Enrolling in one of the top online computer science programs in Nebraska could serve as the beginning of an exciting future. The state recently earned distinction for the country’s third-fastest growth in tech-oriented jobs, boasting a 5% increase in computer science careers year-over-year. This growth includes opportunities at companies like Google, which plans to build a data center in Nebraska as one of its many multibillion-dollar investments around the U.S.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 13% growth in computer and information technology jobs between 2016 and 2026, and the Cornhusker State will contribute to this surge. Get in on the boom by earning an online computer science degree in Nebraska and advancing your career. The information below highlights occupations in the field, types of degrees you can pursue, and professional networks you can join — all important information to help inform your decision.
Nebraska recently earned distinction for the country’s third-fastest growth in tech-oriented jobs.
Higher Education in Nebraska
Students seeking a traditional on-campus education often gravitate toward Nebraska’s vibrant quality of life, friendly people, and low unemployment rate. With a relatively low cost of living, Nebraska offers excellent value in its higher education pathways; this is particularly true for computer science graduates, since computer science careers in the state’s Silicon Prairie boast a higher earning potential than many other fields in Nebraska.
Distance learners interested in pursuing online computer science degrees in Nebraska should note that the state partakes in the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. This state-authorized reciprocity agreement ensures quality of distance education offerings in the Midwest through cooperative efforts promoting equality of opportunity, access to resources, and affordability. Benefits for students in Nebraska include reduced tuition rates for out-of-state residents through the Midwest Student Exchange Program.
Computer Science Careers in Nebraska
Computer science graduates, especially those in software development, enjoy excellent salary and hiring prospects in computer and information technology fields in the U.S. According to the BLS, software developers can expect the most dramatic job growth between 2016 and 2026 (24%) of all computer and information technology occupations nationwide. Reports reveal similar projections for Nebraska, specifically.
With a high concentration of booming tech startups, the Lincoln-Omaha area continues to attract investment capital and talent, earning its moniker as Nebraska’s Silicon Prairie. Other careers drawing computer science graduates to the state include software engineering, web development, systems analysis, programming research, and information security.
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Median Salary for Computer Science Careers by Degree
Computer Science Employers in Nebraska
- PenLink: Located in Lincoln, PenLink creates software tools that enable law enforcement and intelligence agencies to collect and analyze electronic mass surveillance data. Most U.S. law enforcement agencies use PenLink products. The company hires developers, data scientists, and project managers for full-time, part-time, and internship opportunities.
- Firespring: With offices in Lincoln and Omaha, Firespring provides IT, print, and creative services for businesses, including cloud computing, websites, and marketing tools. The company hires system administrators and network engineers, and is growing due to a merger of its cloud-based and IT services with Bluestem Fiber, a provider of gigabit broadband internet.
- Agilx: Located in Lincoln, this intelligent software design and development agency operates using agile development methodologies. Services from Agilx include native mobile application development, e-commerce, front-end web development, and data transformation services. The company’s growth offers employment opportunities for software developers, software engineers, and students seeking paid internships.
How Much do Computer Scientists Make in Nebraska?
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Computer Science Programs in Nebraska
On-campus computer science programs in Nebraska are few but highly regarded, and they maintain strong connections to well-established employers in the industry.
The University of Nebraska’s respected Lincoln campus, for example, offers outstanding high school scholars the chance to apply for spots in the prestigious and highly competitive Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management. This interdisciplinary residential program synthesizes business and technical skills and accepts approximately 30 students annually. The school provides learners with a head start on their careers through scholarships, internships, and networking opportunities; students often praise the school’s strong connections with Microsoft.
Online computer science programs in Nebraska also offer attractive options, as the state has become a leader in online education in the Midwest. The University of Nebraska’s online worldwide program, launched as a collaborative initiative among four campuses, provides digital access to an expanded range of courses, including many in computer science. The Omaha campus offers a variety of concentrations, such as networking, mainframe computing, software development, and data engineering.
Distance learners should also note that the state participates in reciprocity agreements through the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, meaning eligible students may pay reduced tuition rates at out-of-state schools.
For Nebraska institutions of higher education, the Higher Learning Commission provides regional accreditation. For computer science programs, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology provides field-specific accreditation.
Whether learning on campus or online, earning a degree in computer science provides Nebraska students with a strong foundation in computer science theory and practice.
Types of Computer Science Degrees
Online computer science programs in Nebraska offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The path that’s right for you depends on your educational and occupational goals. An associate degree equips graduates for entry-level positions, while bachelor’s and master’s programs prepare students for midmanagement and senior-level roles. The degree you earn will affect your occupation options and earning potential, so review the following to learn more.
An associate degree in computer science equips you with the fundamentals of computer programming and maintenance. Computer science program details will vary by school, but most programs offer the same kinds of classes. Coursework covers topics like operating systems, cybersecurity, database basics, and computer networks. Typically, students enjoy the opportunity to apply their knowledge in internships and labs offering practical experience with skills like software development.
Full-time students typically graduate in two years, while part-time learners may take longer. Associate computer science programs generally comprise 60-66 credits.
Students with associate degrees in computer science understand basics of the field and qualify for an array of entry-level careers. They can readily apply their knowledge in the workforce to address organizations’ technology needs. These graduates may also apply their associate degree credits toward a bachelor’s degree and complete those studies at an accelerated pace.
Bachelor’s degrees in computer science equip students with the skills to develop computer applications and support organizations’ needs. Programs may lead to a bachelor of science (BS) in computer science, a BS in information technology, or a BS in computer applications, all of which offer similar curricula. BS in computer science programs typically comprise 120-180 credits, including classes in software engineering, data structures, and computer architecture. Most also offer concentrations in areas like robotics, data mining, and graphics, games, and animation.
This degree appeals to students interested in project management, data analysis, and risk mitigation as they prepare for jobs as network administrators and computer system analysts. Learners usually complete their degrees in 3-5 years, depending on whether they enroll part or full time. They may complete their degrees more quickly by transferring prior college credits. Bachelor’s graduates can go on to pursue a master’s degree to further advance their skills.
Advance your education with a master’s degree in computer science, which leverages your bachelor’s degree studies. These degrees especially appeal to computer engineers and computer science professionals with 3-5 years of experience. Master’s students typically enroll part time while continuing to work, which allows them to apply their degree knowledge in real-world settings. Part-time students generally complete their master’s degrees in 3-5 years; full-time learners may take 1-2 years.
An online master’s in computer science requires 30-45 credits. Graduates qualify to advance in occupations like information technology, security management, and research. Classes examine topics such as software development and computer operating systems, while concentrations involve in-depth coursework in subjects like data analytics and mobile and internet computing.
Credits earned in your bachelor’s degree might satisfy some master’s requirements. You might also choose to wed this degree with another, like an MBA or a master’s in actuarial science, administrative studies, or journalism.
A Ph.D. in computer science qualifies graduates to teach at the university level or work in senior positions for for-profit or nonprofit organizations. This doctoral degree takes 3-5 years to complete, comprising 72-90 credits. The pace at which you finish your studies depends on whether you enroll part time or full time and how long you require for your dissertation.
Ph.D. classes generally include lessons in revolutionary molecules, chemistry, and nuclear magnet resonance. Doctoral students can concentrate in areas like forensic science if they wish to work as forensic scientists, crime investigators, or data analysts. Other concentrations include nanotechnology for careers in systems engineering and biochemistry for careers as lab scientists.
Ph.D. in computer science program admissions typically require scores from the GRE and other qualification exams in addition to an application. They may also call for letters of recommendation.
Professional Computer Science Organizations in Nebraska
Professional networking and continuing education opportunities prove vital for career-oriented students and recent graduates of computer science schools in Nebraska. Professional computer science organizations offer a variety of membership and career development benefits, including scholarships, technical events, professional training programs, job postings, award programs, discounts on conference attendance, and access to scholarly journals and magazines. Below, you’ll find three respected national computer science organizations with active chapters in Nebraska.
- Association for Computing Machinery: An online computer science program in Nebraska prepares you to network with some 100,000 computing educators, researchers, and professionals who hold membership with ACM. The organization provides learning opportunities so these experts can solve challenges in the field. The largest computing society in the world, ACM engages members through local chapters, special interest groups, and volunteer activities.
- Computing Research Association: More than 200 leading North American organizations in computing research hold CRA membership. These include government and industry labs, university departments, and professional associations. CRA offers programs like Women in Computing Research and hosts various workshops and conventions.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: This organization engages more than 60,000 researchers, IT professionals, software engineers, and students. The preeminent association for computer science and technology, IEEE delivers over 200 technical events and conferences each year. This network also publishes various magazines and journals, and its affiliation with major companies affords members access to rigorous professional development opportunities.
Looking to pursue a doctorate in computer science? Explore our 2021 ranking of computer science doctoral programs to find the best fit for you.
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