Computer science continues to thrive in the U.S., with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting double-digit employment growth in the field driven by myriad factors, including an increasing need for professionals in information security, cloud computing, and data analysis. A recent Payscale college salary report ranks computer science among the top 15 majors nationwide for salary potential and employment outlook.
Reports from the Nevada System of Higher Education on statewide projected employment for occupations in computer and information sciences indicate growth in nearly all occupations through 2024, with particularly strong growth for systems analysts, software developers, and web developers. Code.org reports a rate for open computing jobs in Nevada 3.3 times higher than the average demand rate for all occupations statewide. Ambitious students investigating computer science programs in Nevada with an eye toward finding suitable employment in the state can anticipate favorable hiring conditions, making an online computer science degree in Nevada a wise investment.
Code.org reports a rate for open computing jobs in Nevada 3.3 times higher than the average demand rate for all occupations statewide.
Higher Education in Nevada
With a total of eight public and five private nonprofit institutions of higher education in Nevada, options are limited, but well worth a closer look nonetheless. While the only public institutions offering four-year degrees in computer science in the state are the University of Nevada’s campuses in Reno and Las Vegas, both schools boast a strong academic reputation, and the department of computer science at the Las Vegas campus is growing quickly. Prospects of future employment in Reno’s booming and much-vaunted technology hub attract many computer science students to the region. With no state income tax and an affordable cost of living – especially by comparison with other technology hubs such as Silicon Valley – Nevada offers a host of benefits for value-minded learners interested in on-campus programs.
Students interested in pursuing an online computer science degree in Nevada can benefit from the increased options available through Nevada’s participation in student exchange programs and reciprocity agreements under the oversight of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), which improves accessibility and affordability of distance education across state lines. Eligible undergraduate and graduate students may receive tuition discounts or even pay in-state tuition for programs located out of state.
Computer Science Careers in Nevada
Computer science graduates across the U.S. continue to enjoy promising employment prospects, as rapid technological innovation fuels the proliferation of startup companies, attracts venture capital, and increases demand for employees with specialized skill sets. Software developers enjoy an especially rosy outlook, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a much faster than average 24% growth rate through 2024. Corresponding statewide reports for nearly all computer and information science occupations in Nevada project considerable growth for 2014-2024, particularly in Reno and Las Vegas.
While the Las Vegas tourist industry still grabs headlines, the city of Reno also boasts a thriving and increasingly prominent technology hub and startup scene. Attracted by the region’s affordable office space and the media attention surrounding its flourishing data centers, graduates of Nevada computer science schools and employers alike are flocking to Reno for opportunities. Other careers attracting graduates of computer science schools in Nevada include systems analysis, data science, and web development.
Median Salary for Computer Science Careers by Degree
Computer Science Employers in Nevada
- Apple: With recent expansions of its data center infrastructure in Reno Technology Park to support its growing operations in cloud computing — including a purchasing center and business office in downtown Reno — Apple is positioned for continued success in Nevada. Computer science graduates may apply for jobs as software engineers, systems analysts, and data scientists.
- Tesla: With a new factory located outside the city of Sparks, Tesla builds electric vehicles and renewable energy products. As the company’s battery production “gigafactory” draws increasing media attention, and as production ramps up, the facility will continue to employ computer science graduates for positions as software engineers, computer vision scientists, data analysts, and information security professionals.
- Switch: With its core campus operations based in Las Vegas and a data center ecosystem reputed to be the largest in the world, Switch provides colocation design, telecommunications, and cloud computing services. The company employs computer science graduates in roles as network operators and information security professionals.
How Much do Computer Scientists Make in Nevada?
In general, graduates of computer science colleges in Nevada earn sizable salaries. However, salaries vary based on factors such as industry, company size, experience, and location. For graduates who hold a computer science degree, Nevada reports an hourly mean wage and an annual mean salary slightly lower than the respective national averages according to data from the BLS, as demonstrated below. Regional salary variations occur due to local market conditions, such as cost of living and demand.
|Employment||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
Computer Science Programs in Nevada
Because Nevada offers relatively few on-campus programs in computer science, the majority of students enroll at the Reno or Las Vegas campuses of the University of Nevada. As a public research institution, the University of Nevada Reno is the oldest university in the state, with a highly respected department of computer science featuring cutting-edge projects. On-campus students often remark on the school’s beautiful large campus and affordability. The University of Nevada Las Vegas boasts a reputation for producing well-rounded graduates in computer science, and the campus houses many useful resources for computer science students, including the state’s chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, an academic honors and awards society for computer science, and the Nevada Center for Advanced Computational Methods.
Distance learners should take note that Nevada is a WICHE member state participating in a regional reciprocity agreement that promotes quality and affordability in distance education, meaning eligible online students can pay reduced or in-state tuition rates. For disciplined and self-motivated students interested in pursuing higher education while working, online study offers a host of benefits. In addition to the flexibility and convenience of online study, many jobs in computer science and technology offer opportunities to work remotely. Online study can provide experience to help determine whether you are suited for long-term remote work.
Regional accreditation for higher education institutions in Nevada is granted by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and field-specific accreditation for four-year programs in computer science is awarded by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
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 Nevada?
As you explore online computer science programs in Nevada, it’s important to investigate each school carefully to maximize your chances of finding a suitable match for your needs. The list provided below should be helpful in your search for the best computer science schools in Nevada. All schools included in this list are appropriately accredited.
schools that match your search
Professional Computer Science Organizations in Nevada
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM): ACM is the most widely known and authoritative organization for computer science, with a chapter at the University of Nevada Reno. Benefits for members include lifelong learning programs, special interest groups, and events.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Las Vegas Computer Society: With a chapter in Las Vegas, the IEEE Computer Society is dedicated to professional advancement and is open to residents of southern Nevada; membership is not required to attend meetings. Meetings also qualify as professional development for certification purposes.
- Upsilon Pi Epsilon: With a chapter at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Upsilon Pi Epsilon is an honor society dedicated to promoting academic disciplines in computing and information technology that awards scholarships and other merit awards.
Additional Computer Science Resources in Nevada
- Cybersecurity Center: Located at the University of Nevada Reno, this organization conducts interdisciplinary research and provides cybersecurity education to help build a skilled workforce. The Center has received grants from the National Science Foundation to support teaching, research, and outreach efforts to build community awareness about the importance of information security.
- Nevada Center for Advanced Computational Methods (NCACM): Founded in 1996 and located at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the NCACM is an interdisciplinary organization that develops nonlinear problem-solving algorithms. The Center provides resources for experts to interact with the goal of advancing computational methods for problem solving. Operations are focused on environmental issues, including renewable energy and nuclear fuel transmutation.
- Women Into Computer Science and Engineering (WiCSE): An organization at the University of Nevada Reno, WiCSE is dedicated to supporting women who are interested in computer science in Nevada, especially those considering careers in the field. WiCSE offers workshops to learn about programming and operating systems, mock technical interviews, a summer camp program, and conferences for members.
- National Supercomputing Institute (NSI): Located at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, NSI is a full service supercomputing facility offering high performance computing and high speed networking. NSI provides training to academic institutions, industry, and government to support research in healthcare, energy, medical informatics, and the environment. Research affiliates of the Institute include Intel and Switch.