5 California Colleges for Computer Science Careers

Apply to one of these five schools if you want to excel in the field of computer science.

By Sydney Nikols | February 17, 2017

Computer Science majors at UCSC will come out ahead given their school's stellar ROI.

If you’re interested in having a successful career in computer science, it’s important to choose a well-respected school that has a strong program in the field. These five colleges, all located in California, are known for preparing students to thrive in the computer science industry.

Building a successful computer science career starts with pursuing the strongest programs in your field.

1. University of California, Santa Cruz

Administrators at the University of California, Santa Cruz, recommend the school’s computer science program, which was recently recognized by Affordable Colleges Online for offering graduates the fifth best return on investment (ROI) in the nation. A good ROI means that the money earned after graduating greatly exceeds the amount spent on the degree, and these students are certainly winning out; their 30-year ROI comes in at an average of $2,056,000.

2. University of California, San Diego

The highly ranked University of California, San Diego, is particularly known for its computer science program, which was named 11th in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. UCSD’s grad program was also ranked 14th in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

3. University of California, Berkeley

The prestigious University of California, Berkeley, is widely recognized for having one of the best computer science programs in the country. According to both PayScale and Affordable Colleges Online, it offers students the best ROI for computer science in the nation -- graduates make an average starting pay of $82,000, a mid-career salary of $141,400, and a 30-year ROI of $2,432,000. U.S. News and World Report acknowledged the school’s grad program for being one of the best in the country, tied only with Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University.

UC Berkeley's grad program is tied with MIT and Stanford in terms of prestige and alumni success.

4. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, which was recently named one of the top regional universities in the west by U.S. News and World Report, offers computer science grads the second-highest ROIs in their field -- starting salaries average $67,000 and mid-career salaries average $125,000.

5. University of California, Santa Barbara

UCSB computer science graduates receive the third highest salaries in the country ($68,000 average starting salaries and $120,200 average mid-career salaries). The computer science grad program was also recognized for being the 35th best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

Now that you know where to apply, you can complete the first step towards building a successful computer science career: pursuing the strongest programs in your field.

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