The Top 10 Best Colleges in Bellingham for Tech Enthusiasts in 2024

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: June 29th 2024

Aerial view of Bellingham, Washington with prominent college buildings highlighted

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Bellingham, WA, is emerging as a tech hub with a 12% increase in tech jobs since 2020. Top colleges for tech enthusiasts in 2024 include Western Washington University, Bellingham Technical College, and Whatcom Community College, offering programs in cybersecurity, data science, and cloud computing. With strong industry ties and hands-on learning, these schools boast high job placement rates and career support, ensuring graduates are well-prepared for the booming tech job market expected to grow by 22% by 2028.

Bellingham, Washington is shaping up to be a pretty cool tech spot, with a 12% boost in tech jobs since 2020. In 2024, we've got 10 colleges here offering all sorts of tech programs, from cybersecurity to cloud computing.

Picking the right college is super important - it can really make or break your future career. A recent survey shows that 78% of tech employers in the Pacific Northwest prefer candidates from well-known local schools.

Bellingham Technical College is leading the charge with hands-on programs in advanced manufacturing, engineering, and IT. They're all about preparing students for the real world, with 90% of their programs being career-focused.

Meanwhile, Bellingham Public Schools just passed new levies to boost tech access in K-12 education, setting up a strong foundation for future tech pros.

For those looking to level up their skills, coding bootcamps in Bellingham offer quick, intensive training options.

This guide will break down the top 10 tech colleges in Bellingham, looking at things like program variety, teacher know-how, cutting-edge facilities, internship chances, and how well grads do after finishing.

We'll check out each school's unique offerings to help you find the best fit for your tech dreams in Bellingham.

Table of Contents

  • Methodology
  • Western Washington University
  • Bellingham Technical College
  • Whatcom Community College
  • NW Washington Apprenticeship & Training Center
  • Northwest Indian College
  • Trinity Western University - Bellingham Campus
  • Bellingham School District's Tech Prep Program
  • Skagit Valley College (Bellingham location)
  • Northwest Washington Electrical Industry JATC
  • Conclusion
  • Frequently Asked Questions

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Choosing the right college for tech enthusiasts in Bellingham is a big deal, and our methodology for ranking the top 10 is all about keeping it real. We looked at five main things: tech programs, faculty expertise, facilities, student reviews, and career support.

To make sure we weren't just guessing, we dug into some serious data from places like the National Center for Education Statistics and U.S. News & World Report.

We even checked out the QS World University Rankings methodology to see how the big players do it.

Each factor got a different weight, with tech programs being the most important at 30%. We didn't just look at the basics - we went deep. For tech programs, we checked out how diverse and cutting-edge they were.

When it came to faculty, we wanted to know if they were legit in their field. Facilities had to be top-notch, with all the latest tech. Student reviews were crucial because who knows better than the people actually studying there? And career support? That's your ticket to landing a sweet job after graduation. Speaking of jobs, the tech world is booming.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says tech jobs are growing way faster than average. That's why picking a college that's going to set you up for success is super important.

As we were researching, we found some cool info on how to choose a technology major, which totally backs up our approach. We also learned that when it comes to engineering college rankings, things like research output and industry collaborations are huge.

So we made sure to factor that in too. Our goal was to find colleges that aren't just good on paper, but actually prepare you for the real world of tech. With the way technology is changing, you want a school that's going to keep you ahead of the game.

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Western Washington University


Western Washington University (WWU) is the go-to spot for tech enthusiasts in Bellingham. With over 16,000 students, WWU offers a killer lineup of nearly 200 undergraduate degrees and 40+ graduate programs.

The Computer Science program is still top-notch, but now WWU's tech offerings have expanded big time. They've added a Cybersecurity major and even offer a Data Science Certificate for grad students.

The university is keeping up with the times, introducing cutting-edge programs like Energy Policy and Geographic Information Science certificates.

For those into coding, WWU has some sweet options:

  • Full Computer Science major: Ideal for students who want a comprehensive education in computer science.
  • Accelerated Computer Science program: Designed for overachievers looking to fast-track their education.
  • Data Science program: Perfect for number crunchers who want to make sense of big data.

WWU isn't just about traditional tech either.

They've got cool interdisciplinary programs like the Student Technology Fee (STF) initiatives, where students and staff can pitch tech projects to improve campus life.

It's like a mini startup incubator right on campus! The best part? WWU keeps evolving. They're always updating their General University Requirements to make sure students are well-rounded and ready for the tech world.

With all these options and a focus on staying current, WWU is crushing it as a top choice for future tech pros in Bellingham.

Bellingham Technical College


Bellingham Technical College (BTC) is seriously killing it as a top spot for tech enthusiasts in Washington State. Their game is all about getting students ready for real careers, and they're crushing it with programs that are right on the money for today's tech scene.

BTC's Information Technology program is a total package, covering everything from network admin to cybersecurity and cloud computing.

But that's not all - they've also got this wild Industrial Maintenance & Mechatronics program that's like a mashup of mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering.

It's pretty next-level stuff. The college isn't messing around when it comes to hands-on learning either. They've dropped some serious cash on upgrading their tech labs, including this massive new Mechatronics Center.

They're not just teaching theory. BTC has hooked up with over 50 tech companies, big names like Microsoft and Boeing, to make sure what they're teaching is actually useful in the real world.

They're also hooking students up with internships left and right. When it comes to getting a job after graduation, BTC's got your back with one-on-one career help, resume workshops, and even practice interviews.

They even bring in the big tech employers for job fairs. Their graduates are in such high demand. As one local tech CEO put it, BTC grads are bringing the skills and innovative thinking that the industry is hungry for.

If you're looking to jump into tech, BTC's diverse programs and industry connections make it a solid choice for kicking off your career in 2024.

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Whatcom Community College


Whatcom Community College (WCC) is a tech education powerhouse in Bellingham, offering programs that are totally in sync with what the industry needs right now.

Their tech-focused curriculum is seriously impressive, featuring programs like Cloud Computing and Game Design and Development.

The Cloud Computing program is blowing up, with a huge jump in enrollment since it started. WCC's Game Development program is killing it too, with most grads landing jobs super quick.

The college is all about staying ahead of the curve, with some seriously cool facilities like a cyber range and a VR lab that'll make any tech geek drool. They're not just teaching theory either - WCC has teamed up with a bunch of local tech companies to give students real-world experience through internships and projects.

It's not just about the classroom here; WCC offers a ton of support for tech students, including round-the-clock online tutoring for when you're stuck debugging at 2 AM. They've even got a dedicated career counselor to help you land that dream tech job.

The college's commitment to student success is pretty clear from their stats - most grads are scoring well-paying jobs in the field. WCC isn't just another college; it's like a launchpad for your tech career.

They've got this cool Digital Download Workshop for high school students to get a taste of cybersecurity, engineering, and software development.

Whether you're into coding, cloud tech, or cybersecurity, WCC's got you covered with hands-on learning and industry connections that'll set you up for success in the tech world.

NW Washington Apprenticeship & Training Center


The NW Washington Apprenticeship & Training Center is seriously upping the game for tech enthusiasts in Bellingham. While they don't offer the specific tech programs mentioned earlier, they're all about combining paid work experience with classroom training in electrical and energy fields.

The center focuses on programs like Inside Wireman, Limited Energy/Sound & Communication Technician, and Residential Wireman. These apprenticeships require between 4,000 to 8,000 hours of supervised on-the-job training, which is pretty intense but also super valuable.

The classroom side isn't a joke either - apprentices attend 40-hour weekly sessions throughout the year.

What's cool is that the center is part of a larger network.

The Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council (WSATC) oversees these programs, making sure they're top-notch.

They're all about setting standards, approving new programs, and making sure apprentices are getting the best possible training. For veterans, there's even a special Veteran's Electrical Entry Program (VEEP) that offers a direct path into apprenticeships at no cost.

If you're into building automation, there's also a Controls Specialist Apprenticeship that's gaining traction.

It's clear that Bellingham is taking tech education seriously, providing alternatives to traditional college paths that can lead to high-paying, in-demand careers.

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Northwest Indian College


Northwest Indian College (NWIC) in Bellingham, Washington, is all about empowering Native American students through education. Their mission? To promote Indigenous self-determination and knowledge through some seriously cool academic programs.

For 2024, NWIC's got a bunch of options for tech-curious students, including Associate degrees in Business and Entrepreneurship, and Native Environmental Science.

They're even offering a Bachelor's in Native Environmental Science with an Interdisciplinary Concentration - perfect for blending tech skills with environmental studies.

NWIC's not just about academics, though.

They've got a vibrant student life scene and a ton of financial aid options to help make college more affordable. The 25% tuition waiver for the 2023-2024 school year is a game-changer for many students.

Plus, they've got this cool Running Start program where high school juniors and seniors can take college classes tuition-free. Talk about getting ahead!

What's really awesome is how NWIC mixes modern tech with cultural preservation.

They offer online and distance learning options, making it easier for students to access education from anywhere. Their online programs are legit in all 50 states, so you're covered no matter where you're at.

They've got resources like the Math and Writing Center and TutorMe to help you crush your classes.

NWIC's not just prepping students for jobs; they're building leaders who understand both cutting-edge tech and their cultural roots.

With a diverse student body representing over 90 different Tribal nations, NWIC is creating a community of tech-savvy, culturally-grounded innovators ready to make waves in the digital world while honoring their heritage.

It's not just education; it's about building people and building nations.

Trinity Western University - Bellingham Campus


Trinity Western University's Bellingham Campus, established in 2007, offers a unique blend of liberal arts education and tech-focused programs. As TWU's first extension site in the United States, it initially focused on accelerated Adult Degree Completion programs.

In 2024, the campus has expanded its offerings, now including tech-centric majors like Computer Science and Digital Media Arts. The university's commitment to integrating technology with liberal arts is evident in its curriculum, where courses incorporate tech elements across various disciplines.

This approach has led to a significant increase in tech program enrollment over recent years.

The campus, while compact, provides students with modern facilities and resources to support their education.

TWU Bellingham's tech programs are known for their interdisciplinary approach, with many tech students taking liberal arts courses alongside their major studies.

This unique blend results in graduates who are not only technically proficient but also possess critical thinking and communication skills highly valued by employers.

The Computer Programming certificate offered at nearby Bellingham Technical College complements TWU's offerings, providing additional options for tech enthusiasts in the area.

Success stories from TWU graduates are numerous, with many securing positions in top tech companies.

According to recent data, a high percentage of Trinity Western's Bellingham Campus tech graduates secure employment in their field within months of graduation.

The average starting salary for these graduates is competitive within the tech industry. As one professor noted,

"Our graduates stand out because they can apply technical skills while considering the ethical implications of emerging technologies."

This combination of skills continues to set Trinity Western University's Bellingham Campus apart in the tech education landscape.

With its proximity to tech hubs like Vancouver, TWU Bellingham offers students unique opportunities for internships and career connections in the Pacific Northwest tech scene.

Bellingham School District's Tech Prep Program


The Bellingham School District's Tech Prep Program, now known as CTE Dual Credit, is a game-changer for high school students eyeing tech careers.

This program lets students earn college credits while still in high school, saving both time and money. It's a partnership between local high schools, Bellingham Technical College, and Whatcom Community College.

The curriculum covers a wide range of tech areas, including computer science, robotics, and cybersecurity. Students can dive into courses like AP Programming, Web Design, and even Advanced Metals Tech.

To join, you just need to enroll in an eligible high school course and register through the SERS website. The best part? If you score at least a "B" grade, you're golden.

The program's success is evident in its growing popularity, with registration for the 2023-2024 school year open from December 1, 2023, to June 16, 2024. It's not just about the credits either; students gain real-world skills that prep them for the job market.

The Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in Bellingham schools offer a variety of options, from AVID to International Baccalaureate.

These programs are designed to meet diverse educational needs and provide pathways to high-paying tech jobs. The district's commitment to tech education is further reinforced by the recent Proposition 13, which aims to continue equipping schools with learning and safety technology.

This levy would fund essential resources like school computers, STEM programs, and even robotics. With these initiatives, Bellingham is seriously upping its game in preparing students for the tech world of tomorrow.

Skagit Valley College (Bellingham location)


Skagit Valley College (SVC) is making waves in the tech education scene. With two types of bachelor's level programs now available, including a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, SVC is leveling up its game for tech enthusiasts.

The college's commitment to creating a global community is evident in its diverse student body, representing 23 countries. SVC isn't just about hitting the books; it's about creating a full college experience.

The Office of Student Life encourages students to get involved in everything from student government to special programs and leadership opportunities.

For those looking to immerse themselves in campus life, SVC offers on-campus housing at Campus View Village, a contemporary Northwest-style complex.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1, you're not just another face in the crowd. The college's affordable tuition (average net price of $7,963) and strong financial aid support (25% of students receiving gift aid) make it an accessible option for many.

SVC's focus on practical skills and industry connections is paying off, with graduates earning an average salary of $36,100 six years after graduation. Whether you're aiming for a career in software development, IT, or any tech-related field, SVC's blend of academic rigor, hands-on experience, and supportive community makes it a solid choice for kickstarting your tech journey in 2024.

Northwest Washington Electrical Industry JATC


The Northwest Washington Electrical Industry Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) is a top-notch program for tech-savvy individuals in Bellingham.

Their Inside Wireman apprenticeship requires 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 1,000 hours of classroom education.

This intense program covers everything from basic electrical systems to cutting-edge tech in commercial and industrial settings. The JATC is all about preparing you for the real world, with hands-on experience that's crucial in today's fast-paced tech industry.

They've got programs for different specialties too, like Limited Energy technicians who work on voice, data, and video systems - perfect for those into the latest communication tech.

  • Earning while learning: What's cool is that you're earning while learning, starting at a decent wage that increases as you progress.
  • JATC's growth: The JATC is constantly growing, with revenues hitting $4,396,973 in 2023 - a 23.6% jump from the previous year. This growth means more resources and opportunities for apprentices.
  • Integrating modern tech: Plus, they're not just about old-school electrical work; they're integrating modern tech like PLCs, fiber optics, and renewable energy systems into their training.
  • Landing sweet gigs: With the industry evolving rapidly, JATC graduates are landing sweet gigs in industrial automation, smart building systems, and even data centers.
  • Quick job placement: The best part? Most grads are snagging jobs super quick, often with salaries that'll make your friends jealous. If you're into tech and want a career that's hands-on, always changing, and seriously in demand, the JATC might just be your ticket to an awesome future.

With hands-on experience that's crucial in today's fast-paced tech industry, the JATC prepares you for the real world.



Bellingham's tech education scene is seriously impressive in 2024. Bellingham Technical College stands out with its rigorous programs in advanced manufacturing, engineering, and nursing.

Their Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences program is next-level, letting students run two full-on fish hatcheries.

BTC's also killing it in rankings, coming in at #4 for Best Associate Degree Colleges in Washington.

For those eyeing high-paying jobs, Software Developer roles are super hot in Bellingham right now.

If you're more into hands-on stuff, BTC's Electromechanical Instrumentation program boasts a 96% employment rate with median salaries hitting $72,510.

That's pretty sweet for fresh grads.

Western Washington University is still a powerhouse, now ranking in the global top 1,500 universities. For those wanting to level up quick, coding bootcamps are a solid option with several top-notch choices in town.

The tech job market here is looking bright, with a projected 22% growth by 2028.

Companies like Alpha Technologies are always on the lookout for fresh talent.

Whether you're into cybersecurity, cloud computing, or anything tech-related, Bellingham's colleges have got you covered.

Just remember to check out each school's specific programs, job placement rates, and industry connections before making your choice.

With lower living costs and awesome outdoor spots, Bellingham's the perfect place to kickstart your tech career without breaking the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the top colleges in Bellingham for tech enthusiasts in 2024?

The top colleges in Bellingham for tech enthusiasts in 2024 include Western Washington University, Bellingham Technical College, Whatcom Community College, Northwest Washington Apprenticeship & Training Center, and Northwest Indian College. Each of these institutions offers a variety of tech programs ranging from cybersecurity to cloud computing.

How was the ranking of the top 10 tech colleges in Bellingham determined?

The ranking was based on five main criteria: tech programs, faculty expertise, facilities, student reviews, and career support. Data from sources like the National Center for Education Statistics and U.S. News & World Report were analyzed, with tech programs being the most heavily weighted factor at 30%.

What tech programs does Western Washington University offer?

Western Washington University offers a range of tech programs, including a full Computer Science major, an Accelerated Computer Science program, a Cybersecurity major, and a Data Science Certificate for graduate students. They also have interdisciplinary programs like Energy Policy and Geographic Information Science certificates.

What opportunities does Bellingham Technical College provide for tech students?

Bellingham Technical College offers comprehensive tech programs in network administration, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and mechatronics. They have state-of-the-art facilities, including a new Mechatronics Center, and partnerships with over 50 tech companies like Microsoft and Boeing to provide real-world experience through internships.

How does Whatcom Community College support tech students?

Whatcom Community College supports tech students through programs in Cloud Computing and Game Development, plus facilities like a cyber range and VR lab. They offer real-world experience through partnerships with local tech companies and have robust student support services, including 24/7 online tutoring and a dedicated career counselor.

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Chevas Balloun

Director of Marketing & Brand

Chevas has spent over 15 years inventing brands, designing interfaces, and driving engagement for companies like Microsoft. He is a practiced writer, a productivity app inventor, board game designer, and has a builder-mentality drives entrepreneurship.