Online computer science programs in Georgia prepare graduates to take on exciting jobs in the growing technology and computer industry. Atlanta has built its reputation as the Silicon Peach, a play on the state’s nickname “The Peach State,” thanks to Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center and the Microsoft Technology Center, which provide technical support and mentoring to technology startups through workshops and business planning sessions.
Atlanta ranked sixth in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s list of the top 10 tech startup cities, thanks to improvement in corporate-to-small-business connections and matching startups with advisers and mentors. In fact, the annual report moved the city up 15 spots, illustrating its industry growth over the past year. The state continues to see new startups focusing on financial tech, health tech, and education tech. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports 810 computer and information research scientists employed in Georgia, earning an annual mean wage of $101,950.
Atlanta ranked sixth in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s list of the top 10 tech startup cities.
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Higher Education in Georgia
The Empire State of the South is home to 52 four-year colleges and universities, including 28 from the University System of Georgia. Founded in 1931, the state’s higher education system boasts eight research and comprehensive universities, 10 state universities, 10 state colleges, and students from nearly 160 countries. Among the 31 private colleges and universities in Georgia, Emory University is the largest, with a full-time enrollment of more than 12,700.
Each year, 60,000 students graduate from Georgia’s public university system. Atlanta, among the nation’s major market leaders in private sector growth, attracts many of these degree-holders. About one-third of Atlanta residents have a college degree — above the national average of 28% — and the area ranks among the top areas in the country for graduating engineers. To encourage academic excellence, the Peach State also established the HOPE scholarship in 1993 to provide tuition support to high achievers, many of whom go on to major in medicine, business, or computer science. Major colleges and universities in the state include Emory, Georgia Tech, Morehouse College, the University of Georgia, and liberal arts colleges Spelman University and Agnes Scott College.
Computer Science Careers in Georgia
Computer science features elements of all four STEM categories — science, technology, engineering, math — and the area of study is comprehensive, if relatively new. As businesses work to gain a competitive edge, today’s economy demands the skills and knowledge gained from a computer science degree in Georgia. Algorithms, cloud-based computing, mobile ads, and data mining represent just a few areas in need of computer scientists.
Median Salary for Computer Science Careers by Degree
Computer Science Employers in Georgia
- UPS: Headquartered in Atlanta, the world’s largest multinational package delivery company must keep its enormous supply chain running like clockwork. Computer science professionals ensure the efficiency of this process by assisting with code reviews and data analysis, and developing software platforms.
- Rev.io: This company helps businesses of all sizes with usage-based billing needs and customer management systems. Computer science majors, like those enrolled in online computer science programs in Georgia, have the problem-solving skills to support Rev.io with analytics, business informatics, and software design. They also work in collaboration with data miners, product managers, computer programmers, and database architects.
- Manhattan Associates: Led by its research and development team, this company provides scalable supply chain solutions. Leaning on the expertise of operations research analysts, coders, and other computer science professionals, Manhattan carries out optimization, tuning, and validation of data on new and existing products.
How Much do Computer Scientists Make in Georgia
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Computer Science Programs in Georgia
Prospective computer science professionals can earn degrees at all levels in Georgia, from the associate level to a doctorate. Most Ph.D. holders work in college faculty positions; some professionals, such as information research scientists, require at least a master’s degree. For many positions, however, a bachelor’s or associate degree suffices to begin a career.
Nearly every school in Georgia — both public and private — offer some kind of computer science degree. At the undergraduate level, students learn the principles behind CS, like machine learning, Java, and program construction. As students continue their studies in a master’s or Ph.D. program, they may narrow their focus to a specific concentration or subfield. Computer science programs in Georgia are available in on-campus, hybrid, or fully online formats. The latter affords students a more flexible schedule and while still offering a rigorous curriculum. Online programs also make degrees accessible to those living outside of Georgia. The Georgia Tech College of Computing, for example, offers an online master of science in computer science that enrolls students from over 90 countries, featuring a 25.9% international enrollment.
Students searching for a computer science program in Georgia should check for regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). ABET accreditation is specialized and recognized by CHEA for programs in applied science, computing, engineering, or engineering technology. While ABET accreditation is voluntary for schools, some professions like engineering and surveying require it for licensure.
Types of Computer Science Degrees
Students may choose from a variety of online computer science programs in Georgia — from two-year associate degrees to advanced degrees in the field. Carefully explore each degree’s requirements and career preparation options to choose the path that best aligns with your personal career goals. Carefully consider the investment of time and money for each degree option, and the possible return on that investment through promotions at work or new employment opportunities with higher pay and higher job satisfaction.
An associate degree offers the quickest entry to computer science careers in Georgia. These degrees require 60-66 credits, and full-time students can complete these programs in as little as two years. CollegeBoard reports that the average tuition for two-year public colleges in Georgia is $3,810.
Students may choose an associate of arts or associate of science degree, or a more career-focused associate of applied science degree. The associate of arts and associate of science degrees often include general education courses, which can transfer to a four-year degree should you continue your education. Students planning to transfer to a four-year school should work closely with their academic adviser and verify their school’s credit transfer policies.
Applied science programs tend to emphasize practical experience and technical certifications working with computer hardware and software applications. Individuals who want to continue their education with a bachelor’s degree should determine how many credits from their associate program would transfer to a four-year university.
A bachelor’s degree in computer science prepares graduates to enter multiple fields in the technology and computer services industries. These undergraduate degrees offer a foundation in computer programming, network architecture, and software development. The curriculum builds problem-solving and analytical skills while fostering creativity.
Annual tuition for a four-year public university in Georgia averages $8,580. Full-time students can expect to complete their degrees in four years, though part-time students may need longer to complete the 120 credits required. In addition to computer science courses, students also complete general education classes and can earn a minor, such as in business administration, to complement their degree.
Many universities accept transfer students from two-year colleges. Some may offer college credit for professional certifications, as well. These programs can reduce the cost of the degree and allow you to graduate sooner.
A master’s degree in computer science can help professionals move up the career ladder or take on more specialized work. The degree may also help career changers gain the skills they need to enter computer science careers in Georgia. Many online computer science programs in Georgia cater to the needs of working professionals, with flexible scheduling or advanced formats that can speed their path to graduation. A typical master’s program requires 30-45 credits and takes two to five years to complete.
Some master’s programs offer the chance to combine a computer science degree with a one in business, journalism, or administrative studies. These dual degrees allow graduates to apply their new skills in specific industries. Curricula and requirements vary depending on the degree type and school, but most master’s degrees require a capstone experience, such as a professional project or thesis.
Individuals interested in researching and developing new technologies or teaching at the collegiate level often must complete a Ph.D. Jobs requiring this level of education allow computer scientists to provide creative input into the latest technological advancements, lead efforts for change, and cultivate the skills of new employees and students.
Most Ph.D. programs admit students with significant academic and professional experience in the field. You need a master’s degree and research experience to qualify. Because computer science impacts so many areas and industries, Ph.D. programs often utilize interdisciplinary curricula, drawing on fields such as engineering, biology, or forensics.
Online computer science programs in Georgia and elsewhere provide fully online programs, with students undertaking independent research. Students should expect to spend four to five years completing their Ph.D., with two to three years devoted to a research project and dissertation.
Professional Computer Science Organizations in Georgia
Becoming a member of a professional organization gives you access to everything from industry codes of ethics to trends and updates. Students can take advantage of scholarships and resources, while recent graduate may benefit from mentorships, workshops, continuing education opportunities, and career services. All members enjoy access to annual conferences, presentations, and networking opportunities.
- Association for Computing Machinery: ACM welcomes researchers, educators, and professionals from across the computing field to share their expertise and promote technical excellence. Members can take part in special interest groups focused on technical, educational, or social issues related to computing, with local groups providing professional support and networking opportunities. The learning center offers ongoing professional development, access to a library of research materials, and a subscription to the organization’s journal.
- IEEE Computer Society: IEEE Computer Society serves 60,000 members around the world through technical conferences, scholarly journals, and networking opportunities. Members enjoy priority registration at events, access to technical resources and interactive webinars, and subscriptions to Computer Magazine and ComputingEdge. The organization offers student, basic, and preferred membership options.
- Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility: The CPSR explores social issues related to technology, such as privacy, intellectual property, and internet governance. Members enjoy discounts at association conferences, a subscription to the monthly newsletter, and the opportunity to purchase healthcare coverage. Volunteerism and advocacy remain the core functions of the organization, with many opportunities for members to share their expertise in technology and social responsibility.
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