals to network and share information. Many national associations have local chapters in Arkansas.
- Association for Computing Machinery: ACM is the world’s largest computer science association. The association has chapters around the world and is prominent on college campuses. ACM comprises computer science professionals including researchers and programmers.
- Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence: AAAI is a national scientific society that works to advance human understanding of the processes that animate thought and intelligence and to apply that understanding to machines.
- Association for Women in Computing: AWC is one of the oldest professional associations for women in computer science. The association provides opportunities for networking and professional growth.
Additional Computer Science Resources in Arkansas
- The Computer Science Teachers Association: CSTA Arkansas supports K–12 computer science educators and students. The association provides resources and promotes interest in computer science careers through teaching and mentoring.
- Arkansas Department of Education: The Arkansas Department of Education offers computer science curriculum resources for educators and students at every level. The department’s website provides links to computer science professional associations.
- IEEE Computer Society: With 480 chapters and more than 60,000 members around the world, IEEE is a thriving community of industry leaders and professionals. The organization provides networking opportunities, career support, and continuing education. IEEE hosts more than 200 conferences per year and publishes 17 peer-reviewed scholarly publications.
- Computing Research Association: Founded in 1972, CRA includes more than 200 U.S. organizations that are dedicated to computing research. CRA unites researchers and political leaders to encourage federal investment in research.