With new and improved ways of doing things introduced daily, it is no wonder that the application of computer science has grown tremendously in recent years. From self-driving cars to smart homes, computer science is behind some of the most cutting-edge advancements we see today.
And as our dependence on technology grows, so does the demand for computer science professionals. This growth and demand ratio is especially true for most states in the US, especially Texas, which is home to the thriving tech industry and is the home of significant tech companies such as Dell, Oracle, and Tesla.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 667,600 computer science jobs are currently available. And it does not end there; the rewarding computer science career sees individual scientists having an annual paycheck of $97,430 per year—significantly higher than the median annual salary of some other occupations.
The journey to becoming a computer science professional, however, starts with getting a computer science degree from a good institution. Thankfully, many education options are available — from certifications and coding bootcamps to online computer science master’s degrees and PhDs — to help you start or further your career in computer science in Texas.
This guide will explore some of the best computer science programs in Texas, what to expect from each type of program, and some of our top picks.
Computer Science Master’s Programs in Texas
Getting ahead in your tech career will require more knowledge in programming languages, tools, and methodologies. And regardless of where you stand in your career journey, a master’s degree in computer science can give you the edge you need to take that next big step.
In general, a computer science master’s degree will require two years of full-time study. It is also the most popular option for people with a related undergraduate degree and those looking to transition careers.
Even if you have no previous background in computer science, you can still enroll in a master’s program as long as you have a bachelor’s degree in another field and are willing to complete any necessary prerequisite coursework.
When applying to a computer science master’s program, you will be required to submit your transcripts, resume, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Some programs may also require GRE scores. And once admitted, you can expect to take classes on topics like advanced algorithms, software engineering, and database systems.
Some of the best schools in the country for computer science are located in Texas. And whether you want to study on-campus or online, there are plenty of great programs to choose from.
Here are a few of our top picks for computer science master’s programs in Texas:
Texas A&M University
- College Station, Texas
- Texas A&M University Computer science master’s degree program is a research-based program aimed at expanding the knowledge of algorithms, database systems design, and programming languages. It can take anywhere from 12 months to 18 months to finish.
University of Houston – Clear Lake
- Houston, Texas
- The University of Houston’s master’s degree program is focused on software and hardware principles in scientific, industrial, and commercial applications, including data structures, database systems design, software engineering, operating systems, and computer architecture. Basic tuition is $9,902 for Texas residents and $19,082 for non-Texas residents.
Midwestern State University
- Wichita Falls, Texas
- The master of science in computer science at Midwestern State University emphasizes computer programming, operating systems, and software engineering. This program runs for an average of 18 months.
- Waco, Texas
- Baylor’s master of science in computer science is designed to provide students with software systems, software engineering, and programming skills. You can complete this 36-credit program in 24 months.
The University of Texas, Dallas
- Richardson, Texas
- This master’s of computer science program focuses on cyber security, operating systems and computer architecture, programming languages, database design, and artificial intelligence.
St. Mary’s University
- San Antonio, Texas
- St Mary’s University master of science in computer science provides a deep understanding of data communication and databases, software analysis and design methodologies, hardware organization, operating systems, software implementation, and testing.
University of Houston
- Houston, Texas
- University of Houston’s master’s program offers students track specialization in core computer science, parallel and distributed systems, data analytics, or interactive media. The program consists of 30 credits, and you can decide to go for the thesis-based or the non-thesis-based program options.
University of Texas, El Paso
- El Paso, Texas
- This 33-credit master’s program provides advanced study of fundamental concepts in computer science, including the theory of computation, algorithm design and analysis, and computing applications.
The University of Texas, Austin
- Austin, Texas
- This 30-hour credit CS master’s program has its focus on programming, data structures, algorithms, and computer architecture. Students who enroll in the program will have to choose between doing the MSc. with thesis or the no thesis option.
The University of Texas, Tyler
- Tyler, Texas
- This master’s program has a professional and thesis track which students can choose upon enrolment. The program costs $16,560 and can be completed in 24 months.
Online Computer Science Programs in Texas
Getting a master’s degree program today is not what it used to be a decade or two ago. You no longer have to quit your job, uproot your family, and move to another state or country to attend school.
Through recent technological advances, many degree programs are now available online, creating a perfect alternative for people who want to continue their education but cannot commit to a full-time, on-campus program.
As the possibility of remote work increases, it has become easier to get internships and industry partnerships right from the comfort of your home. Computer science is one of those few courses where valuable industry connections that will help you get ahead in your career can be routed online.
So if you are looking for an online computer science master’s program in Texas, here are a few of our top picks:
The University of Texas at Austin offers an online master’s degree in computer science that you can complete between 18 to 36 months. The program offers courses on advanced systems design, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, costing $1,000 per course.
Rice University’s online master’s program is a 30-credit course focused on software engineering, algorithms, Cybersecurity, IT, and big data engineering. Tuition is $47,306, and it takes anywhere from 12 to 18 months to finish.
Texas Tech University’s online computer science MSc. program is a 31-credit program that offers specializations in various computer science areas such as hardware systems, software systems, computer networks, and applied computing. Tuition is $11,852 for Texas residents and $24,122 on average.
Other online computer science programs in Texas include:
- Texas A&M University online Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering
- Southern Methodist University online Master of Science in Computer Science
Examples of Computer Science Courses in Texas
When choosing a computer science program, it is important to look at the curriculum and ensure it matches your interests. Several schools have a similar core curriculum, but the electives make each program unique.
Here are some examples of computer science courses you might find in a Texas program:
- Data Structures and Algorithms
- Foundations of Computer Science
- Introduction to Database Systems
- Software Engineering
- Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
- Machine Learning
- Data Mining
- Computer Networks
- Operating Systems
- Programming Languages
- Distributed Systems
- Human-Computer Interaction
No matter what your interests are, there is a computer science program in Texas that is perfect for you. And with the convenience of online programs, there is no excuse not to further your education and career.
Computer Science Bootcamps in Texas
Not everyone has the time or money to commit to a full degree, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a valuable computer science skill. Tech bootcamps are an excellent option for busy adults who want to make a career change or learn new programming skills and are looking to take their place in the lucrative tech ecosystem.
Beyond university and college degrees, boot camps are the new normal for computer science education. These short, intensive programs intend to get you up to speed on the latest programming languages and tools in a matter of weeks. As long as you have a computer, internet connection, some grit and tenacity, you can participate in these life-changing programs from anywhere in the world.
Southern Methodist University Bootcamp
- Boot Camp provider: SMU Continuing and Professional Education
- Name of program: Southern Methodist University Bootcamps
- Focus area: Coding, Data Science, Cybersecurity, and Product Management, FinTech
- Time: 24 weeks part-time, 12 weeks-full time
- Cost: part-time program – $12,745, full-time program -$13,995
University of Texas Austin Bootcamp
- Boot Camp provider: UT Austin’s Center for Professional Education
- Name of program: UT Austin Bootcamp
- Focus area: Coding, Cybersecurity, Coding, UX/UI, Data Analysis & Visualization, Digital Marketing, and Product Management
- Time: 24 weeks – part-time
- Cost: $12,495
Hack Reactor Software Engineering Coding Bootcamp
- Bootcamp Provider: Hack Reactor
- Name of program: Hack Reactor software engineering coding bootcamp
- Focus area: Software engineering
- Time: 12 weeks
- Cost: $17,980
Nucamp Coding Bootcamp
- Bootcamp Provider: Nucamp
- Name of program: Nucamp coding bootcamp
- Focus area: Web Development fundamentals, Front end, and full stack web development
- Time: 4 – 22 weeks
- Cost: $349 – $1,880
Computer Science PhD Programs in Texas
The computer science academic pathway does not just end in a master’s program. You can also further your studies by enrolling in a PhD program. These programs are research-oriented and designed to prepare students for careers in academia or research.
One of the numerous advantages a PhD affords you is the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading computer science researchers, through which you’ll develop the skills and knowledge needed to push the boundaries of computer science.
With much dedication, your research work in the program could turn out to be ground-breaking. Some PhD students have gone on to make incredible discoveries that have changed the world. Sergey Brin and Larry Page are notable case studies with their mind-blowing creation of Google.
PhD programs usually take four to five years to complete and require a dissertation. Some programs might have a coursework component, but the focus is on research. If you are interested in pursuing a career in academia or research, a PhD in computer science is the natural next step.
Here are some example PhD computer science courses:
- The University of Texas at Austin PhD in Computer Science
- Texas A&M University PhD in Computer Science
- Rice University PhD in Computer Science
- Southern Methodist University PhD in Computer Science
- The University of Texas at Dallas PhD in Computer Science
Five In Demand Jobs in Texas
One of the best things about pursuing a career in computer science is that the job market is constantly growing. The more our world relies on technology, the more in-demand computer science skills become.
From a simplistic view, jobs in the tech ecosystem range into two broad categories, those who create the technology and those that work in operations to ensure the technology flows smoothly. And both tech companies and non-tech companies in Texas are falling over themselves to attract the best and the brightest computer science talents.
The job market in Texas is particularly robust, with many of the world’s leading tech companies, like Amazon, Google, and Meta, setting up operations in the state. With the right skills and experience, you can negotiate a high salary and excellent perks such as relocation packages, company cars, and stock options.
To help you start your computer science career in Texas on the right foot, we have put together a list of five in-demand jobs in the state.
- Software Engineer
- There is a constant demand for new software and applications, so talented software developers are always needed. As a software developer, you will be responsible for developing, testing, and maintaining software applications.
- The role of a software developer can vary depending on the company you work for and the specific project you are working on. However, most software developers can expect to spend their days writing code, debugging programs, and collaborating with other members of the development team.
- Entry level degree: Bachelor’s degree
- Median annual salary: $94,026
- App Developers
- App developers are responsible for creating, testing, and deploying mobile applications.
- To be a successful app developer, you need to have a good understanding of the different operating systems, such as iOS and Android, as well as the development tools and frameworks available. You also need to be creative and have a good eye for design, as users are increasingly expecting apps to be visually appealing.
- Entry level degree: Bachelor’s degree
- Median annual salary: $87,692
- Network Administrators
- Every day, we rely on network administrators to keep our networks up and running. They configure, install, and maintain network hardware and software, as well as troubleshoot any network-related issues.
- Network administrators typically work in an office environment, although they may be required to travel to different sites to troubleshoot problems.
- Entry level degree: Bachelor’s degree
- Median annual salary: $80,600
- Computer and Information Research Scientists
- Have you ever wondered how Google creates algorithms that are so good at predicting our search queries? Or how Netflix can recommend movies and TV shows that we’ll love? Yeah, that’s the work of computer and information research scientists.
- As a computer and information research scientist, you will be responsible for conducting research and developing new and innovative ways to solve problems in computer science. This can involve anything from developing new algorithms to machine learning and database management systems.
- Entry level degree: Master’s degree
- Median annual salary: $116,057
- Information Security Analysts
- With the increasing number of cyber attacks, there is a growing need for information security analysts. These professionals are responsible for planning and implementing security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems.
- When a security breach does occur, information security analysts are responsible for investigating the incident and determining the cause. They will then work with the relevant teams to develop a plan to prevent future attacks. You can execute this role remotely or on-site.
- Entry level degree: Bachelor’s degree
- Median annual salary: $92,814
From all indications, there seems to be no limit to the demand for computer science jobs in Texas. More companies are finding ways to incorporate digital operations in their business models, creating more opportunities for computer science professionals.
The ripple effect then becomes a growing interest on the part of students to study computer science in college, which fills the talent pipeline and keeps the cycle going.
So, if you’re looking for a state with a myriad of computer science programs, a vibrant job market, and plenty of career opportunities, Texas should definitely be at the top of your list.