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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61Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$801,000
Total 4 Year Cost$166,000
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,400
62University of California - Irvine (UCI)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$800,000
Total 4 Year Cost$218,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$21,300
63University of Maryland - College Park(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$799,000
Total 4 Year Cost$176,000
Grad Rate85%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,200
64Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$798,000
Total 4 Year Cost$86,400
Grad Rate47%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,700
65University of Washington - Bothell Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$797,000
Total 4 Year Cost$109,000
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$20,600
66California State Polytechnic University - Pomona(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$795,000
Total 4 Year Cost$94,500
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,700
67Western Connecticut State University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$790,000
Total 4 Year Cost$95,000
Grad Rate43%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$57,700
68 (tie)Johns Hopkins University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$789,000
Total 4 Year Cost$250,000
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,800
68 (tie)Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$789,000
Total 4 Year Cost$258,000
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,800
70University of Texas (UT) - Austin(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$786,000
Total 4 Year Cost$104,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,600
71 (tie)Texas A&M University - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$783,000
Total 4 Year Cost$89,700
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,100
71 (tie)Vanderbilt University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$783,000
Total 4 Year Cost$247,000
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,600
73James Madison University (JMU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$782,000
Total 4 Year Cost$152,000
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,600
74California State University - San Marcos (CSUSM)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$781,000
Total 4 Year Cost$95,000
Grad Rate49%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,800
75University of Massachusetts (UMass) - Lowell Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$780,000
Total 4 Year Cost$104,000
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,500

*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.