The technology job market looks promising for students interested in pursuing an online computer science degree in Maine. The number of jobs in computer-related occupations increases at the same rate as technological developments, and areas like cloud computing, data security, and large-scale data storage continue to drive major growth in Maine’s tech industry.
Companies once located exclusively in Silicon Valley now find homes in places like Maine. As the demand for workers with relevant degrees grows, the importance of receiving a good education increases alongside. The number of quality computer science programs in Maine is keeping pace with the state’s technology sector.
Companies once located exclusively in Silicon Valley now find homes in places like Maine.
Higher Education in Maine
Maine’s many colleges and universities provide students with a variety of opportunities to earn a computer science degree. The state’s largest university system is the University of Maine (UMaine), which has its flagship campus in Orono and branches located in Augusta, Farmington, Fort Kent, Machias, and Presque Isle. The University of Southern Maine boasts the second-highest enrollment among Maine’s universities. These two schools offer both bachelor’s and master’s level computer science programs.
Project>Login, a program supported by Educate Maine, encourages people to pursue education that will lead to careers in computers and information technology (IT). The in-state tuition rates for students in Maine makes studying computer science especially attractive to residents of the state. This benefit applies to both in-person and online programs at public universities. Online students can also subtract transportation costs and room and board. Additionally, students attending colleges close to home can leverage professional networking connections upon graduation.
Computer Science Careers in Maine
Graduates of computer science programs in Maine choose from among several career opportunities. Common careers for computer science majors include software or web developer, database or network systems administrator, computer programmer, software or systems engineer, and software QA tester. Nationwide employment for computer and information technology jobs grew by 2% between 2016 and 2017 and is expected to grow by 13% over the next decade.
Likewise, Maine has seen an influx of investment in startup companies, particularly in the Portland area. Startup tech companies employ graduates in computer science-related fields and increase the demand for workers with the educational background needed to fill those positions. Below is a list of careers and their corresponding salaries in fields related to computer science.
Median Salary for Computer Science Careers by Degree
Computer Science Employers in Maine
- MaineHealth: The state’s largest employer, MaineHealth consists of clinics and hospitals located throughout the state. Each of these facilities requires trained IT personnel to maintain their computer systems, manage hardware and software, preserve electronic medical records, and handle cyber security, among other computer science tasks.
- University of Maine: The University of Maine is another large employer with locations throughout the state. In addition to academic jobs related to the university’s computer science department, capable workers maintain the school’s computer network, manage student records and other digital information, and oversee security.
- L.L. Bean: Headquartered in Freeport, Maine, L.L. Bean produces clothing and recreational equipment. While the company has retail stores in 20 states, the majority of its sales occur online. Trained workers maintain its e-commerce platform and keep its order fulfillment functions running.
How Much do Computer Scientists Make in Maine?
Maine’s small population, average cost of living, and below average housing costs make it an attractive option to computer scientists hoping to find work in a rural location. The mean annual salary for many occupations in Maine, including computer science-related jobs, is lower than the national average. However, many residents are attracted to the quality of life offered by the state, which has clean air due to its distance from most large cities.
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Computer Science Programs in Maine
Maine’s colleges and universities offer promising on-campus degree programs. For example, the University of Maine offers a choice between a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts in computer science, as well as master’s and doctoral programs in the field. Undergraduate programs generally cover computer programming, network architecture and organization, software engineering, cyber security, ethics, and more–including laboratories and a capstone. Available through the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), students may be eligible for tuition discounts for computer engineering technology programs offered by certain schools in Connecticut and Vermont.
Online programs allow greater flexibility in scheduling for students with full-time schedules and family commitments. Currently, there are no colleges offering online computer science programs in Maine. However, a few schools have related degree programs, such as cybersecurity or computer information systems.
As you research the best computer science schools in Maine, always ensure that the program is accredited. Accreditation confirms that a school’s academic credentials meet or exceed established standards, which is crucial for potential employers who need to be sure you are qualified. Regional accreditation is issued by a specific region in the country and is the most prestigious type of accreditation. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges serves colleges and universities in Maine. Other accrediting agencies are program or field-specific. The Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) reviews computer science programs throughout the country, so look for this accreditation when you research computer science colleges in Maine.
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 – 1-2 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 Maine?
Below, students will find a list of schools with computer science programs in Maine. Each of the programs listed here is accredited, so students can rest assured knowing that they will receive a quality education.
schools that match your search
Professional Computer Science Organizations in Maine
Computer science-related organizations offer helpful resources to students and graduates. Most organizations provide educational publications and conferences so that members can stay current on the latest information. These organizations also create networking opportunities both online and in person through local mediums. They offer special memberships to students and job boards for employment seekers. Below is a list of some of these organizations.
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM): With more than 100,000 members worldwide, AMC is the nation’s largest computer science professional organization. AMC provides educational content to its members–including workshops, conferences, and papers–and offers networking opportunities and a job board.
- Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society: This offshoot of the IEEE has more than 60,000 members worldwide, including academics, researchers, software engineers, IT professionals, and students. The society sponsors conferences and events and publishes a variety of journals and magazines for its members. A job board is available, and local networking opportunities can be found through the society’s website.
- USENIX, the Advanced Computing Systems Association: USENIX is an organization for system administrators, engineers, and other computing professionals who seek to share the latest research, keep the community’s knowledge current, and provide a discussion forum regarding the latest technology issues. USENIX also provides a job board and ample networking opportunities to its members.
Additional Computer Science Resources in Maine
- USENIX Proceedings and Papers: USENIX presents papers and offers free educational material to computer science students and professionals. This valuable resource helps you keep up-to-date with the latest innovations and thinking in the industry.
- IEEE Computer Society Digital Library: Members of the IEEE Computer Society can access the organization’s digital library–though some of content is restricted to members. This content includes articles from the IEEE’s magazines and journals and features peer-reviewed research, updates on new technology, and other articles.
- TechMaine: TechMaine is an open, online platform where members of Maine’s technology community can share information about events, activities, news, and other resources. Resources include a job board, online educational courses, event listings, an industry directory for technology professionals and companies in Maine, and more.
- Project>Login: Project>Login focuses on both connecting qualified professionals with tech jobs in Maine and creating professionals through education. The site includes educational resources, information about internships, and other items of interest to students, educators, and employers.