Ohio’s technology industry is growing; the state added 5,000 technology jobs in 2016 and currently has the 15th highest employment rate in the technology sector. Ohio has the fifth highest employment of computer systems analysts in the nation, with 27,200 analysts currently working there. Technology accounts for $27.7 billion of Ohio’s robust economy. The state also has a considerable bioscience sector and is a hub for science and industry innovation.
Computer science professions are not necessarily all employed within technology-related industries. For instance, retailers and distribution companies often need information technology professionals, and Ohio is home to distribution centers for several national retailers. Due to the state’s high employment and hefty salary for tech industry workers, students interested in computers may benefit from attending one of the many computer science colleges in Ohio.
Technology accounts for $27.7 billion of Ohio’s robust economy.
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. According to NCES, 9.6% of students enrolled at Title IV institutions in Ohio are enrolled exclusively in online or distance education courses. In addition, 13.9% of students in Ohio are enrolled in some but not all distance education courses, which is roughly equal to the national average.
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 doctorate degrees. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in computer science, it is 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 median salaries by degree type.
Median 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. Computer science related positions within the company 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 the one of the largest national retailers, second to Walmart. It is also one of Ohio’s highest employers with 43,850 employees within the state. Computer science positions in the company include plant manufacturing 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 to 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 credit hours 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 require the same amount of coursework as their traditional on-campus counterparts. They often offer other 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 term 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 child care duties.
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 Ohio?
Finding the best online computer science school in Ohio for you can be a challenge. Degree programs and educational institutions vary in course requirements, course content, instruction format, student to faculty ratio, tuition cost, and resources available to students. Below is a list of computer science programs in Ohio and a brief description of each to help you evaluate which might be the best program for you.
schools that match your search
Professional Computer Science Organizations in Ohio
Professional organizations in computer science can help students find mentors, internships, or jobs in the field. They also help working professionals, researchers, and educators to publish research, network, and pursue career development and continuing education opportunities. In addition, these organizations often have great resources for underrepresented populations in technology and computer science fields.
- Association for Computing Machinery: ACM is an international organization that promotes the advancement of information technology as a science and profession. ACM is the world’s largest computing society and have members all over the globe. There are 24 active chapters in the state of Ohio.
- The Computing Research Association: CRA seeks to advance computing research and education through bridging the gap between academics, government, and industry. The organization is expanding opportunities for women and minorities in the field. CRA hosts a number of events each year, including a summit on technology and jobs as well as career mentoring workshops.
- Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics: SIAM is a professional organization dedicated to bolstering mathematics and other technological professions through annual conferences, publications, and other membership events. They have a fellows program that recognizes achievement within the technology and applied mathematics industries.
Additional Computer Science Resources in Ohio
- SIAM Job Board: The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics provides a job board with employment opportunities at corporations and academic institutions. The organization also features internship opportunities in industry and academia. SIAM’s career and jobs page includes job search advice and career information in applied mathematics.
- CRA Job Board: The Computing Research Association job board features research and academic employment opportunities in computer science and other technology fields. A few commonly featured positions include lecturer, assistant professor, data scientist, and postdoctoral researcher or fellow.
- GHC Scholarships Grants: The Anita Borg Foundation hosts an annual event called the Grace Hopper Celebration, the world’s largest gathering of women technology professionals. Every year, the foundation grants scholarships and awards so that undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members to attend at no cost.