Best Value Colleges For Technology Careers

A career in tech is a smart choice if you want to see maximum return on investment for the money you spend on your education.

According to PayScale's College ROI Report technology careers can lead to some of the highest returns on investment for your dollar -- but choosing the right school can mean a difference of up to one million dollars over the first 20 years of your career.

Tech jobs, which include job titles such as software developer, product manager, program manager, IT administration, web developer, UX designer, data scientist, statistician and more, are in high demand in today's economy.  Read More

Find Out Exactly What You
Should Be Paid


1Harvey Mudd College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$1,194,000
Total 4 Year Cost$260,000
Grad Rate90%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,400
2University of California - Berkeley(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$1,135,000
Total 4 Year Cost$136,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,300
3Stanford University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$1,102,000
Total 4 Year Cost$247,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,100
4Yale University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$1,086,000
Total 4 Year Cost$251,000
Grad Rate96%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$19,700
5Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$1,074,000
Total 4 Year Cost$240,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,200
6California Institute of Technology (Caltech)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$1,043,000
Total 4 Year Cost$240,000
Grad Rate92%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$19,000
7University of California - Berkeley(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$1,042,000
Total 4 Year Cost$229,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,300
8Columbia University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$1,008,000
Total 4 Year Cost$261,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,800
9Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$994,000
Total 4 Year Cost$251,000
Grad Rate88%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,500
10Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science and Art(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$988,000
Total 4 Year Cost$237,000
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$19,300
11Princeton University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$983,000
Total 4 Year Cost$231,000
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$14,100
12Georgia Institute of Technology(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$977,000
Total 4 Year Cost$96,200
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,700
13Duke University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$970,000
Total 4 Year Cost$252,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,000
14 (tie)Stevens Institute of Technology(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$959,000
Total 4 Year Cost$244,000
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$45,800
14 (tie)University of California - San Diego (UCSD), Warren College(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$959,000
Total 4 Year Cost$123,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,600

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

You don't have to major in computer science or math in order to work in tech either -- many tech jobs are held by people who studied a wide variety of subjects other than computer engineering in college. So even if you earn your bachelor's degree in humanities, communication, or even and design, as long as you also take classes (or teach yourself) in technical skills like programming, coding, statistics and engineering, you can land a high-paying tech career.

Since Northern California's Silicon Valley is the heart of the tech industry, it isn't surprising that many of the College ROIs seen by technology workers come from the surrounding area. Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, consistently provides high 20-year ROIs for students who attend the school. Despite the fact that Stanford is an expensive private school, Stanford students usually do so well, especially in the tech field, that it is one of the best college values around for math and science careers. In nearby Berkeley, California, alumni of UC Berkeley also usually see an extraordinarily high college return on investment if technology careers are in their future. Even out-of-state residents, who pay significantly more to attend a University of California school, get a great value.

On the East Coast, Ivy League school Columbia University typically delivers a robust 20-year net ROI for tech students. Located in Manhattan in New York City, Columbia equips students with a strong network of both established blue-chip employers and up and coming tech start-ups.

Other schools to consider if you want the highest college return on investment technology careers can offer include Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Carnegie Mellon University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. In fact, it's hard to find a college with a low return on investment if you end up working in tech.