Computers Rule the World…Almost

There are many different types of computer degrees available in the United States, from computer engineering, computer science, information technology, information systems, software engineering, and multiple other mixed discipline majors. Because computing is such a dynamic field, new classifications are developed regularly.

Possible Career Paths In Computing:

  1. Computer Network Architect
  2. Computer Programmer
  3. Computer Support Specialist
  4. Computer Systems Analyst
  5. Database Administrator
  6. Information Security Analyst
  7. Network and Systems Administrators
  8. Software Developer
  9. Web Developer
  10. Computer and Information Research Scientist

Show Me the Money

The median salaries vary depending upon which division of computing you enter. They range from $50,000 – 130,000 annually, with an average of a Bachelor’s degree, and even higher with advanced degrees.

What Are the Best School?

There are a multitude of choices when it comes to computer science colleges and universities. The top five colleges in the United States are Carnegie Melon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley and the University of Illinois. The average cost of attendance is $50, 228 per year for out-of-state students. With tuition costs skyrocketing every year, many students are seeking to supplement their costs with grants and scholarships.

Tuition and Fee Waivers, Grants and Fellowships, Oh My!

Some schools offer waivers of tuition costs and fees for students meeting specific criteria. For instance, the University of California at Berkeley offers some doctoral candidates from out of state tuition waivers, while other schools like MIT offer waivers based on financial need to graduate level students. In addition, tuition and fees are often waived in full for students entering specific careers upon graduation – most often in public service.

Grants are often need based gifted monies (you don’t need to repay). They can come from federal or local government, your college of choice or private or nonprofit groups or businesses. There are several organizations that offer grants to computer science students specifically, such as the National Science Foundation, Society for Women Engineers and the Institute of Electrical Engineers, among others. Requirements are different for all and some involve an employment obligation for a specified time period upon graduation. It pays to research the grants offered thoroughly, and understand the guidelines and offer completely.

But Are There Scholarships Available?

Scholarships are financial awards for your education that do not need to be repaid. While they are typically awarded based on merit, very often the scholarship committees take financial need into consideration in awarding their recipients. The amount of total financial aid cannot be more than the cost of attendance for your college or university.

Scholarships are typically developed to fit a particular student profile – whether based on academic interest or proficiency, ethnicity, interests or field of study, or they could be related to an affiliation (such as religion, military, club membership, employer, etc.).

Scholarships can help lessen the impact of ever increasing tuition costs. Scholarships help to fill the gap between low-income families and higher-income. Frequently government aid is focused on lower income students, leaving middle or higher-income families struggling with high tuition costs. Scholarships can help reduce the responsibility significantly. And for students paying their own way through school, it means less time spent working while trying to finish your degree.

Below Are Some Of The Thousands Of IT and Computer Science Scholarships Available:

AACE International Competitive Scholarship –  Scholarship amount varies. Offered to full-time students pursuing degrees in computer science or computer engineering.

The CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Program – Offers up to $20,000+ to full-time students interested in a career with Homeland Security.

Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship – Offers up to $10,000 to minority students pursuing a degree in technical sciences.

SMART Scholarship – Awards full tuition costs to students with a G.P.A. over 3.0 who are interested in pursuing a career with the Department of Defense.

AFCEA Cyber Security Scholarship – Award amount varies. Sophomore or junior standing students in STEM fields with an interest in security are eligible for this scholarship.

Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship – Offers up to $10,000 to female students with strong academic background and technological expertise.

National Security Agency Mathematics and Computer Science Student Scholarship – Offers up to $500 to students entering a computer science or engineering program.

Dell Computer Corporation Scholarship – Offers $20,000+ to students participating in readiness program and have GPA of 2.4 or above.

Stokes Educational Scholarship Program – Offers up to $30,000 to computer science students with 1600+ SAT score and average GPA greater than 3.0.

While the cost of tuition for engineering schools is high, the competition for scholarships can be even fiercer. It’s important to start your preparations early and pay attention to the details and guidelines of each scholarship offering. Don’t limit yourself to only high-dollar scholarships; ten thousand dollars from one award works the same as ten separate thousand dollar awards. Apply for as many scholarships as you can, and aim for making it through the first round of review. If you don’t get a scholarship this year from one particular organization, try again next year. Use what you’ve learned, make adjustments if necessary, and don’t give up.

Search and Apply for Scholarships on helps students and parents search and apply for scholarships, grants, awards and other financial aid options to help pay for college. Whether you are a high school senior starting college or a single mom going back to school, you can find money for college through