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

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599 (tie)Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$500,000
Total 4 Year Cost$206,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,800
599 (tie)Pacific Lutheran University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$500,000
Total 4 Year Cost$197,000
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,100
599 (tie)Portland State University (PSU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$500,000
Total 4 Year Cost$155,000
Grad Rate42%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,600
599 (tie)Southern Utah University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$500,000
Total 4 Year Cost$76,600
Grad Rate50%
Time to Graduate6 Years
Loan Amt$21,400
599 (tie)Tennessee Technological University (TTU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$500,000
Total 4 Year Cost$153,000
Grad Rate49%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$18,900
599 (tie)University of Central Oklahoma (UCO)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$500,000
Total 4 Year Cost$104,000
Grad Rate37%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,000
599 (tie)University of Louisiana (UL) at Lafayette(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$500,000
Total 4 Year Cost$123,000
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$19,500
608 (tie)Fitchburg State College(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$499,000
Total 4 Year Cost$83,400
Grad Rate57%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,900
608 (tie)Florida International University (FIU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$499,000
Total 4 Year Cost$142,000
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,000
608 (tie)University of Alabama - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$499,000
Total 4 Year Cost$168,000
Grad Rate66%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$36,800
611 (tie)Dordt College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$498,000
Total 4 Year Cost$157,000
Grad Rate66%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,700
611 (tie)York College - York, PA(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$498,000
Total 4 Year Cost$121,000
Grad Rate61%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$43,100
613 (tie)Idaho State University (ISU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$497,000
Total 4 Year Cost$133,000
Grad Rate33%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,000
613 (tie)SUNY - Geneseo(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$497,000
Total 4 Year Cost$89,100
Grad Rate78%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,000
615University of Wisconsin (UWP) - Parkside(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$496,000
Total 4 Year Cost$105,000
Grad Rate31%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,200

*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.