The 10 Best Technology Colleges in the US

There has never been a better time for a technology education than right now.

Computing, engineering, medicine, big data, management, entrepreneurship — these fields have an insatiable demand in today’s markets.

You might think that institutions of higher learning would struggle to keep up with how fast modern technology is growing, but the best technology colleges make it a point to tackle today’s biggest problems head-on.

How does a school become the “best” in technology?

For starters, it highlights a world-class faculty, up-to-date equipment, intense STEM research, and hands-on learning. All 10 of the following schools have these and more, allowing students to pursue their unique interests and ambitions to the fullest.

A career in technology is as rewarding as it is competitive, so it’s no surprise that tech folks earn some of the world’s highest salaries.

This ranking is based on each technology or polytechnic institute’s position in the U.S. News 2021 Best National Universities list.

So without further ado, here are the 10 best technology colleges, or institutes of technology & polytechnic universities, in the US.

10. Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL)

Illinois Institute of Technology
Joe Ravi, IIT Galvin Library, CC BY-SA 3.0

Today Illinois Tech students tackle hands-on research in robotics, big data, urban sustainability, medicine, and computer science.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency (NSA) designated the school as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, due to the College of Computing’s extensive programs in cybersecurity and digital forensics.

Illinois Tech computer science professor Kai Shu won awards for his research on fake news. He developed an algorithm called dEFEND, which helps predict and explain disinformation.

Computer science isn’t the only field where IIT excels.

Virgil Abloh, artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection and founder of fashion line Off-White, earned his Master of Architecture from the institute in 2006. Jack Steinberger won the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics with two others for his work on neutrino beams.

9. New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, NJ)

New Jersey Institute of Technology
Jim.henderson, Eberhardt Hall NJIT, public domain

Forbes ranks the New Jersey Institute of Technology as the #1 college where the highest percentage of students come from the bottom fifth of income distribution but end up in the top fifth later in their careers.

It’s no surprise that students become so successful after getting a degree at NJIT. The public institute’s multi-million dollar Makerspace allows students to create and test their own products with state-of-the-art industrial tools. Students can 3D-print prototypes, digitize real objects, and more, taking the hands-on approach to the next level.

The NJIT Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research is a world leader in the field. Other major R&D areas include applied mathematics, materials science, and biomedical engineering.

Prominent alumni include Judea Pearl, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize of Computing for his AI work, and astronaut Wally Schirra, the only person to fly in all three of America’s first three space missions.

8. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)

Rochester Institute of Technology
atlexplorer, Lomb Memorial Drive at RIT, CC BY-SA 2.0

If you want to study computer science, engineering, or information technology, Rochester Institute of Technology is the place for you.

Especially if you identify as deaf or hard of hearing — RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf educates over 1,000 such students every year.

All RIT students have access to cooperative education, a full-time, paid program where students get real work experience as they complete their degree. Co-op employers include Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Tesla, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, and thousands more.

A team of RIT students recently won the 2021 Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition (CPTC), beating Stanford University and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. The CPTC is an international competition that tests participants’ hacking skills.

RIT alumni become CEOs, politicians, Pulitzer Prize winners, and pioneers in their field. One example is engineer Kate Gleason, who helped pave the way for other women in the field around the turn of the twentieth century.

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