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By Mario McKellop

With the rise of self-driving cars, smart cities and other Internet of Things innovations that are primed to change the world, there will be an increasing need for skilled software engineers. And those engineers will need the kind of education only a college or university that specializes in STEAM learning can provide. To the end, here are the five best software engineering schools in America.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne

The Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne has consistently ranked as having one of the best programs of its type in the entire world. Notably, its alumni have developed transformational applications and games such as YouTube, PayPal, Yelp and “Mortal Kombat.” And with a mean starting salary of $89,023, its computer science students can rest assured that their time at the University is a meaningful investment in their future livelihood.

San Jose State University

Nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose State University is a great school for those looking to pursue a career in software engineering. With courses in everything from data mining to computer graphics to game design, it’s a great place to get a robust education in the fields that drive the industry. Not only is it one of Business Insider’s picks for the best software development schools in the United States, but it also provides a strong return on investment. For around $11,000 a year in tuition, SJSU students can expect to start earning an average of $100,000 a year once they graduate.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The gold standard of STEAM-related institutes of higher learning, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been at the forefront of technological development since its founding in the 1800s. As such, US News & World Report ranked MIT the No.1 school for those interested in pursuing a career in the field. With an admittance rate of only 13 percent, MIT isn’t an easy school to get into. But as it is well-known for being recruiting ground for tech giants such as Google and Amazon and its computer science graduates earning an average of $104.856, it’s a school very much worth pursuing.

Stanford University

As the school known for giving the world Google, Stanford University is the Ivy League for STEAM education. In addition to its top-flight of faculty and curricula, Stanford offers its students a very appealing Global Internship Program.Through it, participants can gain meaningful real-world experience working on software solutions that China and India are developing to revolutionize technology in the 21st century. Another school that is ranked among the very best, Stanford students who earn a degree in computer science can expect an average salary of $122,000.

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is an ideal Institute of higher learning for a STEAM student. The groundbreaking innovations produced by Carnegie’s School of Computer Science in algorithm development, human-computer interaction and programming languages has placed it at the forefront of the tech sector. As it has established a reputation for fostering the leading minds of tomorrow, Carnegie has established relationships with corporations like Sony, IBM and Google. As a result, the school graduates can expect an average salary of $131,547.

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