2023 Best Online Computer Science Degrees Guide


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Computer science is not only the study of computers themselves but their systems as well. Computer scientists work most often with software as well as software systems which include the design of those systems, the theories they are based on, the development of the software, and the application of the software systems. It also includes computational theory, hardware and software design, algorithms, and the way people will interact with different types of technology.

Computer science is a very rewarding, yet challenging, career path to take with some of the most principal areas encompassing computer systems and networks, database systems, human-computer interaction, security, artificial intelligence, vision and graphics, programming languages, software engineering, bioinformatics, numerical analysis, and the theory of computing. This means that computer scientists can analyze and design algorithms that can solve issues to make things work better, easier, and more efficiently for people while also studying the performance of various hardware and software programs.

Online Certificate In Computer Science

While many people opt to get an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or even doctorate degree in computer science, there are also an array of different certificates that can be earned within the field of computer science that can help people move their careers to higher levels while gaining the advanced pay scale that comes with it.

What Is a Certificate in Computer Science?

There are many options for graduate students to choose from if they want to earn certificates in certain areas of computer science. Most of these certificate programs can be done fully online which means students can work at their own pace to earn their certificate in a time frame that works best for them. There are certificate programs that people can earn who only have their associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in computer science. These certificates can help graduates advance in their careers and to be able to work in specific areas of computer science in which they have the most interest in and are the most excited about.

Most online certificate programs in computer science include four courses for a total of 12 credits toward the certificate diploma. Students can customize their plan of study while earning their certificate in a variety of different areas, such as software engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence and machine learning, data science, and even cybersecurity.

What Are Some Good Certifications To Have In Computer Science?

Earning any type of certificate in computer science will help give the graduate an edge when applying for jobs or promotions. A computer science certificate program will provide graduates with a credential that they can share with prospective employers, or even current ones, on their resumes as well as their professional profiles online. These certificate programs can be very helpful to graduates who want to stay up to date on the latest computer skills and software and for those who want to better understand the language and tools of computing and informatics.

There are many good certificates that are good for graduates to earn in the field of computer science that will help them advance to positions, such as business intelligence analyst which garners a salary of about $94,000 per year, or network architect that will earn the graduate about $109,000 per year. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary per year for computer and information technology occupations was around $86,320 in May of 2018, but salaries do depend on the level of education and experience of the graduate as well as the location of the job, the type of job, and the type of industry in which they work.

How Do You Get a Certificate In Computer Science?

There are many ways that a student can embark on a certificate program since many computer companies, professional associations, nonprofit organizations, and colleges and universities offer computer science certification programs. For example, there are many companies that sell software and hardware for computers that offer vendor-specific credentials through certificate programs and this works the same way with professional organizations and nonprofits that also can provide vendor-neutral certifications.

Most of the time, potential students for these programs must pass an exam or test of some sort to show that they already have the knowledge necessary to embark on such a program. Almost all of these programs are fully online and the student can choose from a variety of different training materials, self-paced online courses, and even instructor-led trainings that will work best for them and the process in which they learn.

A computer science certification that is obtained online is just as good as one obtained with in-person classes and it will help validate the graduate’s technical knowledge as well as their experience with certain computer science methods or practices as well as with specific products. Some areas of computer science require that candidates for jobs have certain certifications, including systems engineer, network administrator, security engineer, software developer, or even project manager. These are high-paying positions that will require candidates to have the technical expertise in specific areas to be able to manage and protect certain operations and in many cases, very sensitive data.

Online Associates In Computer Science

What Is An AA In Computer Science?

When it comes to computer science degrees, students can choose from an associate degree of arts in computer science or an associate’s degree of science in computer science. Whichever one they choose, they will learn all about computers and how they work and function as well as computing systems and networks. An associate degree in computer science allows students to learn more about the foundational concepts of computer science as well as different programming languages to prepare graduates for careers in the field of computer science or to continue on to further their education with a bachelor’s degree or beyond.

Students will be able to develop their skills when it comes to web development, programming, and computer systems analysis since the degree program will build upon the core knowledge and skills that are required in the tech industry for entry-level positions. A variety of colleges and universities offer online computer science programs which allow students to embark on their college career with a flexible format that is great for working professionals, busy students, and even students who were already raising a family or who want to work full-time or part-time while completing their degree.

Associate degree programs normally take about two years for full-time students to three years for part-time students to earn the minimum amount of 60 credit hours that are required for an associate degree program. Because online programs offer flexibility in student’s can work at their own pace, they can actually condense this time down what is allowed by the college they attend.

What Are The Benefits Of Earning An Associate’s In Computer Science Online?

There are many benefits of earning an associate’s degree in computer science one line. An online program will give students a great solid foundation in problem-solving through the use of algorithmic thinking and technology. Students will learn how to analyze very complex computing issues while using computing principles to solve those issues. They can also learn how to create, evaluate, and implement computing-based solutions after being given a set of computing requirements they need to follow well also being able to communicate professionally as well as effectively in a variety of technology situations in the field.

Students will be able to apply computer science theory as well as software development to create computing-based solutions. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics when it comes to the fields of computer science and information technology, the number of occupations that are available for students to apply for after graduation is set to grow by 13 percent through 2030 which is much faster than other career fields.

What Jobs You Can Get With An Associate Degree In Computer Science?

There are many jobs that graduates with an associate degree in computer science will be qualified for upon graduation, including helpdesk technicians. This position will allow a computer science graduate to assist customers and troubleshoot any problems they may be having with their computers by giving them Technical Support either in person or virtually. This is a great position for someone who enjoys customer service and is good at problem-solving.

Graduates can also opt to enter into the field of computer programming where they will be able to create ideas for software developers by writing the code that will make the computer applications function properly. Another possible field is applications analyst. This position will allow the graduate to create administration as well as monitoring and maintenance software applications for various companies, government agencies, and even nonprofit organizations. From application software developers to system software developers and application analysts, graduates will be prepared to apply for a variety of entry-level computer science technology jobs and can even continue on with their education to advance in their chosen field in the future.

Is An Associate’s Degree In Computer Science Worth It?

Yes, it is absolutely worth it to earn an associate degree in computer science for students who are interested in this field. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects at the very least an 11 percent job growth in both computer science technology and information technology positions over the next decade. Graduates with associate degrees in computer science will be prepared to enter positions as software developers, Information Technology (IT) specialists, application developers, computer support analysts, and systems administrators.

As database administrators, students can earn close to $100,000 per year and as software developers, graduates can garner a salary of around $110,000 per year. These are all great positions with livable wages that graduates can enjoy for years to come and can even use their associate degree as the stepping stone for higher degrees to earn even more money in advance to higher levels in the field of computer technology.

Online Bachelors In Computer Science

What Is The Difference Between A Bachelor’s In IT (Information Technology), And A Bachelor’s In Computer Science?

The difference between a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and Computer Science is more about the type of careers that graduates can embark on and the skills they will gain during their college experience. Information technology classes focus more on installing, maintaining, and improving computer systems, operating networks, and even databases. This Degree is more about utilizing mathematics to be able to program various computing systems to run more efficiently and can include design and development when it comes to software and other aspects of computer science.

Computer science education is not necessary for a student who wants a career in information technology. There will be some amount of information technology classes that are fundamental for students to learn to earn a computer science degree that will lead them to amazing job opportunities. Computer science graduates will have more opportunities available to them than information technology workers in the field of computers. This is because information technology deals more with the implementation, development, management, and support of computers and information systems. Information technology encompasses working with hardware as well as software systems while computer science deals with the development and testing of those systems, along with mathematical models, security and data analysis, computational theory, and algorithms.

In other words, information technology professionals are tasked with ensuring that networks, computers, and systems are working and functioning properly whether they are used by personal home users or large corporations, government agencies, hospitals, nonprofits, and others. Computer scientists will be in charge of establishing the computational principles that the software that everyone is using is based on. Computer scientists work behind the scenes to create data transfers and places to store data on computers as well as cybersecurity, encryption, and so much more.

When it comes to potential occupations, information technology professionals work as part of a team there is created within an organization or company to serve the internal computer needs of coworkers as well as clients while computer scientists work in businesses, video game development companies, as freelancers, at colleges, or a variety of other places while creating the software, security, and other systems that are imperative for everything to function properly.

Is A Bachelor Of Computer Science Hard?

Computer science can certainly be a more difficult field to enter into for students and is best for those students who enjoy this type of work and have a basic understanding of it before embarking on a bachelor’s degree in computer science. It is a field that is great for people who pay very close attention to detail since even the smallest mistake can make a program fail when it comes to computers. This means there cannot be any spelling errors, incorrect punctuation, etc. which could lead to major malfunctions within computer systems and programming languages. This is the reason that some students end up becoming very frustrated and leaving the field of computer science completely because there is so much to learn and remember to become proficient in computer science.

Students entering this field will need to be very creative when designing new systems in approaching how to solve a variety of computer science problems. They will face very serious challenges throughout their career which will take some getting used to when it comes to computer programming languages in programming processes themselves. If a student sticks with computer science, though, they will end up in very rewarding and fulfilling careers that can garner very good wages in their futures.

What Can I Do With A Bachelor’s In Computer Science?

A graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer science will have many doors open for them when it comes to computer science opportunities. Computer and information research scientists are tasked with studying the problems organizations and corporations have when it comes to computing. They utilize robotics, data science, and computer programming principles to create or to improve computer systems as well as software and algorithms. Sometimes graduates will even work with electrical and computer hardware engineers on very complex projects.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, other duties that graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science can look forward to are identifying foundational problems in computing and helping to solve those issues, creating new technology as well as computer languages and tools to be able to improve existing computer systems comet design and enhanced software that is the basis for a variety of users experiences, and publish their findings and a variety of academic journals and present them at conferences.

When it comes to wages, a computer research and information scientist who works for the federal government can earn about $132,000 annually. Computer programmers can earn about $93,000 per year and software developers can make in excess of $120,000 per year upon graduation. The field of security analysis is growing very quickly, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, and will pay graduates about $102,000 per year. This field is set to grow about 33 percent between now and 2030. From computer systems analysts to information security analysts and so much more, there are a variety of job opportunities for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Online Masters In Computer Science

Is A Master’s In Computer Science Hard?

While a master’s degree in computer science can be difficult to obtain, it is definitely worthwhile. This is because the field of computer and information technology occupations are set to grow by at least 11 percent over the next 10 years, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Computer science is a very difficult master’s degree program to embark upon because some exams can be very tough and students will spend a lot of hours studying to earn their degree. Computer science is not the easiest field to learn since computer software programming, computer technology, and statistical algorithms can be very difficult topics to master within this field. Anyone can succeed in this very challenging field if they take the time to earn their degree and stay motivated.

Students should earn a relevant bachelor’s degree before embarking on the master’s in computer science program or at least gain some amount of professional experience that they can fall back on when trying to master new skills. A master’s degree program builds on the skills that students have already learned as well as the concepts that they already know and understand, so it’s important to have that background in computer science from a bachelor’s degree program before attempting to earn a master’s degree in this difficult but very rewarding and exciting field that is growing faster than other fields.

Do I Need GRE For A Master’s In Computer Science?

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test That many colleges and universities use as a requirement for admission especially when it comes to higher-level degrees such as master’s degrees and doctorate degrees. The GRE is required by many universities throughout Canada as well as the United States and is administered through the Educational Testing Service (ETS). This particular test was created in 1936 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Since a computer science degree falls under the umbrella of STEM degrees, there is a GRE quantitative score that is required which has to be higher than the verbal score. This means students have to score between 164 and 170 on the quantitative section which is equal to the 88 and over percentile. A verbal score can end up being as low as 154 or above at most universities, although some require an average of 165 to be accepted into a master’s degree program in computer science. Most of the admissions administrators at colleges and universities throughout the United States look at each student’s final application as a whole and not just the GRE score.

The majority of the top-level computer science colleges and universities throughout the United States will require a GRE score that is similar to a student’s grade point average when it comes to indicators of potential academic success. This helps many universities decide upon which applicants for the master’s degree program are more qualified than others to earn their master’s in computer science degree.

How Do I Prepare For A Master’s In Computer Science?

To prepare for a master’s degree in computer science program, it will be best if students have job experience working in the field of computer science as well as their bachelor’s degree in computer science before they embark on a master’s degree program. There are several prerequisites that are required to ensure that all students and the master’s program for computer science start off in the same place and some of those include writing code and higher level programming languages, managing and developing a variety of data structures, advanced math such as calculus and discrete mathematics, and advanced programming and coding.

It would also do potential master’s degree students well to take courses, such as introduction to programming, compilers, software engineering, database management, object-oriented program, or algorithms before they apply for a master’s degree in a computer science program. This type of program is best for students who are very analytical and good at problem-solving since they will be faced with very difficult issues that they need to fix in very complex computer systems.

What Field Of Computer Science Pays The Most?

According to Northeastern University, there are several job positions that will open up for graduates with a master’s degree in computer science, such as software architects. This program will allow graduates to design and develop software from a much higher level perspective and even be able to provide software engineers with an architectural blueprint that they can follow to develop the software. This position pays around $125,000 or more per year. Another high-level position is a software developer which pays around $108,000 per year and allows graduates to become responsible for a variety of computer applications and programs that will help the users to get their work done more efficiently.

A UNIX System Administrator Can make an annual salary of around $103,000 per year or more and will be responsible for maintaining a UNIX computer operating system at a variety of facilities, companies, corporations, or organizations. Many students with master’s degrees in computer science enter the world of cybersecurity which includes the position of security engineer which pays around $100,000 annually. The position of computer scientist pays around $138,000 per year and is a very rewarding career for graduates with a master’s degree since they will work with and develop algorithms and a variety of computer software. There are a variety of other career paths that graduates can take and all of them pay an average of $100,000 per year for graduates with a master’s degree in computer science.

Online Doctorate In Computer Science

What is a Doctorate in Computer Science?

A doctorate in computer science program is designed to provide students with more information that can be built on the knowledge, experience, and education they already have in this growing field. This degree normally takes four to five years to complete and combines research and information in certain focused areas of interest with independent study. The exciting part of this is that many doctorates in computer science programs are now available fully online or at least as part of a hybrid system that combines online learning with in-person instruction. This means that students can complete their degree program in as little as two years or even 18 months since they can study and complete their coursework at their own pace when their schedule allows.

A doctorate in computer science programs offers students an opportunity to explore higher-level design issues while evaluating methods of maintaining security and systems that have been breached or disrupted and being able to develop software that can improve things for an organization, company or government entity in which they may work for in the future. It is a program that’s designed specifically for computer science professionals, academics, and consultants so that they can further their education and specialize in certain areas of computer science.

Does A Doctorate In Computer Science Require A Dissertation?

A doctorate in computer science program may or may not include a final dissertation depending on the college or university in which the student decides to enroll. A doctorate degree in computer information systems or in computer information technology will train students for high-level senior management positions in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or even government agencies.

Depending on which program a student decides to specialize in, they may have to complete a dissertation towards the end of the program. This is so that they can present the knowledge they have learned and apply it in a way that highlights the area in which they want to specialize in. As well as present information on the ideas and solutions they can contribute to the field. Some programs, including information technology strategists, information of computer science managers, chief information officers, or even academic instructors, will require at least 32 hours of thesis research to complete their dissertations at the end of the course before they graduate with their doctorate degree.

Some doctorate programs include coursework and research that culminate in a final dissertation, while others may only require thesis instruction and not require a dissertation to be completed. This is something the student can check into before enrolling in a certain program.

Is It Worth Getting A Doctorate In Computer Science?

For people who love and enjoy working in the field of computer science, continuing their education to earn their doctorate in computer science degree is definitely well worth it. This is evidenced by the fact that, according to CareerBuilder, the average salary for people who hold a doctorate degree in computer science will earn an average salary of around $122,000 per year. There will be a variety of higher-level job positions available for graduates with a doctorate degree in computer science to apply for and they can work in specialized areas of computer science they may enjoy more than more general positions. With this type of degree, graduates will be in a great place to change the area of computer science in which they work at any given time, if necessary since they will be prepared to take on a variety of different higher-level roles in the field.

What Can You Do With A Ph.D. In Computer Science?

Undergraduates who major in computer science will spend a lot of time in their careers writing code and programming computers. A doctorate program will allow graduates to seek out higher-level positions, including research scientist, computer network architect, data modeler, database administrator, computer hardware engineer, computer systems administrator, software developer, academic instructor for computer science, and even security architect. These positions will allow graduates to not only use the more advanced information they learned in a doctorate in computer science program but also to be able to garner a much higher salary.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salaries and growth rate for computer science professionals who hold a doctorate degree will continue to increase and expand from 2016 to 2026 for a variety of professions. For example, there is a five percent growth rate expected for computer hardware engineers who can make well over $115,000 per year. Computer and information research scientists can garner a salary of about the same amount as computer hardware engineers and can expect a 19 percent job growth outlook from now through 2026. Other programs that are growing with salaries of around $100,000 per year or more include software developers, network and computer systems administrators, database administrators, and computer network, architects.


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