New York is a unique case when it comes to assessing economic and employment prospects, mostly because New York City has such an enormous impact on the state’s economy. New York City is the second largest city for GDP globally, trailing behind only Tokyo in raw economic power. As nearly every industry relies heavily on information technology (IT) infrastructure in one way or another, computer science experts are in high demand in the Empire State.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and mathematical occupations account for 263,440 jobs in New York alone with a median salary of $108,470. This captures the best of both worlds from an employment perspective, where both the volume of job opportunities and the average salary well exceed the norm. States like New York are also regularly investing in the high-growth technology sector, both in terms of venture capital and government subsidies. Capturing the many growth opportunities in the broader United States technology industries is a great career move, and local New Yorkers are definitely well-positioned to do just that.
Computer science is one of the fields where skill development is a critical starting point, and requires a fair bit of upfront investment in professional growth. A good starting point is knowing what you don’t know, and pursuing programs that fill critical gaps in competency. This can include keeping pace with the technology industry even for incumbents, as technology is constantly evolving and changing into new forms.
Fortunately, the 21st century offers a huge variety of courses, graduate degree programs, boot camps, and professional certifications to consider. Choosing the ideal option from this list will take into account your career objectives, current technical capabilities, financial situation, and employment situation. We’ll be exploring each one below, listing some of the best institutions New York has to offer to guide you through the process of picking the best fit for your own circumstances.
Computer Science Master’s Programs in New York
A great way to boost career prospects while gaining critical technical skills is a computer science master’s degree program at one of New York’s many colleges and universities. Of course, the key requirement here is going to be an undergraduate degree. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in computer science, so long as you can demonstrate an undergraduate level of computer mastery. While there are quite a few options, New York is a huge variety in terms of program type, admission requirements, and (of course) price point. Let’s take a look:
- SUNY Binghamton: A great starting point is going to be the wide variety of State Universities of New York (SUNY), of which there are plenty scattered across the state. Tuition clocks in at the relatively low rate of $471 per credit hour at the graduate level for New York residents, and the computer science degree programs are highly reputable. SUNY Binghamton is a great starting point for computer science, having reputable programs in a large variety of concentrations including artificial intelligence and cyber-security.
- Cornell University: Regularly top-ranked in the state for computer science programs, Cornell University is going to be a top option with a top price point to match. Information science degrees come in around $30,000 per semester, which comes to around $2,000 per credit hour. Of course, the quality of the program and the related professional network may make this investment well worth making. Cornell offers concentrations in artificial intelligence, computer science, programming languages and logics, scientific computing and applications, systems, theory of computation.
- Marist College: Private institutions with reputable programs don’t have to be quite that expensive, however, and Marist College is a good example of that. Marist offers graduate degrees at $890 per credit hour, with MS degrees in computer science or information systems.
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI): A particularly good way to pursue a computer science education is to seek out programs that specifically cater to technical fields, such as RPI. RPI doesn’t come cheap, clocking in around $1,454 per credit hour, however it’s home to a highly developed and hands-on graduate school program in computer science.
This is only the briefest of snapshots, as New York state is home to a huge number of highly reputable universities (additional honorable mentions being Columbia University as well as the Rochester Institute of Technology). Key considerations in New York are going to be price and location, both of which will vary substantially from program to program. Of course, online graduate degrees in computer science are always an option to help simplify the decision-making process. Let’s outline some options to consider.
Online Computer Science Programs in New York
New York is a big place, and sometimes the perfect program is a few hundred miles away. Luckily, the 21st century has largely solved this problem through the rise of the online degree. This includes graduate degrees in computer science. These are typically completed part-time, and are a perfect match for working professionals who need to squeeze training and classes in outside of their full-time work commitments. Some options in New York include:
- Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT): RIT is a top-tier graduate program in computer science with a complete online option for distance students. Online graduate courses are $1,286 per credit hour, which is comparatively fairly affordable to the onsite option. The program is interestingly structured, where students are expected to select three ‘clusters’ in which to specialize in. The options include theory, security, language and tools, intelligent systems, distributed systems, data management, and computer graphics and visualization. This is an excellent approach to computer science, allowing the development of expertise in specific areas, without limiting the student to just one area.
- City University of New York (CUNY): Another great economic option for local New York residents is CUNY schools, which offer a huge variety of fully-online academic programs at the graduate level. Tuition is extremely low, coming in at $470 per credit hour. The online program that best fits a computer scientist is going to be a Master of Science in Data Science, which is a great place for aspiring computer scientists who want to work in database management, analytics, data visualization, or other related fields.
Online students should make sure to benefit from a university’s extra services as well! RIT has a mature career services program which online students will be more than welcome to participate in. This can range from simple services like producing a solid resume, all the way up to highly valuable and intensive programs like internships and experiential learning programs in partnership with top tech companies in New York.
At this point you may be wondering what courses typically look like at the graduate level in computer science, and how you might effectively pick and choose which skills to develop. Let’s explore some of the mainstay classes in a computer science program.
Computer Science Courses in New York
Graduate-level courses tend to vary fairly widely, depending on your specific specialization and interests. Computer science in particular has highly technical fields in machine learning, artificial intelligence, computational theory, programming, security, and data science. Below we’ll outline some key course, which should narrow down what type of specialization and technical development best fits your professional intentions:
|Computer Architecture and Organization||This type of course explores the basic building blocks of modern computing systems. Critical learning for newer students.||SUNY Binghamton – COP 520||$1,413|
|Cloud Computing & Big Data||Understanding how database infrastructure works in the cloud (via AWS or Azure) is central to storing and utilizing big data.||Columbia University – COMS 6998.008||$6,498|
|Security Algorithms & Protocols||Data is valuable, which means digital hacking attempts are increasingly mature. Building security systems and protocols is a central responsibility for CS majors.||Marist College – MSCS 630||$2,670|
|Foundations of Algorithms||Designing, analyzing and implementing algorithms is central to how developers communicate with machines.||Rochester Institute of Technology – CSCI-665||$3,858|
|Machine Learning for Data Science||Machine learning, as a subset of artificial intelligence, is an increasingly relevant discipline in computer science and applicable when processing large datasets.||Cornell University – CS4786||$6,000|
As you can see, there is a huge variety of coursework, course cost, and skill level available to graduate students. Identifying what skills are necessary to add to your arsenal and what fields to concentrate in to achieve your objectives is going to be a key success factor.
Of course, the graduate school approach is just one of many. Another popular option, to save both time and money while developing critical skills, is the pursuit of computer science bootcamps. These are typically shorter-term programs taught by reputable institutions in the state of New York, which certify student competencies in a variety of technical areas. Let’s take a look.
Computer Science Bootcamps in New York
Boot camps, alongside broader technical certifications, are a great way to master skills and prove competencies in computer science. There are tons of options to consider, so here’s a quick shortlist to get you started:
|Bootcamp Provider||Name of Program||Time||Cost|
|Columbia University||Cybersecurity Boot Camp||6 months||$13,995|
|New York University (NYU)||Software Development Bootcamp||24 weeks||$17,820|
|Hofstra University||Online Web Development Bootcamp||26 weeks||$4,800|
|Columbia University||Coding Boot Camp||6 months||$13,995|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||Cybersecurity Boot Camp||15 weeks||$10,000|
Remember – the goal here is to choose a program that fulfills a highly specific skillset, and to master that skill set in a fast and affordable way. The programs above have various specializations, and it’s worth checking out Columbia’s broader line-up of bootcamps (as well as Hofstra University, which also has quite a catalog). This is a particularly strong option if you already have an undergraduate and/or professional experience in tech-related fields.
There is one more option on the table for continued education, which functions as both a job and an educational opportunity. This is, of course, the pursuit of a PhD in computer science.
Computer Science PhD Programs in New York
New York universities offer a wide range of PhD program opportunities for top-performers with a knack for both research and writing. Doctoral candidates will need to produce and publish a thesis pertaining to their area of expertise, which should both demonstrate mastery of an existing topic while putting forward potential theories and expansion to the knowledge pool of that field. It’s a very specific and meticulous type of work, so consider your own preferences and personality carefully before pursuing it.
PhD programs are available in computer science at Columbia University, Cornell University, NYU, and RIT (amongst many others). Now, this is a different process than applying for graduate school. Success is more about finding a sponsor (i.e. a professor in computer science), whose research interests align with your own. Take that professor’s courses, and engage meaningfully in the research and publications of their team. This could result in sponsorship for prospective doctoral candidates, and careful planning is necessary to succeed here.
Of course, a doctoral program and professorship are fairly rare professional pursuits in computer science. Typically, PhD students become professors at a university and begin sponsoring other graduate and PhD students. For the vast majority of computer scientists, a graduate degree and/or bootcamp certification will suffice to get a great job in the Empire State. Speaking of which, let’s run through some of the common careers for computer science experts.
Five In-Demand Jobs in New York
New York, and New York City in particular, is positively brimming with computer science-related jobs. Let’s outline a few great options, alongside job openings and typical salaries:
- Application/Software Developer: With over 10,000 open positions in New York, computer scientists who can build software solutions and/or applications are always in demand. Salary clocks in around $87/year.
- IT Project Manager: Do you have a knack for business and leadership in addition to those all-important tech skills? If so, IT project management is a great place to kick off a new career. With 1,500 jobs available in New York at the time of writing, and an average salary around $99k/year, this is a great way to merge business and tech skills.
- Systems Analyst: With 1,600 open positions in New York right now, a systems analyst can expect a salary around $82k/year (on average). This role is systems-oriented, of course, which means designing and maintaining hardware and software integrations across an organization’s IT department. Great role for the computer science generalist.
- Network Security Engineer: With over 1,800 jobs on offer in the state of New York alone, network security experts are highly prized in many industries. Protecting organizational data can net an average salary of $103k/year, and the work is extremely important to a company’s continued success.
- Mobile Developer: Of course, with the modern era of mobile phones and apps, mobile developers have never been more in-demand. New York is home to 1,300 openings at the time of writing this guide, and these professionals command an average salary of $93k/year.
The list of great computer science jobs could go on and on, and it’s well worth doing a little extra homework to decide where you’d like to end up after completing your training. The key takeaway here is to identify professional objectives within the computer science disciplines, attain the certifications and skills required to succeed in these jobs, and start reaping the rewards of job security and relatively high salaries!