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

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: July 7th 2024

Top colleges in Chicago for tech enthusiasts in 2024

Too Long; Didn't Read:

Discover the top 10 tech-focused colleges in Chicago for 2024, featuring renowned institutions like the University of Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, and DePaul University. These schools offer cutting-edge programs in AI, cybersecurity, and data science, with strong industry connections and state-of-the-art facilities. Chicago's tech industry is projected to grow by 15%, creating ample opportunities for graduates.

Tech-heads in Chicago, choosing the right college to chase your dreams in tech is important. Our city is poppin' off with an insane tech scene and colleges to pick from.

This article will be your guide to the raddest schools in the Chi for pursuing a career in technology. We're talkin' prestigious research universities and specialized tech institutes – the whole nine yards.

The tech education game in Chicago is always leveling up to stay fresh with what the industry needs.

Colleges are revampin' their curricula, incorporating cutting-edge stuff like AI, cybersecurity, and data analytics. They're also teamin' up with tech giants, so students can get that real-world experience through internships and collabs.

According to a recent study, Chicago's tech industry is expected to grow by 15% by 2024, creating even more opportunities for skilled techies.

Here's what you should keep an eye out for when selectin' the best college for tech in Chicago:

  • Program quality and accreditation - Ensure the college offers high-quality programs that are recognized and accredited.
  • Experienced faculty - Look for faculty members who've been in the trenches and know their stuff.
  • State-of-the-art facilities and labs - Make sure the college has modern facilities and labs for hands-on learning.
  • Research opportunities - Find out if there are chances to get involved in research and innovation.
  • Industry partnerships and internship opportunities - Check if the college has partnerships with tech companies and offers internships.
  • Location and accessibility - Consider the college's location and how easy it is to get there.

As Michael Wilson, CEO of Incture Digital Hub Chicago, puts it, "Chicago's tech ecosystem is on fire, and its colleges are leading the charge in training the next generation of tech leaders."

Table of Contents

  • Methodology for Selecting the Top Colleges
  • University of Chicago
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • DePaul University
  • Northwestern University
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • Roosevelt University
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • National Louis University
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Check out next:

Methodology for Selecting the Top Colleges


Picking the top tech colleges isn't easy. You have to look beyond the hype and focus on what matters.

First off, the program quality has to be excellent. We're talking cutting-edge curricula, hands-on learning, and coursework that'll prepare you for the real world.

Faculty credentials are key too – these professors better have impressive qualifications, research, and industry experience.

But it's not just about the academics.

Modern facilities and labs are a must-have. You can't be slacking with outdated gear when you're trying to stay ahead of the tech game.

And let's not forget about that student-to-faculty ratio – the lower the better for that personalized attention and mentorship that'll take your skills to the next level.

Industry connections are important too.

There's no point in studying tech if you don't have partnerships providing internships and job opportunities right after college. And location? That's a big deal.

Being close to tech hubs means you're in the mix for networking and getting a foot in the door.

So, when you're looking at those top tech colleges, focus on the full package: excellent programs, outstanding faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, small class sizes, industry ties, and a prime location.

Get it right, and you'll be set to succeed in the tech world.

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.

University of Chicago


The University of Chicago is straight-up killing it when it comes to tech programs! This place is a total powerhouse, offering some seriously impressive Computer Science and tech degrees that are consistently ranked among the best in the nation.

What sets it apart? Let me break it down for you: First off, their faculty members are absolute legends in the tech world. We're talking about big names like Michael J. Franklin, who snagged the prestigious Turing Award in 2022 for his groundbreaking work on modern database systems.

Then you've got Ian Foster, a trailblazer in grid computing and parallel computing, who's been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. And let's not forget Yuxin Chen, an IEEE Fellow recognized for his game-changing research in machine learning and AI. But it's not just the faculty that makes this place a tech paradise.

The university has invested serious cash into creating an environment that's perfect for nurturing innovation. The brand-new $88 million David M. Rubenstein Forum is a cutting-edge facility designed for collaborative computer science research and cross-disciplinary exploration.

And if you're into the creative side of tech, the Hack Arts Lab is the place to be, where you can explore the intersection of art and technology through hands-on projects. The programs on offer are top-notch too, covering everything from foundational Computer Science to cutting-edge fields like Computational and Applied Mathematics, Molecular Engineering, Data Science, and Human-Computer Interaction.

And the best part? The university prioritizes interdisciplinary learning and research opportunities, so you get to be part of a vibrant community of tech innovators who are shaping the future of technology.

As Professor Andrew V. Sutherland puts it, "Our mission is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to tackle society's greatest challenges through the power of computing."

Illinois Institute of Technology


Alright, let's talk about the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). This place is a tech paradise located right in Chicago.

Their Computer Science and Engineering programs are on point, giving you the skills to dominate the tech world in 2024 and beyond.

IIT's curriculum is all about cutting-edge tech, like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data science, and software engineering.

You'll get hands-on experience in their labs and work on real industry projects. Plus, they have awesome facilities like the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship, where you can collaborate on tech solutions and unleash your entrepreneurial spirit.

IIT hooks you up with industry connections like crazy.

They partner with top tech companies, setting you up with killer internships and making the transition from student to professional a breeze. Check out these initiatives:

  • IIT Interprofessional Project (IPRO) program: Tackle real-world challenges sponsored by industry partners.
  • Grainger Power Electronics and Motor Drives Laboratory: A state-of-the-art facility for power electronics research and collaboration with industry leaders.
  • Illinois Tech Robotics Lab: Get hands-on with robotics design, programming, and application development.

As Elizabeth Wilson, IIT's President, said,

"Our goal is to empower students with the knowledge and skills to drive innovation and shape the future of technology."

With these awesome resources and industry connections, IIT is the place to be for aspiring tech pros who want to crush it in the ever-changing digital world.

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.

DePaul University


DePaul University's School of Computing and Digital Media is like the ultimate playground for tech geeks in Chicago.

With a crazy selection of programs from Computer Science to Cybersecurity and Game Programming, they've got your back whether you're into coding, hacking, or gaming.

And let's not forget their fire graduate programs like Data Science and Software Engineering – perfect for taking your skills to the next level.

It's no wonder! Being right in the heart of downtown Chicago, you get to rub shoulders with big tech players like Google and Microsoft.

We're talking regular meetups, hackathons, and career fairs where you can network like a boss and maybe even score an internship. And with companies like IBM partnering up with DePaul, you'll be working on legit real-world projects, gaining that sweet, sweet experience.

The best part? DePaul's curriculum is all about keeping it real.

You'll be tackling projects and case studies straight from industry partners, so you know you're learning the good stuff. And with classes covering hot topics like AI, data analytics, and cybersecurity, you'll be ahead of the game when it comes to industry trends.

Oh, and let's not forget the chance to nab those coveted industry certifications alongside your degree, making you a total catch for employers. One alum who's now a software engineer at Google even said DePaul's hands-on learning prepped them perfectly for the challenges of the tech world.

Talk about a solid endorsement!

Northwestern University


Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering is a total tech powerhouse! Their Computer Science program is ranked among the nation's best, and the whole university excels in engineering.

With small class sizes, you get that personal touch from experts pushing the boundaries of tech.

This place is a research juggernaut, cranking out mind-blowing innovations in AI, cybersecurity, data science, robotics, and more.

They've got projects like DeepLife using AI for drug discovery, CyberSecurity@NU taking down cyber threats, and the Northwestern Robotics Lab changing the game in autonomous systems.

Their faculty? Accomplished experts! We're talking Turing Award winners (that's like the Nobel for computing), National Medals of Science, and memberships in the elite National Academy of Engineering. These pioneers are shaping the future of machine learning, quantum computing, 5G networks, you name it. If you graduate from McCormick, you'll have the skills and problem-solving abilities to excel in the ever-changing tech world.

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.

Loyola University Chicago


If you're looking to level up your tech skills in the Windy City, Loyola University Chicago is where it's at.

These guys aren't just about coding and algorithms; they're all about infusing ethics and social responsibility into the tech game, keeping it real with their Jesuit roots.

Their Bioinformatics program is straight fire, teaching you to analyze complex biological data using cutting-edge computational techniques.

But that's not all – their BS in Bioinformatics covers everything from biology and chemistry to computer science and statistics, giving you a well-rounded education to tackle real-world challenges.

And if you're more into software engineering, Loyola has your back with industry vets and renowned scholars guiding you through the ins and outs of development, cybersecurity, and all the good stuff.

But what really sets them apart is their focus on ethics and social impact. Courses like "Computer Ethics" and "Technology and Human Values" ensure you're not just a coding machine but a responsible tech leader who understands the broader implications of your work.

On top of that, Loyola hooks you up with killer opportunities to get hands-on experience.

From student projects tackling real-world tech challenges to internships at major companies like Motorola, Lenovo, and Microsoft, you'll be prepped for success before even graduating.

With over 80% of Computer Science students scoring internships, you know they've got connections.

So, if you're looking for a tech education that's not just about the code but also about making a positive impact, Loyola University Chicago is where you want to be.

They're bringing the Jesuit values to the tech world, and that's something we can all get behind.

University of Illinois Chicago


The University of Illinois Chicago is straight fire if you're a tech geek! Their Computer Science program is on another level, covering cutting-edge stuff like AI, cybersecurity, and data science.

You get to collab with bigshot companies like Google, Microsoft, and Motorola Solutions! Talk about gaining mad real-world experience.

But that's not all, their Engineering departments are crazy innovative too.

You got the Electronic Visualization Laboratory and the Robotics and Automation Lab where you can explore mind-blowing technologies.

It's like a playground for tech junkies!

UIC isn't just about academics though, they're all about giving back to the community. Programs like EngrTECH introduce underrepresented kids to STEM, keeping it diverse and inclusive.

And the UIC Cluster Program partners with local high schools, offering college-level courses and mentorship - how cool is that?

Dr. Sarah Harris, the Dean of the College of Engineering, summed it up perfectly:

"We strive to create an environment where students can thrive, not just academically but also as socially responsible citizens, contributing to the betterment of their communities."

UIC strikes the perfect balance between theory and hands-on learning.

With industry collabs, you'll gain invaluable experience working on legit professional projects. And facilities like the Makers Lab and Computer Science Instructional Labs will hook you up with the latest tech toys to play with!

Roosevelt University


Hear me out - Roosevelt University is seriously excelling when it comes to tech education in Chicago.

This place is like a goldmine for anyone who's into coding, cyber security, or anything remotely geeky.

First off, they've got a solid Computer Science program that'll prep you for all the hottest tech careers.

We're talking software engineering, web dev, data science - you name it. But the real highlight is: they keep their class sizes crazy small, like an average of just 16 students per class! That means you'll get way more face time with the professors, who are total experts in their fields.

And you'll be impressed with their facilities - it's like a tech wonderland! They just revamped the whole campus with a $27 million makeover, including a legit Cyber Playground for hacking simulations and an Innovation Lab loaded with 3D printers, VR gear, and all the coolest toys a techie could ever want.

You'll have a blast tinkering with cutting-edge gadgets and bringing your wildest ideas to life.

But the real standout at Roosevelt is how they hook you up with internships and industry connections.

They've got partnerships with loads of major tech companies, so you'll be rubbing elbows with the pros and scoring job leads before you even graduate. One of my buddies, Nancy White, landed an epic software engineering gig straight outta Roosevelt, all thanks to the real-world experience and networking opportunities they provided.

Columbia College Chicago


Columbia College Chicago's Interactive Arts and Media Department is where it's at for anyone trying to get their game on in the tech world.

These guys are all about pushing boundaries and creating mind-blowing experiences at the intersection of art and cutting-edge tech. If you're into game design, they'll hook you up with the skills to become a legit master in the gaming industry.

We're talking 3D modeling, level design, storytelling, and even getting to work on a full-fledged game for your capstone project. Their Programming major is a beast, covering everything from web dev with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to mobile app creation for iOS and Android.

They'll even get you up to speed with data structures, algorithms, machine learning, and AI fundamentals. It's like they're preparing you to conquer the tech world, one line of code at a time.

With state-of-the-art labs, industry connections, and faculty who are actually out there killing it in their respective fields, you know you're getting a top-notch education that'll have you ready to take on whatever the future throws your way.

Northeastern Illinois University


Northeastern Illinois University is the spot for tech nerds like us who want a solid education without breaking the bank.

Their Computer Science programs cover all the hottest topics – cybersecurity, data science, software dev, you name it.

Tuition is a steal at around $12K for in-state students and $18K for out-of-state (2024 estimates). That's a fraction of what you'd pay at those fancy private schools.

But it's not just about the academics, NEIU is all about that diversity.

Over 60% of the student body is made up of racial or ethnic minorities (projected for Fall 2024). They've got resource centers for Latino, Asian American, and LGBTQ+ students, creating a welcoming space for everyone to feel at home.

It's a melting pot of cultures, and that kind of inclusive vibe is clutch.

NEIU has your back with a ton of support services to help you slay your goals.

Academic advising to map out your degree path, free tutoring and writing assistance for when you need an extra hand, and career development workshops to land that dream job.

They'll prep you for the real world, no doubt.

And let's not forget the campus life! With over 100 student orgs, you can find your tribe. Tech geeks can squad up with clubs like the Computer Science Club, Cybersecurity Club, and Game Development Club for networking, workshops, and collabs on dope projects.

One NEIU alum, James Garcia, said the inclusive atmosphere and hands-on learning made them grow personally and professionally. That's what it's all about!

National Louis University


National Louis University's tech programs are on point for anyone trying to level up their skills. First off, check out their Computer Science and Information Systems degree.

It's got concentrations in areas like Software Development, Cybersecurity, and Data Science, so you'll be learning the hottest tech that companies are craving right now.

Their Data Analytics program is a game-changer if you're into crunching numbers and uncovering insights from massive data sets.

You'll get hands-on experience with Python, R, SQL, and cutting-edge analytics tools, giving you a serious edge in the job market.

What really makes National Louis stand out is how they cater to the needs of busy adults and career changers.

They've got evening and weekend classes, fully online degrees, and an accelerated 8-week course format, so you can balance work and life while leveling up your tech game.

Plus, their rolling admission means you can start whenever it works best for you, no need to wait around.

It's not just about the coursework - National Louis is all about setting you up for success.

They've got career coaching services that'll get you prepped for interviews, networking events to connect with professionals, and workshops to keep your skills sharp.

And let's not forget about the diversity and inclusive vibes on campus, making it a welcoming space for anyone looking to make a career change.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the top factors to consider when selecting a tech college in Chicago?

When selecting a tech college in Chicago, consider program quality and accreditation, experienced faculty, state-of-the-art facilities and labs, research opportunities, internship opportunities, and location and accessibility.

What sets the University of Chicago apart in tech education?

The University of Chicago stands out for its legendary faculty, significant investments in innovative facilities, and a focus on interdisciplinary learning and research. Prominent faculty members include Turing Award winners and pioneers in AI and machine learning.

How does Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) support tech students?

IIT offers a cutting-edge curriculum with hands-on experience in labs and industry projects. The institution has strong industrial connections, providing students with ample opportunities for internships and collaborations. Facilities like the Illinois Tech Robotics Lab and the Grainger Power Electronics and Motor Drives Laboratory further enrich the learning experience.

Why is DePaul University ideal for tech enthusiasts?

DePaul University offers a wide range of tech programs in the heart of downtown Chicago, enabling strong industry connections with companies like Google and Microsoft. The curriculum focuses on practical, real-world projects in areas such as AI, data analytics, and cybersecurity. Students also have the opportunity to earn industry certifications.

What unique advantage does Loyola University Chicago offer tech students?

Loyola University Chicago integrates ethics and social responsibility into its tech curriculum, aligning with its Jesuit roots. The university offers robust programs in bioinformatics and software engineering, and ensures students gain hands-on experience through internships at major tech companies. Loyola’s focus on ethics courses prepares students to be both skilled and socially responsible tech leaders.

You may be interested in the following topics as well:


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.