The best colleges for computer science in South Dakota have a clear winner, and it’s not either of the two big public universities.
Computer science prepares you for a job as a software developer—named the best job in America by U.S. News and World Report. Software developers code the systems, programs and apps that we couldn’t live without, and they get paid well to do so. The Occupational Outlook Handbook reports a median annual salary of $105,590, and these jobs aren’t going away. The OOH predicts 21% job growth over the next ten years.
If you’re interested in computer science, you can also check out College Guidepost’s rankings for the best value colleges in computer science, as well as the best overall. In this article, we’ll just look at the best colleges for computer science in South Dakota.
Let’s start with our honorable mentions before we get to the countdown.
Honorable Mention: South Dakota’s biggest universities, South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota, both offer ABET-accredited computer science degrees. These public universities are fine options, but quite frankly, their academics and outcomes fall below those of our two best colleges for computer science in South Dakota.
2. Augustana University
A private Lutheran university with an enrollment of 2,100 students, Augustana University in Sioux Falls offers more than 100 majors. Incoming students average 25.5 on the ACT with a GPA of 3.75, and Augustana offers a 12:1 student to faculty ratio.
U.S. News placed the university in their Midwest Regional Universities category, where Augustana ranks 12th in teaching quality, 9th overall, 8th in innovation, and 2nd in value. Quite simply, South Dakota’s public universities are not among the nation’s finest, and Augustana outpaces them overall an in computer science. Augustana’s graduates have been employed by companies including Google.
With tuition and fees around $27,000 a year, Augustana is more expensive than in-state tuition, but more affordable than many other private institutions. Based on their academic excellence, Augustana ranks 2nd in South Dakota for computer science majors.
1. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Mining is one of South Dakota’s biggest industries, and South Dakota Mines was founded in 1855 to fill this need. Today, their technical degrees are the most respected in the state, with incredible graduate outcomes. 97% of graduates find employment or enroll in graduate school, with an average starting salary of $63,354. Compare that to South Dakota’s flagship public university, where the median earnings 10 years after entering college are a lowly $41,517 (Washington Monthly).
South Dakota Mines’ other accolades include College Factual’s ranking as the #1 Engineering School in the country for Return on Investment. Quite simply, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology blows the competition away in the technical fields, which is why we’re naming South Dakota Mines 1st in the state for computer science majors.
With tuition and fees just over $11,000 a year, South Dakota Mines is also the best value in the state for computer science. If you want to study computer science in South Dakota, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is by far your best choice.
Thanks for reading! If you’d like to see the best colleges for computer science in another state, you can find the index here.