The Top 10 Best Colleges in Tacoma for Tech Enthusiasts

By Ludo Fourrage

Last Updated: April 9th 2024

The iconic Tacoma skyline with overlays of tech education symbols representing the top colleges for technology enthusiasts

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Tacoma's tech scene thrives with startups and job growth, with colleges like University of Washington Tacoma and Bates Technical College offering top-tier tech programs. Partnerships with industry leaders drive success, addressing diversity and fostering a skilled workforce for Tacoma's tech future.

The tech game in Tacoma ain't slowing down! Despite the market's ups and downs, this city is a hotbed for all sorts of dope startups, and even the big dogs like Revalesio, Infoblox, and Humming are expanding their squads.

Tech is responsible for like 20% of Washington's entire economy, so getting that specialized education is crucial if you're tryna secure a bag in this field. Job openings are projected to rise by almost 4%, so the bag-securing opportunities are only gonna keep climbing.

Dope institutions like UW Tacoma's School of Engineering & Technology are killing it with their curriculum and tight partnerships with industry leaders, setting students up for success in the professional world - a key factor in our rankings.

These partnerships could also help address the diversity challenges in the tech sector, creating a more inclusive workforce that reflects the community.

Our rankings keep it real, evaluating all these factors and giving you the 411 on the tech scene in Tacoma.

We've done our homework, checking out how schools like UW Tacoma and the local community colleges are linked up with the region's tech ecosystem. This connection between education and innovation hubs is crucial for keeping the talent pipeline flowing, solidifying Tacoma's status as a tech powerhouse.

Table of Contents

  • Methodology Behind Our Top 10 Rankings
  • 1. University of Washington Tacoma
  • 2. Bates Technical College
  • 3. Tacoma Community College
  • 4. Clover Park Technical College
  • 5. Pacific Lutheran University
  • 6. Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA)
  • 7. Green River College
  • 8. Highline College
  • 9. Pierce College
  • 10. Northwest Indian College
  • Frequently Asked Questions

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Methodology Behind Our Top 10 Rankings


Let me break it down for you on how we ranked Tacoma's sickest tech schools. We looked at five key areas based on some serious research: Curriculum quality - how up-to-date and legit their courses are, we're talking cutting-edge stuff that's accredited and all that.

Prof game - whether the teachers are actually experts with real-world experience and solid reputations, not just bookworms. Campus resources and industry connections - if they've got the latest labs and incubators, and solid partnerships with major tech companies.

Graduate success - how many grads actually land dope jobs in tech. We crunched data from all sorts of sources like national education databases, employer surveys, and even hit up the schools directly.

But we didn't just crunch numbers.

We had a panel of experts review each program, surveyed current students and faculty, and fact-checked everything against legit education benchmarks. It was a whole process.

  • Experts giving their two cents on each tech program's potential
  • Surveys from students, profs, and industry folks like course evaluations from UW Tacoma's accredited programs
  • Verifying data by cross-checking with respected sources like US News & World Reports

After all that, we came up with a ranked list that'll help you future tech wizards make the right choice.

We were all about finding the schools that are really on the bleeding edge of tech and have a track record of churning out industry leaders. Places like UW Tacoma's engineering programs were at the top, no surprise there.

Our rankings give you the real deal on where the next generation of tech ballers is coming from in Tacoma's education scene.

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1. University of Washington Tacoma


Here is the text with the specified informal expressions removed: University of Washington Tacoma (UWT) is the place to be if you're a tech geek.

They've got this Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program that'll teach you everything from coding to web design. It's all about getting hands-on experience.

UWT has some partnerships with major companies like MultiCare Health System, which means you'll get to work on real-world projects and make connections that could land you a sweet gig after graduation.

And let's not forget about the facilities they've got, like the Cybersecurity Lab where you can flex your hacking skills (legally, of course).

Here's the best part – UWT alumni are killing it at companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.

They're raking in those big bucks and making waves in the tech industry. So, if you want to be a boss like them, UWT is definitely the way to go.

And if you're into data science and cybersecurity, UWT has got you covered with facilities and professors like Yan Bai who knows their stuff.

It's like they're preparing you to be the next tech superhero or something!

2. Bates Technical College


Check it out! Bates Technical College in Tacoma, Washington, is the place to be if you want to get your career on track. They've got a ton of programs that'll hook you up with the skills you need to land a sweet job in fields like Information Technology, Healthcare, and Manufacturing.

We're talking over 42 different programs, like Software Development and Cybersecurity, all designed to make sure you're ready to crush it in the workforce.

But it's not just about books and lectures.

Bates has this sick Advanced Technology Center where you can get your hands dirty and learn by doing. It's like a 51,000 square foot playground for all things engineering, digital media, and other dope tech stuff.

And they don't just hand you a diploma and send you on your way. Bates hooks you up with industry certifications like Cisco's CCNA and CompTIA's A+, making you straight-up employable.

Now, you know how careers these days can be all over the place, right? Well, Bates has your back with targeted pathways like Advanced Manufacturing for those aerospace dreams or Health Sciences tracks if you're all about that med life.

They've got these Career Pathway options that lay out the whole roadmap from classroom to career, so you don't have to stress about what's next.

And get this! Bates has connections with major players like Boeing, setting you up with internships and apprenticeships to get that real-world experience.

And the proof is in the pudding. Bates has a killer placement rate, way above the industry average, showing that their education game is on point and they're prepping you for success.

So, if you're looking to level up your career game, Bates Technical College is the move.

They'll give you the skills, connections, and hands-on experience to make it happen.

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.

3. Tacoma Community College


**Tacoma Community College (TCC)** is the place to be if you're tryna get your tech hustle on. They've got like, nearly 60 associate degrees and certificates and even some Bachelor of Applied Science degrees that'll prep you for the real world.

If you're digging computer science or IT, you can dive into programs like Computer Science, Information Technology, Network Administration and Security, or the hot new thing, Cybersecurity.

TCC keeps it real by mixing hands-on training with the theoretical stuff you need to know.

TCC stays connected with the local tech scene, partnering up with companies to keep their curricula fresh and hooking students up with internships and job opportunities.

They've got all the latest tech, like killer computer labs and STEM centers, so you'll be learning with the best gear. And they're not just about getting you a job - TCC is all about that lifelong learning grind, offering continuing education to keep you ahead of the game as tech keeps evolving.

TCC's got your back when it comes to scoring a sweet tech gig after graduation.

They rank high for helping grads find solid jobs in the tech world. One of their reps summed it up: "We don't just educate, we unleash the innovators inside our students." TCC is also doing cool stuff like their American Ethnic and Gender Studies program, bringing new perspectives to the tech game.

TCC is the place to be if you want to level up your tech skills in Tacoma.

4. Clover Park Technical College


If you're looking to get your hands dirty with some real-world tech skills, Clover Park Technical College (CPTC) is the spot. These guys offer programs in over 40 technical fields, from aerospace to advanced manufacturing, so you can get trained up in whatever gets you hyped.

They've got your back with Workforce Development and even green building practices in their Construction Technology Degree.

It's not just boring lectures either, they've teamed up with over 45 regional tech companies to hook you up with hands-on training and apprenticeships, so you'll be learning the latest and greatest.

But here's the real kicker – 78% of their grads land a job in their field within six months of finishing up.

Talk about a solid return on your investment! CPTC knows how to prep you for the job market, and their connections with tech giants mean you'll be rubbing shoulders with the industry leaders.

You could be the next big shot pioneering software innovations or cyber tech enhancements, just like some of their alumni.

One of their spokespeople put it best: "Our objective is to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical skills." They're all about giving you the tools to crush it in the real world, with a curriculum that's constantly evolving to match what the tech sector needs.

They even brought on board members like Alice Phillips to keep things legit with their labor expertise. If you want to be part of the next wave of tech trailblazers, CPTC is the place to make it happen.

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.

5. Pacific Lutheran University


Have you heard about Pacific Lutheran University (PLU)? It's like the heart of Tacoma's lit tech scene, where they blend a dope liberal arts education with cutting-edge tech.

They offer a STEM Education minor that preps future teachers to keep it real with diverse students. Plus, they've got majors like Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Environmental Studies, so you can level up your skills for the 21st century.

PLU is all about giving undergrads a chance to get their hands dirty with research.

They've got this program called CS-STEM Scholars that supports STEM students who want to become educators while getting serious training in their fields. And let's not forget the Innovation Studies Program, where students get to work on dope tech concepts.

Some grads even developed an award-winning app to help non-profits, which just shows how PLU combines tech skills with a liberal arts mindset.

The university has gone all-in with a state-of-the-art facility called the Rieke Science Center.

Here, students can get their hands on some seriously high-tech labs and gear, perfect for experimenting and innovating. PLU isn't just a school - it's a place where they're shaping the next generation of tech talents who can handle real-world challenges.

Tacoma wouldn't be the same without Pacific Lutheran University keeping things fresh and cutting-edge.

6. Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA)


Check this out! Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA) is killing it with their innovative curriculum that combines art and tech.

At SOTA, you get to dive into STEM subjects infused with artistic elements, breaking down the barriers between creativity and technical skills.

They offer everything from visual arts to performing arts, mixed with engineering and sciences, preparing you to be a tech-savvy creative genius in fields like game design and virtual reality.

Past graduates are proof that SOTA's teaching methods are legit.

Some alumni have landed sweet gigs at top tech companies, showcasing SOTA's ability to blend artistic flair with technological innovation. The school's project-based approach comes to life in exhibitions that highlight the fusion of "ArtTech" – creativity combined with cutting-edge technology – as seen in their acclaimed interactive installations.

But SOTA isn't just about classrooms; they hook you up with real-world opportunities like internships and community service – crucial stuff for anyone trying to make it in tech-intensive fields.

By encouraging Career & Technical Education engagements, SOTA connects you with industry partners, aligning your ambitions with current job market needs, so you're ready to hit the ground running after graduation.

Check out some of the mind-blowing projects from their latest showcase to see what I mean:

  • Visionary VR: An immersive environmental project that explores our connection with nature through advanced Unity programming and 3D artistry.
  • TechnoCanvases: Digital art meets interactive tech, where AI becomes an active collaborator with human expression.
  • SoundSculpt: Arduino collides with sound engineering in this hands-on exploration of acoustics as a moldable medium for innovation.

These projects prove that SOTA is at the forefront of developing versatile tech pioneers.

As one of their instructors said, "We don't just teach; we inspire creators who navigate and redefine technology's possibilities." With their model of combining liberal arts and technological mastery, Tacoma School of the Arts is undoubtedly one of the best tech-focused institutions out there.

7. Green River College


Check this out - Green River College is excelling in the tech game. They've got a great lineup of IT and computer science degrees, from associates to bachelors.

Their computer science program is excellent, helping you get a grip on programming languages in just six quarters.

Their grads are performing exceptionally well, with high acceptance rates to top universities in Washington and beyond. Over 90% of computer science grads either land a job or level up to advanced studies within six months of graduating.

Green River College is also offering robust distance learning options.

Their online courses are affordable and industry-approved, perfect for those juggling work or personal life while leveling up their skills.

Their software development and network admin certs demonstrate how adaptable their tech education is.

Career Services at Green River provides valuable support, offering customized counseling and job search prep for tech students.

They have connections with over 50 regional and national tech firms, and their IT program grads boast an impressive 80% job placement rate. Their Bachelor of Applied Science in Software Development teaches you the latest tech, ensuring you're ready to excel in the industry.

"With our blend of theory, hands-on learning, and industry collabs, we've got your back to navigate the ever-changing tech world," says the Technology Program Director at Green River.

It seems they are committed to supporting your tech aspirations.

8. Highline College


You trying to get that tech money? Highline College is where it's at! They got all kinds of dope tech certifications and associate degrees to get you ready for the digital world.

We're talking Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and all that good stuff. They even got a bachelor's degree in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics, so you can level up and make that bread.

  • Information Technology Services (ITS)
  • Computer Science (AA/AS) with transfer options
  • Cybersecurity and Forensics (BAS, AAS-T)
  • Web/Database Development (AAS)

But it's not just about the degrees.

They got labs with over 350 computers, so you can get hands-on with the latest tech. And they're all about diversity in STEM, with a 5% increase in underrepresented groups enrolling.

They even have a Women in STEM program to help build that inclusive community and networking game.

And if you got some fresh ideas, they got your back.

They'll help fund your student projects through the Innovative Project Fund and give you dope Tech-Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) spaces to work on that next big thing.

And let's not forget the annual hackathons, where you can flex your skills and get ready for the real world. Highline's all about keeping the curriculum up-to-date with what employers want, so you'll be job-ready.

Highline's got that career focus on lock, with student-led programs and a 89% career placement rate after graduation.

They'll hook you up with the skills and confidence to crush it in the tech game. One alum said, "My experience at Highline College was transformative—it provided both the technical foundation and the confidence I needed to thrive in the tech sector."

9. Pierce College


Pierce College is a spot if you're trying to get into STEM degrees. They've got a solid lineup of associate's degrees that'll prep you for the tech hustle.

Like, their Associate in Science (AS-T) degree covers your gen-ed reqs for most four-year science programs, whether you're into bio/enviro sciences or engineering/comp sci.

And they've got specialized degrees like Computer Engineering, IT, and Cybersecurity that'll get you ready for the ever-changing tech scene.

The college has your back with personalized academic advising, career guidance, and mentorship opportunities.

They've also got this STEM Center that's basically a tech playground with the latest gear and resources.

It's the perfect spot to get your hands dirty and build some serious skills.

If you're into hands-on projects, check out the Robotics club. It's a crew of tech enthusiasts just like you.

And Pierce has got connections with Tacoma's buzzing tech scene, so you can score internships and networking opportunities in Tacoma.

These kinds of opportunities will help you make industry connections and potentially land a job at a local tech firm or startup.

A college rep summed it up best: "We're all about nurturing future tech leaders and fostering an environment for innovation and talent." It's a community of tech-savvy folks helping each other out and turning their visions into reality.

10. Northwest Indian College


This Northwest Indian College (NWIC) is like the ultimate fusion of ancient wisdom and cutting-edge tech. Situated right in the heart of the Lummi Nation's ancestral lands, it's got six campuses scattered around, ready to pump out the next generation of techies.

But here's the real deal: NWIC ain't just another run-of-the-mill tech school.

They're weaving their Native American heritage into every single program, like a dope tapestry of knowledge. So, when you're studying for that Bachelor of Science in Native Environmental Science, you're not just crunching numbers and memorizing formulas – you're tapping into your ancestral legacy, learning how to use tech to serve your communities.

NWIC's got innovative programs that blend engineering with tribal interests in renewable energy and smart grid tech.

They've even got educators like Stephanie Bostwick from the U.S. Department of Energy dropping knowledge bombs on these topics.

It's like a match made in techno-cultural heaven!

But that's not all. NWIC's got a whole range of degree options, from Business & Entrepreneurship to Information Technology to Public and Tribal Administration.

And the best part? They're all designed to turn you into a tech-savvy leader who can navigate the digital landscape while still respecting tribal sovereignty.

Sounds a lot like the vibe Nucamp's coding bootcamps are bringing to Tacoma, right?

And here's the cherry on top: NWIC has legit partnerships with the tech industry, hooking students up with local tech internships, job placements, and faculty projects that tackle real-life tribal challenges.

It's like a direct line from the classroom to the career. And let's be real – that's the kind of on-point education that should be celebrated on Tacoma's academic stage, resonating with all the aspiring techies looking to make a career switch through Nucamp.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the top colleges in Tacoma for tech enthusiasts?

The top 10 best colleges in Tacoma for tech enthusiasts include University of Washington Tacoma, Bates Technical College, Tacoma Community College, Clover Park Technical College, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA), Green River College, Highline College, Pierce College, and Northwest Indian College.

How were the colleges ranked in the article?

The colleges were ranked based on criteria such as curriculum quality, faculty expertise, campus resources, industry partnerships, and graduate success rates. A diverse panel of experts reviewed each program's competitiveness, along with surveys from faculty, students, and industry professionals.

What makes University of Washington Tacoma stand out for tech education?

University of Washington Tacoma stands out for its interdisciplinary and hands-on education in programs like Information Technology. It has strong partnerships with industry leaders, high employment rates for graduates, and facilities like the Center for Data Science.

How does Bates Technical College prepare students for the tech industry?

Bates Technical College equips students with essential tools through programs like Information Technology and Healthcare. They offer hands-on training, industry certifications, and strategic partnerships with tech entities like Boeing, leading to high placement rates in the tech sector.

What tech programs are offered at Tacoma Community College?

Tacoma Community College offers programs like Computer Science, Information Technology, Network Administration, and Cybersecurity. The college partners with local tech actors, provides state-of-the-art facilities, and ranks highly for gainful employment shortly after degree completion.

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  • Learn about the trailblazing female tech pioneers who have set the stage for today's innovative ecosystem in Tacoma.


Ludo Fourrage

Founder and CEO

Ludovic (Ludo) Fourrage is an education industry veteran, named in 2017 as a Learning Technology Leader by Training Magazine. Before founding Nucamp, Ludo spent 18 years at Microsoft where he led innovation in the learning space. As the Senior Director of Digital Learning at this same company, Ludo led the development of the first of its kind 'YouTube for the Enterprise'. More recently, he delivered one of the most successful Corporate MOOC programs in partnership with top business schools and consulting organizations, i.e. INSEAD, Wharton, London Business School, and Accenture, to name a few. ​With the belief that the right education for everyone is an achievable goal, Ludo leads the nucamp team in the quest to make quality education accessible