Online Computer Science Degree Programs

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WHAT IS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE?

Computer science (CS) degree programs cover the theory and tech behind computers. That includes how hardware and software is designed, built, and used to get to certain goals. You could study skill areas like how to program. And, you may learn how tech is used in all different fields, like business.

Earning a CS degree could help you prepare for diverse career paths. These include roles in the growing computer and IT field. This industry may have demand in areas like cloud computing and information security. You could touch on these topics and more in a CS program.

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TYPES OF ONLINE COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE PROGRAMS

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Science

The B.S. in Computer Science covers an overview of the field, with an eye toward how to solve tech problem. You may also study things from how to program to professional ethics.

Course Examples:

  • Operating Systems (OS)
  • Computer Architecture
  • Mobile & Smart Computing

No specific program accreditation

Master of Business Administration – Applied Computer Science

The M.S. is designed to help you gain a deeper knowledge of core areas of CS. You could pursue a general track, or choose one of four focus areas, like Data Science.

Course Examples:

  • Modern OS
  • Systems Engineering Methods
  • Data base Systems

No specific program accreditation

Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science

The MBA covers business concepts, along with tech trends and skill areas. You’ll explore how CS can help a business get to their goals, while growing your manager knowledge.

Course Examples:

  • Managerial Decision Making
  • Program Languages
  • Computer Graphics

The MBA program is accredited by ACBSP.

ONLINE COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE PROGRAMS

Online CS programs may cover an end to end overview of computing tech. They could also help you prepare for other goals – like mobile app development, or how to keep information systems safe.

Programs will also vary by degree level. You can find undergrad, grad, and PhD programs in CS.

BACHELOR’S DEGREE

At the Bachelor’s level, you’ll study the foundations of this field. That might be things from software engineering to cyber security. Most programs place a strong focus on math. And, you’ll learn how to code in many programming languages – like Python, Java, and C++.

CS pros could work in a range of industries. So, you may learn how to solve all types of problems in different settings. These could include anything from game design to enterprise computing.

Common programs include:
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in CS. A BS program tends to focus more on science and applied math. This path may be ideal for science goals that involve computer science.
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in CS. A BA program focuses more on humanities and social science. If your goals in computer science revolve around making human connections and how to help to solve social problems, this path may interest you.
Bachelor’s in computer science programs include courses like:
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Computation Theory
  • Computer Programming
  • Systems Architecture
  • Software Design
  • Computer Platform Technologies

Many programs also include course work in professional development, plus gen ed courses like English.

MASTER’S DEGREE

An online Master’s in CS program could help students deepen their knowledge in a certain area. For instance, you could take advanced courses in a certain area of focus. Potential focus areas are data science, network security, or software engineering.

You could also expand your knowledge of core concepts, exploring both theory and practice. Most programs include further study of data structures, programming languages, and computer systems.

Common programs include:
  • Master of Science (MS) is a common program at the grad level. But you may find other paths. For instance, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in CS program covers computing tech in a business context.
Computer Science Bachelor’s programs include courses like:
  • Machine Learning
  • Cloud Computing
  • Computational Geometry
  • Security Engineering
  • Object Oriented Design
  • Computer Graphics

DOCTORATE DEGREE

At the PhD level, CS programs tend to place a focus on research. You may focus on how to solve problems and apply theory within your field. And, you’ll learn how to analyze and draw conclusions from data.

Common programs include:
  • PhD in Computer Science. A PhD is a research degree. So, candidates not only build expertise in the field of CS, but they study research methods. Depending on the program, a lot of your time may be devoted to research activity and writing an original dissertation.
  • Doctor of Computer Science (DCS). A DCS is an applied degree. So, you may focus less on original research and more on applying theory to problems in your field. These could include everything from how to resolve systems design flaws to how to improve business processes.
Computer Science Doctorate programs include courses like:
  • Analytics for Big Data
  • AI
  • Futuring and Innovation
  • Cyber security Management
  • Principles of Research Methods and Design

WHAT DO COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE COURSES LOOK LIKE?

Some common courses include:

Information Security: Find out how to protect data from cyber threats. A course like this may cover how to plan, best practices, and how to keep networks safe.

Big Data Technologies: Prepare to use data to predict outcomes and solve problems. This course may cover data analysis, modeling, and other methods.

Artificial Intelligence: This course is all about AI – what it is and the promise it offers. Topics may include machine learning, robotics, and ways to use AI.

Scripting and Programming Apps: Study what goes into building an app. You could learn programming languages like C++, plus key tools and methods.

Data base Management Systems: A course like this looks at how to build data bases that solve problems. Topics may include design, query languages, and more.

Network Administration: This course covers the theory and practice of computer networking. You could learn how to build, fix, and manage networks.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE A COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE PROGRAM?

A Bachelor’s in CS can take four years to earn, for full time students. You’ll need to complete about 120 credits, more or less. Earning a Master’s in CS can take at least two years. These programs are often 30 to 36 credits long, though some are longer. Earning a doctorate in CS may take between three and seven years. In addition to about 60 credits of course work, you may also need to complete a dissertation.

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COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE PROGRAM EXAMPLES

School# of Credits RequiredStart DatesMinimum Months to Complete
Colorado Technical University48Multiple18
Rasmussen College90Multiple18
Northcentral University3052 (weekly)23

THE AVERAGE COST OF A COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE PROGRAM

According to DataUSA, the median in state public tuition was $6,998 per year in 2021. Private and for profit schools cost $35,970 per year. You could find schools that cost more or less than these amounts. Compare costs for these online schools offering CS programs:

School# of Credits RequiredCost Per CreditTotal Tuition Cost
Trident University International120$405$48,600
Regent University120$395$47,400
Colorado Technical University100$598$59,800

TOP SCHOOLS FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREES

According to DataUSA, 852 schools offered CS programs. From those schools, 59,565 degrees were awarded to students.

School2021 Degrees awarded2022/23 Tuition (out of state unless *)
University of Central Missouri379$17,453
University of Southern California1,386$64,726*
University of California San Diego868$44,978
University of Illinois at Springfield225$21,842
University of California Berkeley856$44,467
Oregon State University873$33,439
Massachusetts Institute of Technology692$57,986*
Arizona State University Tempe986$30,592
Stanford University628$58,416*
Columbia University in the City of New York898$66,139*

Estimated for full time, beginning undergrad students

CHOOSING A COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE ONLINE ACCREDITED PROGRAM

Accredited CS degree programs have to uphold certain standards. So, you may want to pursue a degree that holds accreditation.

ABET accredits a variety of STEM programs, including Bachelor’s programs in computing. ABET accreditation helps ensure programs meet global standards. They look at factors like educational quality and program outcomes.

Even if your program is not accredited, it’s important to look for an accredited college or university. In fact, if you plan to apply for federal financial aid, accreditation is required. (Financial aid may be available for those who qualify.)

GETTING A JOB WITH A COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE

Per the most recent data, there were 2.19 million CS grads in the work force. As a whole, the computer and IT field is growing. Jobs are projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations from 2022 to 2032.

CS remains a male dominated field, with 78.6% men to 21.4% women. And, the average age of a degree holder in this field was about 40.7 years old.

TOP SALARIES BY STATE FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE HOLDERS

This salary information is for Software Developers, Apps. Data may vary for other kinds of Software Developers.

StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
Washington91,200$152,010
California258,170$182,570
New York92,040$141,130
Alaska390$137,940

COMPUTER SCIENCE CAREER PATHS AND POTENTIAL SALARIES

Software Developer

Software Developers create applications and computer systems, engaging in tasks ranging from analyzing user requirements to troubleshooting issues and implementing updates. Their expertise finds application across various industries, with the majority working in computer systems design and related services.

According to 2022 BLS data:

Median Salary: $124,200 per year

Job Growth Through 2032: 25% (Much faster than average)

Typical Entry level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Computer Programmer

Computer Programmers are responsible for coding computer applications and software, conducting rigorous testing to identify and rectify code errors. Proficiency in various programming languages such as C++ and Java is essential for these professionals. At times, their responsibilities may align with those of Software Developers.

According to 2022 BLS data:

Median Salary: $97,800  per year

Job Growth Through 2032: -11% (Decline)

Typical Entry level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and Information Systems Managers, commonly known as IT Managers, oversee and strategize the implementation of IT infrastructure in an organization. Their responsibilities encompass analyzing the technological requirements of businesses and safeguarding network security. They operate across various fields and industries.

According to 2022 BLS data:

Median Salary: $164,070 per year

Job Growth Through 2029: 15% (Much faster than average)

Typical Entry level Education: Bachelor’s degree

© Education Connection 2024. All Rights Reserved.

*https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d20/tables/dt20_311.15.asp

Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

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This is an offer for educational opportunities, not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The financial aid information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.

1 You must apply for a new loan each school year. This approval percentage is based on students with a Sallie Mae undergraduate loan in the 2018/19 school year who were approved when they returned in 2019/20. It does not include the denied applications of students who were ultimately approved in 2019/20.

2 This promotional benefit is provided at no cost to borrowers with new loans that disburse between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022. Borrowers are not eligible to activate the benefit until July 1, 2021. Borrowers who reside in, attend school in, or borrow for a student attending school in Maine are not eligible for this benefit. Chegg Study® offers expert Q&A where students can submit up to 20 questions per month. No cash value. Terms and Conditions apply. Please visit http://www.chegg.com/legal/smtermsandconditions for complete details. This offer expires one year after issuance.

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