The Aloha State is a great place to pursue a computer science degree or enter the information technology industry. Hawaii holds many exciting career opportunities for computer science professionals, including jobs in network architecture and defense, postsecondary education, business, and medicine. Some work for federal, state, and local government agencies, including the FBI, or take positions at private businesses, research organizations, and healthcare groups.
Many other computer science professionals live in Hawaii but work remotely for companies around the world.
This guide offers an in-depth look at Hawaii's computer science industry, from popular careers and salary expectations to colleges and universities offering relevant degrees. Read on to learn more about the state's educational and career opportunities for computer science professionals.
Thanks to the state's large military presence, many professionals find computer science careers in Hawaii with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Marine Corps.
Higher Education in Hawaii
Only one school -- Hawaii Pacific University -- offers an online computer science program in Hawaii, an associate degree that can be completed through distance learning. Other schools, including the Hilo and Manoa campuses of the state's flagship University of Hawaii system, may offer online classes in the computer science curriculum, but will require some or most coursework to be completed on campus.
Computer Science Careers in Hawaii
Computer science is a rapidly growing industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field's job growth rate is projected to reach 19% over the next decade -- more than twice the average for all occupations combined. Popular career choices include computer network architect, computer support specialist, systems analyst, database administrators, and web developers. With the field's aggressive rate demanding fresh talent and lucrative opportunities awaiting graduates, now is the perfect time to pursue a computer science degree in Hawaii.
Median Salary for Computer Science Careers by Degree
Computer Science Employers in Hawaii
- Computer Sciences Corp: Computer Sciences Corp offers computer programming and engineering services, including scientific and technical consulting, management consulting, and process, physical distribution, and logistics consulting.
- Eco Science Solutions: This company serves the health and wellness industry. Eco Science Solutions hosts an e-commerce platform allowing individuals to locate, access, and connect with various businesses in the industry. They also offer software solutions, develop applications, and provide technical support.
- Forward Slope, Inc.: Forward Slope, Inc. is a technology services company providing in-depth business solutions. Focusing on defense technologies, enterprise technologies, and professional services, the company boasts numerous awards and certifications in information technology service management and software engineering.
How Much do Computer Scientists Make in Hawaii?
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Computer Science Programs in Hawaii
Prospective students can choose from a variety of schools and computer science programs in Hawaii. For example, Brigham Young University, Hawaii offers a bachelor's in computer science program and a bachelor's in computer and information science program. Students can also minor in one of several specialized computer science areas like information systems, information technology, digital security, web development, web design, or business systems. Hawaii Pacific University's on-campus computer science program teaches students to solve complex issues by applying fundamental computer systems principles. The program features small class sizes that foster an intimate learning environment.
The University of Hawaii maintains several campuses throughout the state. At the university's Manoa campus, undergraduate and graduates alike can become workforce-ready through the security science program, exploring information security and cybersecurity. The University of Hawaii at Hilo's undergraduate computer science program includes courses in calculus, data structures, software engineering, computing theory, and database systems design. Graduates find employment at major companies throughout Hawaii and the mainland U.S.
Types of Computer Science Degrees
Students can pursue online computer science degrees in Hawaii at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. levels. Advanced degrees typically present graduates with more career opportunities, many of which offer increased responsibility and higher salaries. However, every degree requires a considerable time and financial investment. The following section provides an overview of several computer science degrees, what each credential entails, and the employment opportunities available to graduates.
Associate-level online computer science programs in Hawaii present the knowledge and skills students need to secure entry-level IT positions. Candidates survey introductory programming concepts, computer languages, and design principles in classes such as introduction to information systems, computer science I, II, and III, and introduction to programming. Many students who earn an associate in computer science go on to pursue bachelor's degrees in the field, seeking high-level or leadership positions and increased earning power. However, some computer science professionals gain career advancement opportunities through on-the-job experience.
An associate in computer science also provides a fast, affordable way to enter the information technology industry. Most full-time computer science associate programs take two years to complete, although some institutions offer accelerated options for students who want to finish their studies quickly. Part-time learners typically take 3-4 years to graduate.
Computer science bachelor's programs explore computational theories, programming, data structures, computer system architecture, and algorithms. Bachelor's-level curricula typically include courses like computer science I and II, database management systems, and object oriented design. Many programs also address core math subjects like calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra. While bachelor's degree candidates study the same fundamental concepts as students in associate programs, a bachelor's curriculum takes a deeper look at computing issues, providing a more nuanced understanding of major computer science topics. Most full-time students graduate in four years.
After earning a bachelor's in computer science, graduates qualify for many lucrative positions. They work as computer scientists, software developers, programmers, information security analysts, and network architects. Individuals who pursue graduate-level study can increase compensation and job opportunities, particularly managerial roles. Accruing on-the-job experience and continuing education credits can also help computer science professionals advance in the workforce.
Students seeking a master's in computer science can choose from many online computer science programs in Hawaii. Combining theoretical and practical knowledge, computer science master's programs provide an in-depth look at established and emerging computing issues. Coursework introduces advanced concepts like applied machine learning, cryptography, natural language processing, and virtual and augmented reality. Many master's programs also allow students to specialize in subfields such as computer networks, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.
Most master's programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. Some also expect candidates to demonstrate fundamental computer science competencies, hold professional experience, and complete prerequisite courses. Most full-time master's in computer science programs take about two years to complete. Graduates find jobs in a variety of settings, working as software and hardware engineers, data analysts, network administrators, and programmers.
Most students who earn a Ph.D. in computer science from online computer science programs in Hawaii plan to teach at the postsecondary level or pursue highly specialized, upper-level positions. Graduates work as professors at colleges and universities, computer and information research scientists, hardware and software engineers, and information technology managers. Typically, Ph.D. candidates must hold extensive professional experience and a bachelor's or master's degree in computer science.
Exploring topics in human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data mining, Ph.D. programs usually emphasize original research. Learners often build expertise in one computer science subfield and complete a dissertation on their focus area. Many computer science Ph.D. programs take an interdisciplinary approach to the field and feature specializations like biochemistry or nanotechnology. On average, Ph.D. in computer science programs take 4-5 years to complete.
Professional Computer Science Organizations in Hawaii
Professional computer science organizations in Hawaii feature many benefits for students and established professionals alike. Events, luncheons, and networking socials facilitate friendships, professional connections, and promote industry knowledge.
- American Council of Engineering Companies of Hawaii: A state affiliate of the American Council of Engineering Companies, ACECH represents 66 member companies. Along with educational opportunities like trainings, workshops, and networking conferences, the organization hosts an annual engineering talent competition.
- Hawaii Information Communications and Technology Association: HICTA's mission is to provide communications and technology professionals in Hawaii with resources and information. Benefits include professional development, networking, and information exchange opportunities. Members receive discounted admission to HICTA conferences, workshops, and industry events. The association also sponsors special networking and informational events for student members.
- Association of Information Technology Professionals Honolulu Chapter: AITP helps information technology professionals launch and advance their careers. Members receive access to career and leadership development resources, networking events, on-demand training, research publications, and discounts. Students can join AITP for free, and may apply for one of seven special awards.
What Schools Offer a Computer Science Degree in Hawaii?
Hawaii is home to multiple computer science colleges, many of which offer small class sizes to facilitate student-faculty collaboration. The following list of accredited schools presents several options for students who wish to pursue a computer science degree in Hawaii.
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