Professionals who hold online computer science degrees in Oklahoma enjoy a variety of exciting career options across the state. Graduates find employment with many of Oklahoma’s top employers, including notable Fortune 500 companies like Apple, UnitedHealth Group, AT&T, and Verizon. These companies hire candidates with computer science degrees to conduct research, develop or improve existing computer networks and databases, maintain digital security, and manage websites.
Oklahoma computer science experts also have a positive job outlook; CareerOneStop projects 16% job growth for computer science careers in Oklahoma through 2026.
The state is home to many distinguished colleges and universities, and prospective students can choose from a plethora of programs and concentrations. Learners can specialize in graphics and animation, data mining, robotics, or security architecture while gaining a versatile skill set. Computer science professionals in Oklahoma work as computer hardware engineers, network architects, web designers, database administrators, and software developers.
CareerOneStop projects 16% job growth for computer science careers in Oklahoma through 2026
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Higher Education in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is home to 158 institutions of higher learning. Some of the largest and most well-known public universities include the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Central Oklahoma. Notable private institutions include the University of Tulsa, Oral Roberts University, Oklahoma City University, and Oklahoma Christian University.
Online programs and courses offer flexible scheduling, making them ideal for students with professional, personal, and family responsibilities. The University of Oklahoma, for example, offers both self-paced and traditional, term-based course schedules. Online term-based courses follow the university academic calendar, but require candidates to take a proctored exam on campus.
Self-paced courses are 180 days long and allow students to enroll at any time during the year. If you wish to pursue a computer science degree but require flexibility, online computer science programs in Oklahoma may provide a convenient path to higher education.
Computer Science Careers in Oklahoma
Computer and technology occupations are experiencing strong growth across the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for information security analysts are projected to grow 28% in the next decade, while software developer positions should expand by 24%. Both positions usually require at least a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Contrasted with the 7% national average for all occupations combined, these figures demonstrate a stable, lucrative market for computer science professionals.
Many computer science experts work in fields outside of information technology. For example, in 2016 nearly 20% of information security analysts were employed in the finance and insurance industry, and around 20% of software developers worked in manufacturing. Despite Oklahoma’s reputation as an agricultural state, candidates can find a variety of computer science career opportunities, both in and out of the computer and technology industry.
Mean Salary for Computer Science Careers by Degree
Computer Science Employers in Oklahoma
- Dell Technologies: Dell Technologies is a multinational information technology corporation based in Round Rock, Texas. The company employs roughly 1,000-1,500 Oklahoma residents, making it one of the state’s top employers in the technology industry. A few relevant positions at the company include software engineer, systems engineering analyst, software developer, and cloud engineer.
- IBM: IBM is a large information technology company based in New York. The company maintains locations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, employing roughly 300-400 people within the state. IBM hires many computer science professionals, including AI/machine learning software developers, software engineers, systems programmers, and software performance analysts.
- The Williams Company, Inc.: Williams is a Fortune 500 energy company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company processes and transports natural gas, and also holds assets in petroleum and electricity. Williams employs 1,300-1,500 people, including many in computer science-related occupations. Professionals with a degree in computer science fill several roles at Williams, becoming IT business systems analysts, business systems programmers, and telecommunications specialists.
How Much do Computer Scientists Make in Oklahoma?
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Computer Science Programs in Oklahoma
Students pursuing computer science degrees can enroll in associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees are the most common. A bachelor’s degree in computer science usually entails around 120 credit hours of coursework, including a capstone course in the final year. Typically consisting of an individual or group project, capstone courses require students to synthesize and demonstrate their acquired skills by designing their own software, application, or similar product. For example, students in the University of Oklahoma’s senior capstone course must develop, test, and deliver a software product.
While master’s degrees in computer science take less time to complete than bachelor’s degrees, they introduce advanced concepts. Most master’s programs consist of 30 credit hours and culminate in a thesis or non-thesis project. The University of Oklahoma’s master’s program splits required coursework into three different areas: systems, theory, and applications. All students must take at least two courses from each area.
Students who are interested in a particular program but live far from their prospective school often benefit from distance education options. Online computer science colleges in Oklahoma allow candidates to pursue both introductory and specialized coursework from the comfort of home.
Types of Computer Science Degrees
Most schools offer online computer science programs in Oklahoma at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. While each degree type includes different curriculum contents and requirements, every program offers unique training opportunities that can open doors to valuable careers. The following section provides an overview of each computer science degree, including common courses and concentrations, program objectives, and popular career choices for graduates.
Professionals with associate degrees in computer science qualify for entry-level positions in the field. Associate degrees confer many different credentials, including associate of arts in computer information systems, associate of science in information science, and associate of applied science in technical studies. Associate-level computer science programs introduce integral concepts and skills related to computer programming and languages, troubleshooting, and web design. Most online computer science programs in Oklahoma include courses like database fundamentals, introductory programming, and basic computer networking.
An associate degree takes around two years complete. After completing the associate degree, Some graduates choose to pursue further education at four-year colleges and universities, and many associate-level online computer science programs in Oklahoma allow students to transfer their course credits directly to bachelor’s programs. However, many associate degree-holders find profitable careers as computer systems analysts, computer programmers, information security analysts, and computer support specialists.
An online bachelor’s degree in computer science provides a more in-depth look at introductory concepts in the field. Bachelor’s degree candidates explore data structures, software engineering, algorithms, computer architecture, and operating systems structures. Unlike associate-level curricula, bachelor’s programs require extensive general education and core computer science coursework. Most bachelor’s-level online computer science programs in Oklahoma consist of 120 credit hours, with full-time students earning their degree in four years or less.
Many bachelor’s programs also allow students to choose a concentration, or specialized academic track, and explore their focus area in greater detail. Popular concentrations include bioengineering, robotics, hardware design, security architecture, and web development. Depending on their specialty, graduates may work as software developers, computer hardware engineers, computer systems analysts, database administrators, and network systems administrators. Entry-level median salaries for bachelor’s degree holders range from $51,000 to $91,000 per year.
Students pursue a master’s degree in computer science to develop a specialization, increase their earning potential, and expand their employment options. In a competitive job market, graduate degrees also provide graduates with an edge over other candidates. Most full-time students spend around two years completing a master’s-level online computer science degree in Oklahoma. Some departments require students to complete a final project or compose a master’s thesis, which may further extend a program’s duration.
Master’s degree curricula are usually built around the individual student’s concentration area. Popular concentrations include multimedia and creative technologies, security, data analytics, biocomputation, and game development. Graduates often seek careers in their focus areas, working as computer and information research scientists, database administrators, and software developers. Most master degree-holders enjoy entry-level median salaries ranging from $54,000-$87,000. Students interested in research-driven fields or university teaching positions often enroll in doctoral programs after graduation.
A Ph.D. in computer science may lead to jobs in academia, research positions, or lucrative independent freelancing roles. Candidates who wish to secure college-level, tenure-track positions are usually expected to hold a Ph.D. Similar to master’s degree curricula, doctoral coursework and research centers on the student’s specialty area.
Many doctoral students in computer science choose to focus on subfields like forensic science, nanotechnology, and biochemistry. Doctoral programs, however, require graduate students to combine original research with practical computer science skills. Ph.D. candidates demonstrate their acquired knowledge and make an original contribution to the computer science field through a final project or dissertation.
While required coursework differs considerably between programs, many curricula emphasize advanced chemistry, engineering, and mathematical concepts. A doctoral program’s length depends on an individual student’s research goals and the scope of their final project. Most take approximately five years to complete.
Professional Computer Science Organizations in Oklahoma
Computer science professional organizations provide students and recent graduates with networking and research opportunities, career development assistance, and valuable educational resources. The following professional organizations offer support and training for current and prospective computer science specialists alike.
- Association for Information Science and Technology: ASIST unites information scientists and researchers under the common goal of improving information access worldwide. The group’s site features an active job board, news, full-text publications, and events calendar. Members may participate in regional and student chapters, access free webinars, and use ASIST’s iConnect program to build an industry-wide network.
- Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology: This organization helps women in computer science and technology-driven careers make positive contributions in their respective fields. The institute hosts networking, leadership, and volunteer opportunities for students and professionals interested in supporting women in technology. Users gain access to online career coaching, a job board, scholarship and award information, and exclusive events.
- Association of Information Technology Professionals: AITP offers resources for students, young professionals, and seasoned tech experts. This nonprofit association sponsors networking opportunities, service awards, student development programs, and career coaching initiatives. Members can explore AITP’s research databases and online webinars, apply for discounts, and join local chapters.
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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