Connecticut hosts a thriving technology industry, which contributed $16.2 billion to the state’s economy in 2017. Connecticut has emerged as one of the nation’s leading destinations for tech startups, as cities like Hartford and New Haven attract major tech companies to establish operations in the northeastern United States. This appealing combination of established firms and strong innovative activity contributes to a diverse range of well-paid computer science jobs.
Students considering online computer science programs in Connecticut should take note of the state’s excellent income statistics. As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes, computer and information research scientists enjoy outstanding average salaries, which exceed six-figures. These factors make Connecticut one of the nation’s top destinations for computer science professionals.
In 2017, Connecticut boasted the highest per-capita income of any state in the country.
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Higher Education in Connecticut
Though a small state, Connecticut is rich in education. With 17 regionally accredited, nonprofit institutions and 26 state-supported institutions, Connecticut boasts a comprehensive landscape of higher education, comprising small and mid-sized colleges and large research institutions.
Connecticut houses one of the most prestigious schools in the world, Yale University, which features a graduation rate of 97%. The University of Connecticut (UConn) comprises nine campuses across the state. There are four, four-year state universities across the state, as well, along with 13 community colleges, each providing affordable but rigorous academic options.
Other notable schools include Wesleyan University, home to nearly 3,000 undergraduate students; Quinnipiac, with close to 9,000 undergraduate students; and the University of Hartford, which educates more than 5,000 undergraduate students. Connecticut’s array of schools and above-average salaries make it an excellent place to pursue a degree and career in computer science.
A membership organization of 16 accredited universities, the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC) works to improve instruction at private higher education institutions in the state. Through public policies, research, and government relationships, CCIC promotes academic excellence.
Computer Science Careers in Connecticut
Graduates from computer science schools in Connecticut go on to succeed in a variety of technology-related jobs, such as software and hardware engineering, systems analysis, web development, programming, security analysis, network administration, and information research.
The ever-evolving advanced digital landscape demands a commitment to updated systems and newer technologies. The impact of automated systems and disruptive technologies means more jobs in the computer science field. The BLS projects that job opportunities for software developers will grow by 24% nationwide between 2016 and 2026 — much faster than the average occupational growth.
Median Salary for Computer Science Careers by Degree
Computer Science Employers in Connecticut
Headquartered in Avon, iDevices offers a variety of advanced tech products for household comfort. The company employs designers, software engineers, and tech specialists to design their products, such as switches, wall outlets, lighting options, and adapters. The company also hires professionals to custom-build the cloud infrastructure for its mobile app, which controls connected devices.
- CGI: CGI, a global business consulting company, offers information technology (IT) services in application, infrastructure, IT outsourcing, business process, and system integration. With the goal of aiding in digital transformation, CGI employs engineers, designers, analysts, cyber security specialists, administrators, and developers in Bloomfield, Hartford, and Windsor.
- ASML: Headquartered in Veldhoven, Netherlands, ASML develops high-tech metrology and software solutions for the semiconductor industry. With a research and manufacturing site in Wilton, ASML hires a variety of science and technology professionals, including software engineers, electrical engineers, and software designers to design, develop, and integrate lithography machines.
Computer Science Programs in Connecticut
Several computer science colleges in Connecticut offer undergraduate and graduate programs, including Yale and UConn, considered among the top computer science and engineering schools in the nation. Yale’s computer science department offers a variety of degree options, including a bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, master of science, combined bachelor’s/master’s program, and a doctoral program, plus joint majors with the electrical engineering, mathematics, and psychology departments. UConn offers 12 bachelor’s programs, three of which distinctly relate to computer science and engineering. Students can also pursue computer science programs in Connecticut at other institutions across the state, such as Eastern Connecticut State University, Connecticut College, University of Hartford, and Wesleyan University.
Students at the best computer science schools in Connecticut take courses in programming, design, operations systems, and software interface. They also take mathematics classes, such as probability, calculus, numerical analysis, discrete structures, and linear algebra. Undergraduate students focus on the key components of computing principles and practice, while graduate students pursue a chosen specialization. Students who pursue doctorate degrees conduct extensive research in the field.
Some students prefer online computer science degrees in Connecticut. Online degrees allow students the flexibility to learn on their own schedules. This flexibility benefits working professionals, as they can complete assignments and participate in group discussion boards when and where it’s best for them. Online students can earn their master’s degree in computer science at the University of Bridgeport.
Types of Computer Science Degrees
Online computer science programs in Connecticut lead to four general degree designations. At the undergraduate level, students can earn a two-year associate degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree. Graduate students can work towards advanced master’s and doctoral degrees.
Each degree path opens up specific computer science career options in Connecticut. Students looking to fast-track into entry-level jobs can gain a foothold with an associate degree, though employers tend to prefer bachelor’s degree holders for positions with advancement potential. A master’s delivers excellent specialization options, while a computer science doctorate qualifies students to pursue postsecondary teaching careers.
An associate in computer science typically leads to junior positions suitable for candidates with no previous professional experience. These graduates tend to attract good job offers, but an advanced degree opens up a wider range of career paths, including positions that offer advancement opportunities, more responsibility, and higher earning potential.
Computer science associate degrees focus on the basic concepts of essential computing topics. Coursework typically covers the fundamentals of programming and programming languages, coding, troubleshooting, networking, system architecture, hardware, software, and threat detection, among others.
Relatively compact completion timelines represent one key advantage of associate computer science degrees. Students can typically complete these programs in two years or less — ideal for both young students looking to fast-track into the professional world and mature learners seeking a quick shift in career paths.
Four-year bachelor’s programs rank among the most widely pursued online computer science degrees in Connecticut. They cover similar subjects to courses in associate programs, but delve into more detail and introduce students to more advanced applications of study. Bachelor’s students can often minor or specialize in a specific aspect of computer science, an option not typically available at the associate level. Specialized study equips graduates with more comprehensive and adaptable skill sets, setting them apart from the competition. As such, bachelor’s graduates tend to attract better-paying jobs than their associate-level peers.
A bachelor’s in computer science represents an excellent option for learners looking to develop a wide range of proficiencies reflecting their strong interest in the field. However, a computer science bachelor’s takes significantly more time to complete than an associate degree, making it a better option for students who can commit to longer-term study.
Students who already have a bachelor’s in computer science or otherwise meet the demanding entry requirements can pursue studies at the master’s level. Computer science master’s degrees usually take two or three years for full-time students to complete. Accelerated options may allow highly motivated students to graduate more quickly.
The best master’s degree candidates are committed learners who understand essential computing concepts and want to build elite skills in a particular specialization. Master’s programs move beyond fundamentals, dealing almost exclusively with specialized, niche, and advanced subject matter. As such, they often lead to more specific degree designations, such as master of science in cybersecurity or master of science in computer and information technology.
Job candidates with master’s degrees typically qualify for generalist vacancies in addition to positions in their area of specialization. They tend to command higher salaries than bachelor’s degree holders. Thus, graduate online computer science programs in Connecticut appeal to students who want to elevate their career and earning potential.
Computer science Ph.D. programs tend to hyper-focus on highly specific subject areas, leading learners to encyclopedic knowledge and comprehensive proficiencies with core and related topics. Students who want to reach the absolute pinnacle of knowledge, while opening up the broadest possible range of career paths, are good doctoral degree candidates. A computer science Ph.D. typically takes master’s degree holders two to four years to complete.
Professionally speaking, employers might favor Ph.D. graduates over candidates with master’s degrees for high-level leadership positions and jobs entailing a great deal of responsibility. In most cases, master’s degree holders can close this gap by compiling extensive experience and professional certifications, but graduates with a Ph.D. in computer science are more qualified for career paths in higher education. For instance, many universities display a strong preference for hiring computer science professors with doctoral degrees.
Professional Computer Science Organizations in Connecticut
Professional computer science organizations provide valuable resources for current students, recent graduates, and working professionals. In addition to job boards and career services, members of professional computer science organizations benefit from professional development and networking opportunities and cutting-edge publications. Some organizations specialize in a subfield of computer science, such as artificial intelligence (AI), while others are more general, like the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). ACM, the world’s largest computing society, works to share resources, address key challenges, and promote high standards in the field.
- Association for Women in Computing: AWC promotes the advancement of women in computer science and tech-related professions. One of the first professional computing organizations geared specifically toward women, AWC provides its members with networking opportunities and technical and career-focused programming.
- Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence: AAAI, a scientific society devoted to the responsible use of AI, aims to promote research and improve the public’s understanding of AI. Members benefit from access to conferences, workshops, grants, scholarships, and a quarterly magazine.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society: IEEE Computer Society is a volunteer-led community of 60,000 technology leaders. Members benefit from career development and networking resources, professional training workshops, technical conferences, and access to scholarly journals and magazines.
Additional Computer Science Resources in Connecticut
- Connecticut Career Fairs: These state-sponsored events connect job-seekers with local employers. Partnering with local colleges and universities, chambers of commerce, and workforce investment boards, these fairs hosted more than 10,000 attendees and 450 companies across the Manchester, Danbury, and Cromwell areas in the past year. Benefits for job seekers include resume critiques, access to a job-matching system, and information about training opportunities.
- Connecticut Department of Labor: Computer science professionals, software developers, hardware engineers, and network administrators can benefit from the useful information provided by the Connecticut Department of Labor. The department offers numerous programs and services, such as job boards and training opportunities, plus updated labor market figures.
- UConn ACM Student Chapter: The ACM chapter at UConn comprises a community of computer science enthusiasts. Striving to enhance the understanding of computer systems, the group organizes events, conferences, and presentations, arranges visits at local businesses, and holds weekly meetings. UCONN-ACM serves anyone interested in computer science.
- Trinity College ACM Student Chapter: The ACM chapter, also known as the Computer Science Club, is a community of students at Trinity College. With a strong interest in computer science, web design, and related technologies, chapter members get together to discuss recent developments in technology, job and internship opportunities, local events, and chapter fundraisers.
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