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The demand for tech-oriented jobs continues to increase as technology becomes more prevalent in society. Because of this demand, earning an online degree in computer science can lead to lucrative positions, especially in Texas.

According to sources such as Business Insider and Bloomberg, Texas' tech industry has grown steadily over the past decade. For example, major companies like Facebook have established operations in the state. As a result, earning a computer science degree in Texas can lead graduates to jobs in software engineering or systems management.

This guide explores education statistics, employment data, market trends, and other useful information to show the pros and cons of pursuing a computer science degree in Texas.

Texas at a Glance

Top Texas Schools for Computer Science

  • Concordia University Texas
  • Lamar University
  • South Texas College
  • Southern Methodist University
  • LeTourneau University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of St. Thomas
  • Austin College
  • University of Dallas
  • Baylor University

Why Go to College for Computer Science in Texas?

In 2021, NBC News reported a trend of large companies relocating to Texas from Silicon Valley. Companies like Oracle and Hewlett Packard Enterprises followed this trend. Other companies like Google have already established branches in Austin. Austin also hosts a U.S. Army command center specializing in modernization.

The tech industry's economic impact in Texas is worth over $150 billion as of 2021. The state's median tech wages also surpass median national wages by 96%. Current residents can enjoy lower in-state tuition rates and a lower cost of living compared to the respective national averages.

Education Statistics for Texas

Educational data in Texas matches national statistics in several categories, such as the percent of students enrolled in online programs. Over 180 schools offer associate or bachelor's degrees. Texas institutions benefit from slightly higher rates of tax revenue dedicated to higher education in 2017 compared to the national average.

Higher Education in Texas

Texas Data National Data
Number of Four-Year Colleges 148 2,679
Number of Two-Year Colleges 49 1,303
Percentage of Students Enrolled in Distance Education 36.6% 36.6%
Postsecondary Education Appropriations per Full-Time Student, 2019 $7,888 $8,196
Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education, 2017 7.8% 5.8%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With an Associate Degree, 2019 7.2% 8.5%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Bachelor's Degree, 2019 19.5% 19.8%
Percentage of Adults Over 25 With a Graduate Degree or Higher, 2019 10.4% 12.4%

Sources: NCES, SHEEO, U.S. Census Bureau - American Community Survey

Accreditation for Texas Schools

Accreditation verifies that a school meets third-party standards for academic excellence. Learners who attend accredited schools can feel confident in the quality of their education. Institutions must renew accreditation every few years to make sure their programs still meet basic guidelines.

Three types of accreditation exist: regional, national, and programmatic. Programmatic accreditation comes from a professional agency and verifies whether a degree prepares students for careers in a specific field. National accreditation usually applies to vocational and trade schools. This accreditation often includes fewer regulations because it's difficult to judge different trade programs under a unified set of standards.

Accreditation verifies that a school meets third-party standards for academic excellence.

By comparison, regional accreditation includes strict unified guidelines. As a result, students and employers tend to regard regional accreditation more favorably.

For regional accreditation, Texas schools fall under the jurisdiction of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This agency plans to implement new technology into classrooms and educational programs as part of the accreditation process.

Online students can also seek schools participating in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). The organization standardizes distance education on a national level to ensure an online degree fulfills requirements in multiple states. While NC-SARA membership is not a form of accreditation, schools must be accredited to join the agreement.

Considerations for a Computer Science Degree in Texas

Many factors play into finding the right computer science program, starting with the intended degree level. Students should consider whether they want an online degree, in-person instruction, or a hybrid program. Pursuing computer science in Texas can come with networking opportunities, so online learners outside the state might miss these benefits.

Check out the guides below to learn more about the different degrees available and which type fits your goals.

Computer Science Concentration Options

Computer science concentrations allow students to match their coursework to their career goals. The concentrations below cater to Texas' developing tech market.

Concentrating in data science develops skills in data analysis, data visualization, and software development. These topics particularly serve computer systems analysts, who process and present data within an organization.

Software engineering explores topics like quality assurance and software architecture and design. This concentration can set up students for careers as software developers, the most prominent tech position available in Texas right now.

With the increasing digitization of sensitive data, concentrations in cybersecurity have emerged to meet rising industry needs. Students learn to detect network vulnerabilities and protect systems against cyberattacks.

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Paying for Your Computer Science Degree

Average annual tuition and fees for Texas public colleges fell slightly below the national average in the 2018-19 academic year.

To help pay for college, learners can apply for loans and financial aid. Students can also seek scholarships and grants specific to the state, field of study, and school. For more information on types of financial aid and other payment options, check out the guide below.

In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition

Public colleges usually charge out-of-state students higher tuition rates. Private school tuition rarely considers state residency, but private schools charge higher tuition rates in general, often exceeding out-of-state tuition for public schools.

At some schools, learners enrolled in 100% online programs pay flat-rate tuition regardless of residency. Students attending hybrid programs do not qualify for online-only rates.

Depending on the school, learners can apply for out-of-state tuition waivers. Each school stipulates different requirements for the waivers. For example, the University of Texas at Austin requires students to receive at least $1,000 in scholarship aid before they can apply.

Texas's Cost of Living

The local cost of living can impact local learners' budgets and expenses. The cost of living in Texas falls slightly below the national average, according to the World Population Review. The Lone Star State scored 91.5 on the index, compared to the national average of 100. This data suggests that students can save money by moving to Texas. Still, cost of living varies by area. Large urban hubs like Dallas and Austin may feature higher costs of living than suburban or rural areas.

Selecting Your Computer Science Program

Prospective computer science students should also consider other factors when choosing a program. Learners can seek ABET-approved departments to ensure their degree meets tech industry standards. Students should also look at each prospective program's available internships, relevant courses, and networking opportunities.

To begin your search, check out the top-ranked computer science programs by degree type.

Best Associate Programs | Best Bachelor's Programs | Best Online Bachelor's Programs | Best Master's Programs | Best Online Master's Programs

Careers for Computer Science Graduates in Texas

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the computer and information technology field will grow by 11% from 2019-2029, outpacing the projected growth rate for all occupations nationwide. Texas enjoys a particularly strong position for growth in the tech industry.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Texas the ninth-best state for economy and 10th for projected growth. The state also ranked 10th in the nation for fiscal stability. Texas has seen 363,300 tech job postings and 73,500 emerging positions in 2020, according to data from Cyberstate.

With the tech industry's projected rise in Texas, the following careers have become some of the most prevalent in the state. We also explore top employers, salary statistics, and general trends in the job market below.

Select Computer Science Careers in Texas

Software Developers and Quality Assurance Analysts

Developers often create applications for computers and mobile devices or maintain underlying systems and interfaces. The job requires at least a bachelor's degree, but competitive employers often seek candidates with a master's and professional experience. Businesses outside the tech industry need software developers and analysts to keep their work programs running efficiently.

Salary for Software Developers in TX: $109,570
Job Outlook in TX: +31.4% (2018-28)

Computer Systems Analysts

Systems analysts assume more business-oriented roles in their companies by uniting technology and operations. They research and implement new software and systems to improve the company's efficiency. This role usually requires a bachelor's degree, but employers might favor candidates with a master's in computer science or even an MBA. Employees sometimes specialize in roles such as quality assurance or analyzing code for improvements.

Salary for Systems Analysts in TX: $104,690
Job Outlook in TX: +16% (2018-28)

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

These workers maintain networks and hardware. Network and systems administrators often work with hardware and equipment. Employers usually require a bachelor's degree and certifications for the specific hardware on-site.

Salary for Network and Systems Adm inistrators in TX: $86,840
Job Outlook in TX: +13.5% (2018-28)

Computer Science Employers in Texas

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced the relocation of its headquarters to the Houston area in 2020, with plans for a 440,000-square-foot campus. Relocation remains optional to existing employees in California, which means computer science positions could open up in 2022 as the campus is finished. HPE has already posted dozens of computer science job openings for data analyst engineers and information security analysts.

In 2020 and 2021, Dell Technologies received multiple workplace honors and awards. For example, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation designated Dell a best place to work for LGBTQ+ equality. As of April 2021, Dell's website lists nearly 400 open positions in computer engineering for Texas, with others in information technology and cybersecurity.

Headquartered in Dallas, AT&T is a major player in the mobile phone market. The company acquired WarnerMedia in 2018, which includes properties like HBO, Warner Bros., and TNT. With AT&T's extended portfolio of media companies, computer science graduates can apply for a variety of positions like network services managers, UX/UI designers, and software engineers near Dallas and other areas in Texas.

Texas Employment Trends

Computer Programmers

Texas National
2018 Employment 22,300 250,300
2028 Projected Employment 22,010 232,300
Projected Job Growth, 2018-28 -1.3% -7.2%

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Texas National
2018 Employment 22,620 414,400
2028 Projected Employment 27,400 461,100
Projected Job Growth, 2018-28 +21.1% +11.3%

Web Developers

Texas National
2018 Employment 9,780 160,500
2028 Projected Employment 11,820 181,400
Projected Job Growth, 2018-28 +20.9% +13%

Source: Projections Central

Web Developers: 9,830
Network & Computer Systems Administrators: 34,410
Computer Programmers: 18,070
Database Administrators: 12,020
Computer Systems Analysts: 54,770
Information Security Analysts: 13,410
Software Developers: 113,140
Computer Hardware Engineers: 4,670
Computer and Information Research Scientists: 1,270
Computer and Information Systems Managers: 29,970

Between the high projected job growth and substantial salaries, graduates can expect a very competitive job market in Texas. While most popular computer science positions only require a bachelor's degree, earning a master's degree or industry certifications can distinguish graduates from other applicants.

Students may also benefit from taking business courses alongside their computer science degree, as business courses can make students attractive to employers in industries outside technology. However, this depends on a student's career goals. Specialized jobs in cybersecurity or artificial intelligence might demand a graduate degree from an intensive computer science program, with little emphasis on business knowledge.

Curious About Other Computer Science Jobs? Explore More Here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is computer science a good major in Texas?

Yes. Computer science is a good major to pursue in Texas. The BLS projects an 11% increase in computer and information technology jobs from 2019 to 2029. A number of high-profile tech companies are established or relocating there, including Dell.

What is the best field in computer science in Texas?

The "best" field depends on your career goals. However, jobs like software developer, computer hardware engineer, and computer and information systems manager all have strong growth prospects and offer six-figure salaries in Texas.

What computer science jobs are there in Texas?

As of May 2020, the most prominent tech jobs in Texas included software developers, systems analysts, and network administrators. Other roles include web developers, security analysts, hardware engineers, and computer research scientists.

Does Texas have online computer science programs?

Yes, Texas hosts several online computer science programs. For more information on specific schools, check out the top ten ranked online programs for a bachelor's or a master's degree in computer science.

Professional Computer Science Organizations in Texas

TASSCC promotes professional networking and continued education for information management and technology. The organization partners with groups from the public sector to provide IT services, industry news, conferences, and grant opportunities in the field. Established in 1992, The Austin Technology Council is at the heart of the thriving tech industry in Austin. The organization offers professionals mentoring, networking, updates about trends in the industry. With three separate chapters in Texas, UXPA focuses on the development and research of user experience and interfaces. Members enjoy access to career development resources like courses and job boards, and they can network with fellow professionals around the world. TAGITM holds conferences and developmental programs to integrate technology solutions into government systems. TAGITM draws upon computer experts to apply new technology to local chapters of the government and increase its efficiency.

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