Our best computer science colleges in Europe rankings list may feel a bit scandalous or novel, given it hasn’t been influenced by external factors like sponsors and other rankings, nor is it based on disingenuous factors like research.
These rankings reflect many years of on-the-ground scrutiny, vetting, and experience by ourselves and our members, and speaks directly to what really matters to US students pursuing English-taught college degrees in continental Europe and Ireland.
The Problem With Other Rankings
While there are many rankings of international universities, college rankings usually refer to those that are most influential like US News, Times Higher Education, and the ShanghaiRanking (ARWU). We spend a good amount of time cautioning against using this factor as a major criterion. All ranking systems have different strengths, weaknesses, and biases. A school that is on one list may not appear at all on another. Further, not all schools are eligible for the rankings which rely on research and PhD programs heavily. If we ever reference this factor in our materials it’s because we realize it’s such a major part of the American mindset.
While the domestic US News rankings have their issues, their Global Rankings are truly flawed. The most important limitation to note is that, while there are a number of quality indicators US News uses in ranking US schools, their international rankings look exclusively at factors around research (such as global research reputation, number of publications, number of books published, number of citations, percentage of total publications that are among the 10 percent most cited, etc.).
If you need insight on why the college rankings system is truly flawed or a refresher on the increasing number of college rankings scandals in the US, here’s a gloomy summary.
So what do the traditional rankings really tell you about your educational experience? Nothing. Further, since the rankings are based solely on research related factors, small schools, specialized schools, and schools with an emphasis on applied and practical knowledge will not even be eligible for these rankings, though many of these schools are excellent with very reputable programs.
The New Way to Rank Schools
We are sometimes asked if college in Europe is as “good” as in the US. People assume a high degree of educational quality in the states simply because of the standard ratings, which are more-or-less unrelated to the educational experience or outcomes of the students. Honestly, the fact that our college graduates test only as high school grads from the Netherlands and Finland is quite telling…
This is why we’ve created a new kind of Ranking system, authored exclusively by Beyond the States, focusing primarily on school/program factors that really matter to US students choosing a degree in Europe:
- Accessibility and availability of English-taught degrees
- Affordability for international students
- Notable employability record and economic mobility
- Quality of international student life on campus/in the city
- Ample international student supports in place
- Availability of study abroad and internship opportunities
- Strong student reviews
- International exposure
As of this writing, there are 124 accredited, English-taught bachelor’s degrees and 182 master’s programs in Computer Science in our database, many of which are IT-related studies, like Computational Science Engineering (CSE), Data Science, AI and Robotics, and Cyber Security. All of the schools on our ranked list have stellar programs in this dynamic field, but most programs will have a common core curriculum, and so it will be critical to look closely at what distinguishes each program’s approach and philosophy and offerings, to find the right fit for you. In any case, the markers of an eminent computer science school will be a strong core curriculum and software design program, but also attention to soft skills like flexibility, critical thinking, and good communication.
Top Universities in Computer Science
The average computer and information science major gets a salary of $58,500 per year. This is one profession in which a person's level of skill has a major effect on their earnings, however. The top 10% of employees make in excess of $95,500. With a job growth rate of 13% in this field over the next decade, it is unlikely that you'll be unable to find work in the computer science and information technology field.
Computer science and computer information systems are usually separate degrees in both American and European universities, though with significant overlap. The difference is that computer science is somewhat more technical and theoretical, while information systems are geared more towards practical application. In other words, computer information systems focuses on business functions and particular solutions.This is a good career for someone with strong communication, organizational, and decision-making skills.
Computer science looks at hardware and software in much greater detail; programming, algorithms, analysis techniques, testing, and data structures make up the bulk of this degree course. Once graduated, this deeper knowledge of computer systems enables a student to pursue a career in any of several specialized fields, including cyber security, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and data analytics.
Graduates of these fields can find an endless range of positions in various industries, from highly demanding startups to more sedate, established organizations in finance, research, government, and of course technology.
One important note regarding computer science programs in the Netherlands, such as those on our rankings list at The University of Twente, Vrije University Amsterdam, and Technical University Delft, is that they may be designated as “Numerus Fixus” or “Decentralized Selection”. This is a designation in the Netherlands which indicates that the program may have a restriction on the number of places available for applicants. This is usually due to demand, or where there is limited enrollment. With these designated programs the application deadline is typically earlier and a motivation letter and CV is often required as well. Keep your eyes peeled for this!
All in all, the schools on our Ranked list made it there because they seem to come up again and again for us, either when we’re creating Best Fit Lists or as features for our Programs of the Month, or they generally appeal to a large number of our members and international students. And there's a reason for this - they uniquely, consistently meet the criteria above we’ve carefully devised after years of experience in the field of English-taught degrees in Europe.
Why Consider Studying Computer Science in Europe
Studying in the US can be a great experience, but it's not the only option out there. If you're looking for something different, studying in Europe might be the perfect choice. Beyond the States offers students a unique opportunity to get a degree from a top-ranking European university while still being able to study in English. You'll get access to the best computer science universities in Europe with the top english undergraduate programs.
If packing up your whole life and moving sounds more exciting than terrifying, then you'll love what colleges in Europe have to offer you. These are 5 reasons why going to college in Europe will be the best decision you'll ever make:
1. Tuition is much more affordable than the US.
In continental Europe, the average cost of all the English-taught bachelor’s programs is just $7,390 per year. Since 1985, US college costs have surged by about 1000 percent, and tuition and fees continue to rise. Even when you factor in the cost of travel, going to college in Europe if often cheaper than one year of tuition at a state college in the US.
2. There are thousands of English-taught degrees.
Choice is another key issue. When cost is a chief consideration, you may be limited to only in-state schools, where tuition is lower. What if your in-state schools aren’t a good option for your chosen field of study? In Europe there are thousands of programs to choose from across 212 areas of study, and they are all taught 100% in English, so there's no need to worry about learning a new language.
3. International exposure is essential and highly valued.
Students who studied abroad stand out from the crowd when seeking jobs after college. The very act of leaving their comfort zone to make a fresh start in a new place builds skills and confidence that will be carried throughout a student’s life. Silicon Valley billionaire investor, Chris Sacca, describes international study experience as a critical differentiating characteristic among candidates. According to former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, “The Jack Welch of the future cannot be like me. I spent my entire career in the United States. The next head of [General Electric] will be somebody who spent time in Bombay, in Hong Kong, in Buenos Aires.”
4. You'll avoid the US admissions rat race.
The college admissions process in the US has become a race to the bottom as students compete with their peers for a single spot in a liberal arts college, convinced by parents and guidance counselors that their survival rests on playing a musical instrument or varsity sport.Many smart kids don’t do well on standardized tests. This doesn’t limit them as much when looking outside of the US, as many colleges in Europe do not require standardized tests. Many countries see entry into universities as a right, rather than a privilege, so admission standards are not as stringent.
5. Spend your weekends & breaks exploring the world.
Travel opportunities abound when attending college in Europe. For example, Lille, a city in northern France with multiple universities, is close to major cities such as Brussels, London, and Paris via high-speed rail. Air travel, especially with the rise of affordable airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet, and Transavia, can be comparable in price to rail travel, so many more destinations open up for short-term travel.
How to Get Into the World's Top Universities
When you also factor in the many problems with US higher education, it is imprudent not to consider other possibilities. It is true there are many excellent schools in the United States—I don’t think anyone would argue that. There are some that have managed to look at applicants as people, and not just a checklist of achievements. Some even have reasonable tuition rates, and/or professors that actively teach and have highly engaged students. Despite this, I have yet to find a school in the United States that addresses all of these issues: allows students to opt out of the rat race the admissions process has become, have reasonable tuition, AND have positive results around the educational experience and post-graduation outcomes. Not every school in Europe provides all this either, but the schools listed in our database do.
How to Find Degrees in Europe That Are Taught in English
Finding these programs is burdensome, difficult, and confusing, especially with institutional websites in foreign languages... We know that making the decision to study abroad can be difficult, so we want to make it easy for you. We scoured the continent for vetted programs and made them available to thousands of families looking to leave the US and find a better life in Europe. We found over 11,200 degrees, 870 universities, 550 cities, and 32 European countries to choose from. Europe offers an impressive range of educational opportunities!
We have gathered all of the information you need to know about studying in Europe – from the different types of schools available to how to get housing and everything in between. Our database helps you find these programs quickly and easily, helping you contextualize the many benefits and options around higher education in Europe.
You will be able to find programs and courses that suit your interests and needs, taught in English by experienced professors in state-of-the-art facilities. Get access to our database and search English-taught European bachelor's and master's programs to get started on your journey to Europe today.