Online Computer Science Programs in Michigan

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With Detroit long considered the hub of automobile manufacturing in the country, Michigan maintains a strong legacy for technology and innovation. Today, Michigan hosts 29 Fortune 500 companies across industries like auto manufacturing, finance, energy, and insurance.

Students who pursue online computer science degrees in Michigan can take advantage of growing career opportunities, network with potential employers, and learn about the state’s key industries.

By completing degrees in computer science at any level, graduates can benefit from diverse career options. Degree-holders can expect to find plenty of job opportunities in Michigan, particularly in software engineering, web development, computer programming, and IT management.

According to Projections Central, demand for software application developers in the state will grow by 12.2% from 2018-2028. Students who pursue online computer science degrees in Michigan can take advantage of growing career opportunities, network with potential employers, and learn about the state’s key industries.

Read on to learn more about computer science careers in Michigan.

Michigan at a Glance

  • Population: 9,992,427
  • Per Capita Income: $32,892
  • Number of Higher Learning Institutions: 46
  • % of Workforce in Tech: 8.8%
  • Economic Impact of Tech Industry: $37 billion
  • Climate: Average Annual Temperature: 44.4℉, Annual Precipitation: 32.8 inches
  • Major Sports Teams: Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings

Top Michigan Schools for Computer Science

  • Siena Heights University
  • Davenport University
  • Baker College
  • Michigan Technological University
  • University of Detroit Mercy
  • Calvin College
  • University of Michigan-Flint
  • Andrews University
  • Kettering University
  • Spring Arbor University

Why Go to College for Computer Science in Michigan?

In a 2018 report, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that 35,963 students attended four-year public institutions in 2012, with an overall graduation rate of 72.56%. A 2020 report from the Michigan Department of Education found that 2,467 students graduated with degrees in computer science in 2018. The report also cites over 15,000 open computing positions in this period.

Michigan’s cost-of-living index lands at 88.9 as compared to the national 100, securing a spot among the lowest-cost states in the country.

Students working on computer science programs in Michigan while living in the state can benefit from a low cost of living. Michigan’s cost-of-living index lands at 88.9 as compared to the national 100, securing a spot among the lowest-cost states in the country. Michigan residents who attend in-state programs at public universities can take advantage of reduced tuition rates.

Similarly, students pursuing online computer science degrees in Michigan often benefit from lower fees. Some schools allow nonresidents to study at in-state rates, while others charge a flat rate to all distance learners.

Education Statistics for Michigan

In Michigan, degree-seekers can choose from 68 four-year colleges and 30 two-year colleges. The percentage of tax revenue that the state allocates to higher education aligns closely with national data, with Michigan at 5.4% and the country at 5.6%.

Michigan ranks above national figures for adults who hold associate degrees: 9.4%, compared to the national 8.5%. The state lags slightly behind the national percentages for both bachelor’s and graduate degree-holders, however.

Higher Education in Michigan
Michigan Data National Data
Number of Four-Year Colleges 62 2,679
Number of Two-Year Colleges 30 1,303
Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education 27.5% 36.6%
Higher Education Appropriations per Full-Time Enrollment, 2020 $7,630 $8,636
Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education, 2018 5.4% 5.6%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree, 2019 9.4% 8.5%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor’s Degree, 2019 17.7% 19.8%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher, 2019 11.4% 12.4%
Sources: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, U.S. Census Bureau

Accreditation for Michigan Schools

Candidates should ensure that their prospective schools hold accreditation. Regional and national accreditation apply to an entire institution to ensure that the school upholds certain minimum standards.

Typically considered the more rigorous of the two accrediting types, regional accreditation garners greater attention from employers and other educational institutions. Students who wish to pursue further education, such as master’s or Ph.D. degrees, may find that many schools do not recognize degrees without regional accreditation.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) grants regional accreditation in Michigan and 18 other states. Their oversight runs west as far as New Mexico and extends to Oklahoma, the Dakotas, and West Virginia.

National accreditation usually applies to for-profit institutions, technical colleges, and some religious schools.

Individuals seeking online computer science degrees in Michigan may want to look for program-level accreditation from organizations like ABET’s Computing Accreditation Commission.

Considerations for a Computer Science Degree in Michigan

Location factors heavily in the college selection process and influences program cost. Some online computer science programs in Michigan may operate through hybrid delivery with occasional on-campus attendance.

The information below provides important data about education in Michigan to help degree-seekers identify their ideal path. The state offers ample options for associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Explore the links below for more information on each of these paths.



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Computer Science Concentration Options

When pursuing an online computer science degree in Michigan, students can align specialized coursework with the state’s leading career opportunities. The following information explores several concentrations that can lead to computer science careers in Michigan.

Computer Programming


This leading tech occupation in Michigan involves writing code for computers to function properly. Enrollees explore programming languages like C++ and Java, along with algorithms, operating systems, and database design.

Computer Systems


A computer systems concentration prepares students to develop and maintain an organization’s operating systems, networks, and security infrastructures. IT specialists make up the state’s second-largest computer science occupation.

Cybersecurity


In Michigan, cybersecurity systems analysts and engineers make up the third-largest category of tech jobs. This concentration teaches students to protect organizations and their data from cyberattacks by developing penetration testing and software management skills.

Explore More Computer Science Concentrations

Paying for Your Computer Science Degree

Prospective students can pursue several funding options. By filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, degree-seekers qualify for grants and low-interest federal loans. Learners can also seek out scholarships from professional organizations, local associations, and local government offices.

Follow the link below to explore more financial aid options.

Learn More About Financial Aid Options


In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

Public institutions often differentiate between in-state and out-of-state tuition rates. State residents pay lower tuition rates than individuals in other states. As of 2018-2019, the average in-state tuition for Michigan students was $12,888, while the average tuition for out-of-state students reached $35,844.

Students who live outside the state and enroll in an online computer science degree program in Michigan may pay out-of-state tuition rates. Some schools offer discounted tuition for distance education or allow enrollees to pay in-state rates regardless of their location. Online learning can provide a lower-cost option for pursuing education in another state.

Michigan does not participate in any regional reciprocity agreements.

Michigan’s Cost of Living

Michigan features a low cost of living compared to the rest of the country — an index of 88.9, as compared to the national index of 100. Low cost of living eases the financial burdens of attending a college program. In Michigan, residents can particularly benefit from low housing and grocery costs.

With these everyday necessities costing well below the national averages, Michigan students can direct more resources to their studies.

Selecting Your Computer Science Program

Degree-seekers need to consider several factors before applying. Aside from location and cost, prospective students might want to think about whether they prefer a large school or a smaller, more intimate setting. They might also inquire about career services, faculty qualifications, school prestige, and program diversity.

Explore Our Rankings for the Best Computer Science Programs

Careers for Computer Science Graduates in Michigan

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 11% growth rate for computer-related occupations from 2019-2029 nationally — outpacing the national average for all occupations. CompTIA ranks Michigan 11th in the country for net tech employment.

In Michigan, computer science graduates can find employment in the state’s top industries, which include professional and business services, health and education, transportation and utilities, trade, and manufacturing. U.S. News & World Report ranks the state fifth in the nation for opportunity, citing affordability as a major contributing factor.

Computer science graduates in Michigan can expect to find many of the state’s largest employers in and around Detroit, though major companies also keep headquarters in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Ann Arbor.

The following sections explore popular computer science careers in Michigan, including salary data, employment projections, and the state’s top employers.

Select Computer Science Careers in Michigan

  • Web Developer

    Web developers build websites for their employers and clients, collaborating with management to meet the organization’s goals. They code for backend functionality and craft site aesthetics. These professionals also develop accompanying applications, run updates, and track visitor traffic.

    Average Salary for Web Developers in MI: $69,080 | Job Outlook in MI: +2% (2018-28)

  • Software Developer

    Software developers plan computer programs and work with programmers to make them a reality. They collaborate with managers and clients to determine an organization’s needs, then monitor software functionality to ensure proper functionality.

    Average Salary for Software Developers in MI: $92,580 | Job Outlook in MI: +12.2% (2018-28)

  • Computer and Information Systems Manager

    Often referred to as IT managers, computer and information systems managers handle companies’ technology requirements. They collaborate closely with executives and research software and equipment to meet their objectives. They may oversee staff, manage vendors, and handle budgets.

    Average Salary for Computer and Information Systems Managers in MI: $134,750 | Job Outlook in MI: +1.9% (2018-28)

Computer Science Employers in Michigan

Ford Motor Company


Long known as a center for automobile manufacturing, Detroit traces the roots of that reputation to the Ford Motor Company’s start in 1903. Today, the Fortune 500 company keeps its headquarters in Michigan, where it still ranks among the state’s largest employers. As technology evolves, companies like Ford rely on computer scientists to develop new tools.



Google


In 2017, Google opened a new office in Ann Arbor, with plans to expand into Detroit. The tech giant employs software engineers, researchers, and product developers in these locations, with a particular emphasis on their self-driving car projects. Google’s expansion could offer a boon for computer science graduates in the state, along with students looking for prestigious internships.


Stryker


Headquartered in Kalamazoo, Stryker specializes in medical technology. They build medical devices, surgical technology, and trauma implant systems. Computer science graduates in Michigan can pursue employment as systems administrators, technical developers, and technical support specialists. Forbes lists the company among the best for diversity, employing women, and hiring new grads.

Projected Job Growth for Computer Programmers, Computer and Information Systems Managers, Web Developers, and Software Developers

Michigan Employment Trends
State National
Computer Programmers
2018 Employment 4,400 250,300
2028 Projected Employment 3,710 232,300
Projected Job Growth, 2018-28 -15.7% -7.2%
Computer and Information Systems Managers
2018 Employment 9,680 414,400
2028 Projected Employment 9,860 461,100
Projected Job Growth, 2018-28 +1.9% +11.3%
Web Developers
2018 Employment 3,490 160,500
2028 Projected Employment 3,560 181,400
Projected Job Growth, 2018-28 +2% +13%
Software Developers, Applications
2018 Employment 30,140 944,200
2028 Projected Employment 33,830 1,185,700
Projected Job Growth, 2018-2028 +12.2% +25.6%
Source: Projections Central


Growth in computer science careers in Michigan lags behind the national average, but demand continues to rise in many areas. When considering that the national averages pull in data from heavy-hitting tech hubs like California and New York, Michigan’s numbers show promise for young professionals. Salaries run lower in Michigan than national mean wages, but the state’s low cost-of-living index helps close that gap.

Prospective students hoping to remain in the state after graduation can pursue software development on the application side, where Projections Central projects a 12.2% growth rate from 2018-2028. Computer and information systems managers earn among the higher computer-related salaries in Michigan, followed by information security analysts, computer systems analysts, and software developers.

Curious About Other Computer Science Jobs? Explore More Here.


Resources


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is computer science a good major in Michigan?

    With 29 Fortune 500 companies and a presence from tech giants like Google and Amazon, Michigan offers ample career opportunities for computer science graduates. The state hosts a diverse set of industries, such as transportation and utilities, professional and business services, health and education, and manufacturing.

  • What is the best field in computer science in Michigan?

    Individuals seeking computer science degrees in Michigan can pair their concentrations with the state’s occupational demand. Popular specializations in Michigan include computer programming, computer systems, and cybersecurity.

  • What computer science jobs are there in Michigan?

    In Michigan, job growth continues to rise for software developers, web developers, and IT managers. The highest earning titles include IT managers, security analysts, systems analysts, and software developers.

  • Does Michigan have online computer science programs?

    Yes. Prospective students looking for online programs can find many options in both public and private institutions. The state’s online programs offer robust concentration options and strong career services.


Professional Computer Science Organizations in Michigan

  • CompTIA

    CompTIA provides professional credentials in cybersecurity, infrastructure, and other industry essentials. The association also invites IT professionals and students to join. In Michigan, learners can participate in local student chapters.

  • Association of Software Professionals

    ASP offers discussion groups for networking with other professionals. Their resources, including a monthly newsletter, focus on the business aspects of app development, allowing developers to build in-demand programs and market them accordingly.

  • Association for Computing Machinery

    ACM welcomes computer science members working in education, research, and technical professions. They link members with information technology and programming language interest groups. The organization sponsors several local chapters in Michigan.

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

    IEEE strives to improve society through technology as a global-minded organization. Members benefit from online networking, discussion groups, and events. Professional and student memberships offer access to local chapters in Michigan.

Featured Image: Getty Images

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