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


794 (tie)Rollins College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$431,000
Total 4 Year Cost$245,000
Grad Rate71%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,600
797 (tie)Auburn University - Montgomery(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$430,000
Total 4 Year Cost$72,300
Grad Rate22%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,400
797 (tie)University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$430,000
Total 4 Year Cost$135,000
Grad Rate71%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,800
799 (tie)Loyola University - Chicago, IL(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$428,000
Total 4 Year Cost$211,000
Grad Rate73%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$36,600
799 (tie)Norfolk State University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$428,000
Total 4 Year Cost$139,000
Grad Rate33%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,300
801 (tie)Arkansas Tech University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$427,000
Total 4 Year Cost$85,500
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$20,900
801 (tie)Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$427,000
Total 4 Year Cost$130,000
Grad Rate65%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,100
801 (tie)Merrimack College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$427,000
Total 4 Year Cost$203,000
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$44,400
801 (tie)Northwood University - Midland, MI(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$427,000
Total 4 Year Cost$143,000
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,600
801 (tie)University of South Carolina - Upstate Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$427,000
Total 4 Year Cost$132,000
Grad Rate38%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,400
806 (tie)Lamar University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$426,000
Total 4 Year Cost$86,600
Grad Rate33%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,200
806 (tie)University of Wisconsin (UW) - River Falls Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$426,000
Total 4 Year Cost$103,000
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,200
808 (tie)Campbell University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$425,000
Total 4 Year Cost$174,000
Grad Rate51%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,700
808 (tie)Southeast Missouri State University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$425,000
Total 4 Year Cost$99,300
Grad Rate51%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,800
808 (tie)University of South Carolina - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$425,000
Total 4 Year Cost$101,000
Grad Rate73%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,200

*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.