Computer science programs prepare students to use and understand algorithms in order to manipulate and communicate digital information. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for computer and mathematical occupations in Louisiana is $63,000. Louisiana employs computer science graduates for positions such as computer and information research scientist, computer network architect, computer programmer, computer systems analyst, and information security analyst.
Computer science is rapidly expanding across the nation. The job outlook is predicted to grow by 19% for computer and information research scientists and 24% for software developers within the next decade, which is a much faster than the national average growth rate.
Job outlook in the computer science field is predicted to grow by 19% for computer and information research scientists and 24% for software developers within the next decade.
Higher Education in Louisiana
Higher education opportunities in Louisiana include 33 public colleges and universities. The three largest university systems in the state are the Louisiana State University system, the University of Louisiana system, and the Southern University system. Louisiana is also home to the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and the Community and Technical College System, which comprises 13 technical schools. Louisiana’s Board of Regents oversees all public schools in the state.
Louisiana’s private institutions include Tulane University, Loyola University New Orleans, and Dillard University. Many of the state’s schools offer online education. LouisianaOnline, maintained by the state’s Board of Regents, allows users to search online degree and certificate options from the state’s colleges, universities, and technical schools. The greatest concentration of schools are in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Computer Science Careers in Louisiana
Digital devices and software are essential for modern conveniences, and companies need computer science professionals to manage data usage and cybersecurity. The modern digital lifestyle drives demand for computer science professionals. The BLS projects a 19% increase in computer scientist jobs through 2026. Companies such as Motorola, IBM, and CGI are hiring computer science professionals in Louisiana, with the the greatest number of positions are in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans.
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Mean Salary for Computer Science Careers in Louisiana
COMPUTER SCIENCE EMPLOYERS IN LOUISIANA
- DXC Technology: This international company provides comprehensive IT services to more than 6,000 clients. It recently announced the opening of its Digital Transformation Center in New Orleans, which will initially require 300 IT professionals, including network operations specialists and system administrators.
- IBM Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is home to IBM’s Client Innovation Center, which employs nearly 400 people. The company plans to fill a variety of computer science jobs at this location, including positions for application developers and IT specialists.
- ComTec Information Systems: This IT solutions company employs approximately 340 people at its Kenner, Louisiana location. ComTec delivers IT solutions and services such as software and application development, infrastructure management, and consulting. The company hires data warehouse architects and IT analysts.
Computer Science Programs in Louisiana
Students pursuing an online computer science degree in Louisiana can choose from dozens of public, private, and technical colleges and universities in the state that offer traditional on-campus programs. Four-year on-campus computer science degree programs require core courses in mathematics and the sciences. Southern University’s BS in computer science, for example, has four available concentrations, including cybersecurity and mobile.
Students can also choose online options for some of the best computer schools in Louisiana, which is particularly beneficial for students who work full time or have family commitments. LouisianaOnline is a resource to help prospective students research online programs in the state. Also among the options for online bachelor’s degrees and certificate programs in computer science are hybrid programs, such as the associate of applied science in systems administration at Bossier Parish Community College. Others are available fully online, including the BS in computer information systems at Northwestern State University. These programs give students flexibility to complete coursework and use online resources such as tutoring and technical assistance.
Before enrolling, ensure your selected institution is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. A degree from a regionally accredited institution improves job opportunities and meets admissions requirements for graduate schools. In addition, computer science programs are often accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), which reviews technology, science, and engineering programs.
TYPES OF COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREES
Students in Louisiana can pursue an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate in computer science. These degrees essentially differ in the level of specialization within the field and depth of expertise. Most computer science professions do not require advanced degrees, and an associate or bachelor’s is enough to acquire employment in an entry-level position. However, master’s and doctorate degrees can open other avenues of employment, such as management or other higher level positions and teaching or research positions at the university level.
Pursuing an associate degree in computer science can prepare students for an entry-level position in the computing and information technology field. While some employers may require a bachelor’s degree, some companies hire workers with an associate degree and provide further specialized training on the job. Associate programs may be ideal for students who wish to complete a degree quickly and affordably in order to start working.
An associate degree in computer science generally requires 60-66 credits of coursework and takes two years to complete. These programs allow students to learn the basics of computer languages and programming. A few courses students may encounter in an associate computer science program include introduction to computer programming, introduction to operating systems, and database fundamentals. In addition, an associate degree will also require general education courses that often overlap with a four-year bachelor’s degree program and credits can usually be transferred should a student decide to pursue further education.
Bachelor’s in computer science programs prepare students for a variety of positions in computing and information technology, such as software developer, computer programmer, computer network architect, or computer systems analyst. These programs provide students with foundational proficiency in a number of computer languages, programs, and applications. Most jobs within the field do not require a higher degree than a bachelor’s degree unless the position is highly specialized or research oriented.
Bachelor’s degrees in computer science typically require 120 hours of coursework and take four years to complete for full-time students. Transfer students with general education credits from previous programs may be able to complete the degree in less time. Some programs allow students to choose a concentration within the major. For instance, the Louisiana State University computer science bachelor’s program offers four concentrations: software engineering, cloud computing and networking, data science and analytics, and an interdisciplinary track.
Pursuing a master’s degree in computer science prepares students for higher-level specialized or research positions within the computing and information technology field, such as computer and information research scientists, or a doctorate. Computer science master’s programs cover topics such as theory of computation, operating systems, computer networks, programming languages, algorithms, databases and analytics, and software development. They also allow students to specialize in a systems-related area or in specific programming languages.
Master’s degrees in computer science generally require 30-37 credits of coursework and take one to two years to complete. At Louisiana State University, core courses include algorithms, theory of computation, programming languages, operating systems, databases, and machine learning or data mining. In addition to coursework, students must complete a capstone, usually in the form of either a thesis, applied research project, or internship. Each program may have differing curriculum requirements regarding coursework and a capstone.
Pursuing a doctorate degree in computer science prepares students for higher-level industry positions or jobs as university professors. Doctorate programs challenge students to conduct their own independent research alongside their coursework, culminating in a dissertation. Computer science professionals with doctorate degrees often work in management-level positions in research labs, since their advanced technical knowledge uniquely qualifies them for this type of work and grants them an advantage over candidates without this training.
To gain admission into a doctorate program, students need to take the Graduate Record Examinations and have a completed bachelor’s or master’s degree in the same or related field. A doctorate in computer science generally requires 72-90 hours of coursework and takes four to five years to complete.
Professional Computer Science Organizations in Louisiana
Joining professional organizations benefits students and graduates of computer science programs in Louisiana. Regional chapters of national and international organizations are dedicated to enhancing the computer science field. Members receive access to the latest research and continuing education in evolving technological practices. Organizations also provide opportunities to network at conferences, meetings, and special events.
- Association for Computing Machinery: The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) provides publications, resources, conferences, and career resources for computing science professionals. The organization consists of more than 860 professional and student chapters worldwide. Local chapters in Louisiana, such as the student-run ACM chapter at Louisiana State University, grant members networking opportunities and access to the latest research in the field.
- IEEE Region 5: The IEEE hosts conferences, publishes articles, and provides educational and professional activities for those in the engineering, computing, and technology fields. Louisiana falls under IEEE Region 5, which has over 23,000 professional members and 3,600 student members. Each of these regions supports members and sections at a local level. Region 5 supports 26 sections and and over 90 student branches.
- American Society for Engineering Education Gulf-Southwest Section: The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing education in engineering and engineering technology. Members from the state of Louisiana fall under the oversight of the Gulf-Southwest section of the ASEE along with members from New Mexico and Texas. The section hosts an annual section conference, workshops, and awards for professional excellence.
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