While “The Social Network” is based on a true story, it’s not true that you need to attend MIT or Harvard to make it in the expanding tech industry.
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  • These 15 colleges and universities are teaching the tech talent of today.
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In the high-stakes world of programming, it may seem like the only way to break into the field is by attending a “top-tier” school like MIT or Stanford.

The tech founders Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Tony Hsieh, and Sheila Lirio Marcelo all attended Harvard, but while “The Social Network” is based on a true story, it’s not true that Harvard is a prerequisite to a successful tech career. 

The number of tech-industry job seekers on the job-search platform Indeed has increased 30% this year. Tech candidates are used to being wooed into high-paying roles during a recruitment process that includes comped travel and starting salaries above $80,000.

If you are interested in landing a role in tech, it helps to study an in-demand programming language like Python or SQL.

HackerRank, an interview and hiring platform for tech talent, crunched the numbers on 1 million certification attempts on its platform to identify the most popular programming languages and the top universities qualified tech candidates are attending. It listed the New Jersey Institute of Technology and University of Texas at Arlington among the top options.

“As more American companies embrace long-term remote or hybrid work, they have their pick of top tech talent across several US regions — and beyond schools with computer science programs that often top academic rankings, like Carnegie Mellon University or MIT,” HackerRank CEO Vivek Ravisankar wrote in a company blog post.

For employers looking to recruit, or aspiring developers looking to learn, these 15 colleges and universities should be on top of your list.

New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Facebook//NewJerseyInstituteofTechnology

Location: Newark, New Jersey  

HackerRank programming rankings: Python (No. 1), Java (No. 1), JavaScript (No. 1), REST API (No. 1)

Degrees offered: NJIT offers 11 technical-degree programs through its school of computing, as well as 28 offerings in its school of engineering.

University of Texas at Dallas

University of Texas at Dallas.
University of Texas at Dallas

Location: Richardson, Texas 

HackerRank programming rankings: SQL (No. 1)

Degrees offered: The school offers six undergraduate degrees at its Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and a degree in data science with its engineering school and School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

University of Texas at Arlington

University of Texas at Arlington.
UTA

Location: Arlington, Texas 

HackerRank programming rankings: Python (No. 2), Java (No. 2), SQL (No. 4) 

Degrees offered: The school offers 11 bachelor’s degrees through its school of engineering and has 13 offerings in total.

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology.
Facebook/IIT Scarlet Hawks

Location: Chicago 

HackerRank programming rankings: REST API (No. 2)

Degrees offered: IIT offers over 50 degree programs at both the Armour College of Engineering and the College of Computing.

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Colorado Boulder.
Jeff Zehnder/Shutterstock

Location: Boulder, Colorado 

HackerRank programming rankings: Python (No. 3)

Degrees offered: University of Colorado Boulder offers 22 degree paths at its school of engineering and applied sciences.

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology.
Rochester Institute of Technology/Elizabeth Lamark

Location: Rochester, New York 

HackerRank programming rankings: JavaScript (No. 3)

Degrees offered: Rochester Institute of Technology has several colleges to choose from, including the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Rochester Institute of Technology offers over 20 degrees across its two schools of engineering and 12 degrees with its college of science.

Columbia University

Columbia University.
Bruce Yuanyue Bi/Getty Images

Location: New York 

HackerRank programming rankings: SQL (No. 3)

Degrees offered: Columbia University, the only Ivy League school on the list, has 17 offerings in its school of engineering.

University of Maryland, College Park

University of Maryland, College Park.
Steven Frame/Shutterstock

Location: College Park, Maryland 

HackerRank programming rankings: Python (No. 4)

Degrees offered: University of Maryland, College Park, has 22 degree paths in its College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences and 11 at the A. James Clark School of Engineering.

University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida.
Public domain

Location: Orlando, Florida 

HackerRank programming rankings: Java (No. 4)

Degrees offered: UCF has over 230 undergraduate offerings — with 18 engineering and computer-science degrees and a special photonic-science and engineering major.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology.
Facebook/Scheller College

Location: Atlanta   

HackerRank programming rankings: JavaScript (No. 4)

Degrees offered: Georgia Institute of Technology offers 17 majors in computing and engineering and 18 minors.

McGill University

McGill University.
Steve Rosset/Shutterstock

Location: Montreal

HackerRank programming rankings: REST API (No. 4)

Degrees offered: McGill University, the only Canadian school to make the list, offers 29 programs in engineering and 48 programs in math, computing, and technology.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina 

HackerRank programming rankings: Java (No. 5), SQL (No. 5)

Degrees offered: UNC at Charlotte offers over 35 degrees at its College of Computing and Informatics and William States Lee College of Engineering.

University of Michigan

University of Michigan
Dieon Roger/Shutterstock

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan   

HackerRank programming rankings: JavaScript (No. 5)

Degrees offered: The University of Michigan offers 17 technical-degree programs through its school of engineering.