The Buckeye State features a thriving job market for established computer science professionals and recent graduates. Job seekers find opportunities with computer hardware and software vendors, universites, hospitals, banks, government agencies, insurance firms, and other large organizations. The diverse selection of computer science careers in Ohio includes positions such as computer scientist, software engineer, web developer, Java developer, and technology solutions professional.
Prospective students choose from a variety of excellent online computer science programs in Ohio. The state’s low cost of living increases its appeal to students and recent graduates. As Ohio’s economy continues to evolve beyond manufacturing, IT companies increasingly find the state an attractive, low-cost place to do business.
There is a diverse selection of computer science careers in Ohio.
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Higher Education in Ohio
There are 386 public and private institutions of higher learning in the state of Ohio. Ohio’s public universities include state universities, regional campuses and branches, community colleges, technical colleges, and medical colleges. Among their most well-known public institutions are Ohio State University in Columbus, Miami University, and the University of Cincinnati. Ohio also has a number of reputable private universities and colleges. Most notable is Oberlin College, a private liberal arts college and one of the oldest coeducational liberal arts schools in the nation.
These institutions of higher learning offer both on-campus and online learning options.
Online education is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s higher education landscape. Ohio State University, for example, offers 18 fully online degree programs spanning from associate degrees to doctorates. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in computer science, it’s worth exploring online computer science schools in Ohio.
Computer Science Careers in Ohio
Nationally, the demand for computer science graduates is increasing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for information security analysts will increase by 28% from 2016 to 2026, roughly four times the average growth rate for all occupations. Other professions such as computer systems analysts and computer network architects are also expanding. These occupations often require a degree in computer science or a related field, which makes it a secure and profitable degree to have in the coming decade.
Computer science positions can also be found within other seemingly unrelated fields. In fact, many top-paying jobs for computer systems analysts fall outside of the technology industry. Computer professionals may work in finance and insurance, management, information services, and government. The state’s largest employers include national retailers, healthcare institutions, and educational institutions, all of which employ computer science and information technology professionals.
The following table features three careers open to computer science graduates and lists their mean salaries.
Mean Salary for Computer Science Careers by Degree
Computer Science Employers in Ohio
- Walmart, Inc.: Walmart is a multinational retail company based in Bentonville, Arkansas that operates hypermarkets, grocery stores, discount department stores and distribution centers all over the world. It is the world’s largest corporation by revenue as well as the world’s largest private employer. Walmart is the largest private employer in Ohio with 50,500 employees, including those in technology and software development jobs such as senior software engineers, program analysts, and site reliability operations engineers.
- Cleveland Clinic: Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit academic hospital located in Cleveland, Ohio. The medical center provides hospital care as well as research opportunities, education, and health information. Of Ohio’s private-sector employers, Cleveland Clinic is the second-largest, with 49,050 employees. Positions within the company related to computer science include web developer, programmer, information security engineer, and systems analyst.
- Kroger: Kroger is an American retail company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is the largest supermarket chain in the nation by revenue and one of the largest national retailers. It is also one of Ohio’s largest employers with 43,850 employees within the state. Computer science positions in the company include plant manufacturing roles, information technologist, and automation engineer.
How Much do Computer Scientists Make in Ohio?
Computer science professionals are generally well-paid and enjoy stable and lucrative careers. However, as with any profession, their salaries fluctuate depending factors such as geographic location, demand in the labor market, education level, experience in the field, and specific occupation or position within the company hierarchy. As illustrated in the table below, the average annual wage for computer and mathematical occupations in Ohio is roughly $8,000 less than that of computer and mathematical occupations in the United States. This may be due to differing computer science jobs available in Ohio.
It is also worth noting that the cost of living in many Ohio cities is relatively low compared to other cities in the United States. Many technology hubs such as Silicon Valley are notoriously expensive to live in. For example, the cost of living in Cleveland, Ohio is 44% lower than that of San Francisco, California. Therefore, computer science in Ohio can be a profitable profession and sustain a comfortable standard of living.
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Computer Science Programs in Ohio
There are several different types of computer science degrees in Ohio: associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate. The most commonly offered computer science degrees are the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree. A computer science bachelor’s degree provides students with foundational knowledge of databases, operation systems, programming languages, and software development. Program requirements typically include 99-126 hours of coursework culminating in a capstone course.
Computer science master’s degrees are shorter but provide students with more specialized and advanced knowledge. These programs usually require 30 credits of coursework and culminate in a thesis or project. Ohio State University’s computer science master’s program offers a research track (with a thesis) and a coursework track (without a thesis). In the coursework track, students are required to take a comprehensive examination covering three of the five core areas in the program.
Online computer science programs in Ohio typically require the same amount of coursework as their traditional on-campus counterparts. They often offer benefits like scheduling flexibility, self-paced courses, and geographic mobility. They may also be more time-efficient and affordable, depending on the school and program. For instance, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio offers winter courses that are only a month long and come at a discounted rate. Getting an online computer science degree in Ohio may be particularly beneficial for students with busy schedules or childcare duties.
Types of Computer Science Degrees
Prospective students looking to earn their online computer science degree in Ohio can find associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. programs. Generally, the more advanced degree a student earns, the better their job opportunities and salaries. Graduates of online computer science programs in Ohio pursue computer science and information technology careers like computer scientist, senior manager of information technology, consultant, computer engineer, computer science teacher, and data science practitioner.
Graduates of associate in computer science programs hold the basic computing skills and knowledge necessary to work in entry-level IT positions like support specialist and entry-level software developer. They take introductory classes that explore topics like computer programming languages, networking, and web design. Most full-time students take two years to complete an associate degree.
Many of those who earn an associate in computer science later pursue a bachelor’s to expand their job and compensation potential. Ideal learners for computer science associate programs include recent high school graduates, tech workers who want to broaden their employment opportunities, and individuals in unrelated fields who want to explore computing.
Students pursuing a bachelor’s in computer science choose from many online computer science programs in Ohio. The average program takes four full-time years to complete, although some distance education programs offer accelerated degree options. Ideal applicants include students with an associate in computer science, high school graduates interested in pursuing computing-related careers, and working professionals in IT and other fields who want to expand their job and salary prospects.
Bachelor’s in computer science programs explore advanced computing concepts and practices and offer courses in software design, mathematics, computer systems, algorithms, and data structures. Graduates can find lucrative computing-related job opportunities with potential to grow in nearly every industry. These include hardware and software development, customer support, quality assurance, documentating, sales and marketing, and training. Positions include software engineer, systems analyst, network administrator, and database administrator.
Master’s in computer science programs offer students advanced computing skills and knowledge in programming, design, and applications. Graduates find work as software engineers, computer research scientists, instructors, systems engineers, and information security managers. Master’s programs take a deeper approach to the concepts students begin learning in bachelor’s in computer science programs. They take operating systems, programming languages, and multimedia systems courses.
Ideal students for this degree include recent bachelor’s degree in computer science graduates and working computing professionals seeking to increase career opportunity and earning potential. Computer science master’s programs require significant computing knowledge and skills. Most student finish a master’s in computer science in two years.
Earning a Ph.D. in computer science prepares graduates for high-level, research-oriented careers in academia, industry, and research labs. Many doctorate in computer science graduates pursue college and university teaching jobs. Doctoral computer science programs give learners a high level of expertise in a specific subset of the field. In many programs, students choose an area of concentration such as cognitive systems, graphics and interactive media, or computer engineering.
A dissertation is typically a part of these programs’ graduation requirements. Students take courses like analysis of algorithms, computational biology, and numerical analysis and convex optimization.
The ideal student for these programs possesses a strong academic record, research experience, and advanced knowledge of computer science concepts and skills. Most full-time students earn their computer science Ph.D. in 4-5 years.
Professional Computer Science Organizations in Ohio
Professional organizations in computer science can help students find mentors, internships, and jobs in the field. They also help working professionals, researchers, and educators to publish research, network, and pursue opportunities in career development and continuing education. In addition, these organizations often feature great resources for underrepresented populations in technology and computer science fields.
- Association for Computing Machinery: The largest computing organization in the world, ACM advocates for the computing profession and represents more than 100,000 computing professionals, researchers, students, and educators. The organization offers professional development opportunities, networking, a job and career center, a digital library, and subscriptions to a magazine and newsletter.
- Computing Research Association: CRA represents computing research organizations in North America, including computer science departments, professional societies, and laboratories. The group advocates for computing education and works to foster innovation. In addition, CRA offers mentoring programs, professional development opportunities, policy work, and educational resources.
- Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics: SIAM advocates for innovation in applied mathematics and computational methodologies to solve real-world problems. The association fosters professional community, produces publications, and conducts research. SIAM also coordinates conferences, a job board, numerous publications, student resources, and research opportunities.
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