As our world becomes progressively more digitized, the need for computer professionals will continue to grow in every state, including New Mexico. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job opportunities for computer and information technology professionals will grow 13% by 2026, faster than the national average for all occupations. Many of these occupations, including web designer, are growing faster in New Mexico than in the rest of the U.S.
Computer science schools in New Mexico offer competitive and affordable options to students seeking a degree in the American southwest. The state’s university system provides both on-campus and online degree options for undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D programs. New Mexico may not be considered a technological hub, but the need for skilled, educated professionals will continue to grow as technology advances. In the following guide, degree seekers can learn about educational and career opportunities in computer science and how computer science in New Mexico is growing.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job opportunities for computer and information technology professionals will grow 13% by 2026, faster than the national average for all occupations.
Higher Education in New Mexico
The majority of computer science programs are found within the state’s robust network of public universities. Widely considered the chief science and technology college in the state, the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology (New Mexico Tech) delivers a STEM-focused education closely resembling the nation’s top polytechnic institutes. Some of the best computer science schools in New Mexico are the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque and New Mexico State University.
New Mexico computer science schools offer relatively affordable, competitive options for higher education. The relatively low cost of living coupled with the unique art and culture in the state makes New Mexico an attractive choice for those weighing their educational options.
Computer Science Careers in New Mexico
Job opportunities in the computer science field are ample, both nationally and in New Mexico. As the need for more educated computer professionals increases on a national level, there is little doubt that positions will also increase in New Mexico. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for web designers will grow 13% by 2026 nationally, while jobs for web designers in New Mexico will grow 23%. Similarly, jobs for computer systems analysts will grow 9% nationally, but will grow 17% in New Mexico.
As the largest city in New Mexico, job seekers should certainly consider Albuquerque as a possible location for securing a job. However, smaller urban centers like Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, and Santa Fe should not be overlooked.
Median Salary for Computer Science Careers by Degree
Computer Science Employers in New Mexico
- University of New Mexico at Albuquerque: As the flagship university in New Mexico, UNM is the state’s largest employer with more than 12,000 workers. From professors teaching computers science to IT professionals, there there are many opportunities for those with a computer science background. Faculty and staff positions are consistently available.
- Los Alamos National Laboratory: One of the top scientific labs in the country, Los Alamos’ mission is to foster national security through science. The laboratory currently employs 11,000 New Mexicans. Computer scientists are invaluable to this operation, providing everything from IT help to cyber security innovations.
- Sandia National Laboratories: Similar to Los Alamos, Sandia aims to unearth scientific and technological advances to enhance the United States’ national security. Most of their 10,000 employees are based in Albuquerque. This laboratory offers considerable career opportunities for those with a computer science background.
How Much do Computer Scientists Make in New Mexico?
Salaries for computer sciences can vary greatly due to factors such as location, population, and demographics. Compared to tech hubs like San Francisco and New York, New Mexico is significantly smaller in population and has a lower cost of living. Roles for computer science professionals will only continue to grow in New Mexico in the upcoming years.
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Computer Science Programs in New Mexico
Computer science programs are readily available for students in New Mexico. Most opportunities are traditional on-campus experiences. New Mexico State University and University of New Mexico are both well-regarded options for degree seekers interested in a computer science degree from New Mexico. An added benefit to the larger state schools is the large variety of coursework available. Because more students attend, more classes are available than at smaller private schools.
Even though on-campus degrees are more common, there are also some online computer science programs in New Mexico. Eastern New Mexico University offers a comprehensive computer science program that allows student to complete all coursework online. With an experienced staff and a dedication to student-to-professor access, this degree was created with the long-distance learner in mind. With numerous tutoring options, students have all the tools necessary to successfully complete their degree. The school awarded $22 million in financial assistance just last year.
Students seeking additional online learning opportunities should research the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, a 16-state body devoted to expanding higher education opportunities for individuals living in western states. Online learning is a popular option due to the fact that it is often cheaper than campus-based programs. Online programs also offer more flexibility.
Before committing to an online computer science program in New Mexico, potential students should ensure their school of choice has received the proper accreditation. Students should attend a school that has regional accreditation since it demonstrates that a school meets academic standards. Additionally, students should seek a school accredited by a programmatic accreditation body such as the Computing Accreditation Commission, a division of 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 New Mexico?
With large state schools, tech-focused institutions, and online programs, New Mexico offers a variety of competitive and inexpensive computer science degrees. Potential students can use the database below to learn more about computer science colleges in New Mexico. Rest assured knowing that every school on this list is properly accredited.
schools that match your search
Professional Computer Science Organizations in New Mexico
Professional organizations are a considerable asset for students seeking an online computer science degree in New Mexico. Whether you are a fresh graduate or a seasoned professional, the resources offered by these organizations can be extremely helpful. Benefits include networking opportunities, scholarships, and access to publications. These groups routinely offer continuing education programs and career training. Through conferences, job boards, and civic engagement, these organizations assist their members with professional advancement.
- American Indian Science and Engineering Society: This national nonprofit seeks to substantially increase the participation of North American native populations in science, technology, engineering, and math. With programs ranging from pre-college educational support to post-college career guidance, AISCES has provided more than $10 million in funding and scholarships since its inception in 1977.
- New Mexico Technology Council: This organization works diligently to expand and promote New Mexico’s technology business sector. With events and conferences throughout the year, NMTC engages tech professionals across the state. Civically and culturally minded, NMTC supports women and native populations within the tech world.
- IEEE Computer Society: IEEE’s Computer Society connects computer science students and professionals on a local and global level. As the world’s leading computer science focused membership group, the IEEE Computer Society is a globally trusted resource for networking, career opportunities, and myriad other benefits.
Additional Computer Science Resources in New Mexico
- New Mexico Techworks: A Santa Fe based nonprofit, New Mexico Techworks seeks to both expand tech-based educational programs while also bolstering New Mexico’s tech economy. Through community involvement programs providing access to computer science education, Techworks encourages the future of the New Mexican tech economy. Techworks also provides career assistance, refresher courses, and coding boot camps.
- TechHire New Mexico: Stemming from a 2015 initiative from the Obama administration, TechHire is a technology-focused job pipeline for professionals seeking employment in four New Mexico counties: Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance, and Valencia. This program provides accelerated technological training, job placement, career counseling, and apprenticeships alongside other vital tools. While geographically specific, this program can provide a considerable amount of assistance to computer science graduates.
- Computer Science Graduate School Organization: Founded in 2011 at New Mexico State University, the CSGSO provides a forum for graduate students to discuss departmental policies. The organization also provides opportunities for networking and general collegiality.
- Computer Hacking and Capture the Flag: This University of New Mexico student organization teaches members topics such as networking, website design, and digital forensics. These skills are implemented in the form of hacking competitions known as Capture the Flag. This real-time exhibition not only exercises skills learned, but provides a unique way for students to network and engage within their computer science community.