Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Computer Science

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In today’s tech-savvy society, every industry is impacted by computers and digital technology. Employers demand highly qualified, innovative professionals who are ready to meet contemporary computer science demands and address emerging dilemmas. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that computer-related job opportunities will increase by 13% through 2026, while computer science professionals should anticipate a 19% growth rate.

Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Computer Science

Rank School Location
1 Independence University Salt Lake City, UT
2 Brigham Young University-Idaho Rexburg, ID
3 University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield, IL
4 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
5 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
6 Park University Parkville, MO
7 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI
8 Dakota State University Madison, SD
9 Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA
10 Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights, KY
Advertisement AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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An online computer science degree focuses on the theory and application of software design and computer programming. Students learn to analyze algorithms and data structures that assist with solving communication or technological problems. Additionally, most computer science bachelor’s students graduate with a professional portfolio due to the hands-on nature of the program. This guide covers vetted programs, strategies for choosing the most suitable program, potential occupations, earning potential, funding options, and strategies for offsetting tuition through scholarships.

Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Computer Science

METHODOLOGY

2-YEAR SCHOOLS

Below is a current list of the best online computer science degrees offered. Similar to on-campus schools, online universities vary in both quality and accreditation. A good computer science program contains coursework that develops the professional skills needed to gain employment upon graduation. Important factors for selecting a school include information such as graduation rate data, cost of tuition, student services, and program-specific resources. With these factors in mind, the listed programs have been vetted through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

  1. Independence University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Undergraduate students can earn a bachelor of science degree in software and mobile applications development completely online. The program takes 36 months to complete and is designed with a focus on post-graduation employment in the tech field. That means there are few or no electives that don't directly pertain to employable skills. Students will learn the latest technologies and techniques involved in software development and programming, software security and testing, software development, application development and systems analysis. They'll also receive instruction in operating systems, the development of mobile apps, web page programming, web server programming, database programming and employment-specific skills like entrepreneurship and workstation administration. Previous graduates have landed positions like IT entrepreneur, mobile app developer, software engineer, software developer and computer programmer. Among the major employers and partners affiliated with Independence University are LegalShield, Liz Reynolds, Cengage Learning, Columbus Community Hospital, Brand Makers and the American Red Cross. Students receive a tablet and laptop to use for school, both of which they keep after graduation, and all books and supplies are included with the cost of tuition. There are no hidden or extra fees. Non-tuition benefits include tutoring before graduation and refresher courses and career services after graduation. Those seeking financial aid can receive help in doing so and scholarship money is available. The school offers monthly starts, so applicants don't have to wait for the arrival of a new semester, and in many cases, they can transfer in previously earned credits.

  2. Brigham Young University-Idaho
    Location

    Rexburg, ID

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The computer information technology program at Brigham Young University-Idaho is a 120-credit program that can be completed 100% online. Upon completion, graduates will be qualified to pursue work as network engineers and architects, IT managers, database administrators, computer systems administrators, webmasters, web developers, computer and information systems managers, computer software engineers and developers. The skills students learn, which are in high demand in both public and private organizations of all sizes, include the design, development and management of systems used by corporations, government entities, nonprofits and small businesses.The curriculum includes mostly core and major courses and culminates in either a senior project or an internship as well as a senior practicum. In all, there are 40 credits of foundation courses, 51 credits of major courses and 29 credits of electives. Concentrations or minors from the business department are available for those who choose. Online classes have the same learning outcomes as those taught on campus, and students can expect a comparable level of interaction with instructors and classmates. Students who have not received at least 15 credit hours of on-campus instruction must complete the PathwayConnect program to be accepted into the program. Financial aid is available, as is help with applying for aid. There are also several scholarship programs, including BYU academic scholarships, talent scholarships, general scholarships, internship scholarships and scholarships based on recommendation or nomination. There are also more than 20 outside scholarships not offered by BYU. Distance learners enjoy the same services as their peers on campus, including academic advising, tutoring, counseling and career services. The university is affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  3. University of Illinois at Springfield
    Location

    Springfield, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Upon completion of the computer science bachelor's degree program at the University of Illinois at Springfield, graduates will be prepared to pursue graduate studies in a variety of related fields of study. Those planning to enter the workforce right away will have the knowledge of both core theories and fundamental skills needed to enter the job market immediately after completing the program. The program's core requirements provide the foundation for computer science knowledge, but elective choices vary by student and are chosen under the guidance of an academic adviser. In order to be considered for the program, applicants must have completed at least 30 semester hours of credits with a GPA of at least 2.0. Those credits must include two semesters of Java programming, as well as a semester each of statistics, calculus and finite or discrete math. There are prerequisite courses that can satisfy those requirements for students who don't have the appropriate academic background. Both the requirements and academic intensity are the same for distance learners as for on-campus students, but online learners will use the Blackboard learning management system to communicate with peers and professors, receive and submit assignments, participate in discussions, receive updates, check grades and view presentations and lectures. Prospective students who are unsure if online learning is right for them are invited to take the school's online learning assessment test before they commit. All three U of I schools contribute to the combined U of I distance learning program, and the degree earned online is identical to the one students would have received had they taken traditional classes on campus.

  4. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The bachelor of science in computer science cybersecurity program at Liberty University is delivered through the School of Business. It stands out from other computer science programs by concentrating on protecting data, defending systems and identifying and repelling cyberattacks in the corporate and government spheres. The program, which is based on the longer-running "residential" program that's taught on campus at Liberty, includes instruction not just in computer science, but in information systems and sciences, as well as programming, problem solving and algorithms. Upon completion of the program, potential careers include network security administrator, security software developer, security engineer, security analyst and cryptographer. On average, the 121-credit-hour program takes 3.5 years to complete, but as many as 75 percent of credits can be transferred in from qualifying schools. Students will use the Blackboard learning management system for most of their coursework and the instructors are the same faculty members as those who teach on campus. The program boasts supplementary accreditation from the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Although the program is meant for transfer students, applicants are required to complete a high school self-certification form to be considered for the program. Distance learners have access to a range of services, including more than 750,000 journals, peer-reviewed articles and e-books, as well as the online writing center and access to the physical library any time they want. It's important to note that distance learners are charged a range of fees, including a technology fee, that do not apply to on-campus students and that are not included in tuition.

  5. Bellevue University
    Location

    Bellevue, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    There are 2 possible tracks for the computer information systems degree program at Bellevue University. The BAS program requires 120 credit hours to complete and the BS track is a 127-credit-hour program. With the exception of credit requirements, the programs are the same. The BAS track was developed for corporate students, while the BS path is designed for students planning careers in the computer information systems market.No matter which track students choose, they'll leave the program prepared to design computer-based processes, systems, components and programs and then implement and evaluate their work. They'll also learn how to identify and analyze problems in order to develop computer-based solutions. The goal of the program is to prepare students with marketable skills that enable them to keep a business or other organization's systems running smoothly and according to the organization's goals. The 3 central areas of study are management of information systems, computer programming and database and information systems. Among the possible career choices for graduates entering the workforce are software developers and programmers, computer network architects, computer systems analysts, database administrators and network and computer systems administrators. All of those careers average 6-figure salaries or close to it. Distance learners have access to career services and academic advising, same as students who attend classes on campus, as well as library services, tutoring, labs and the writing center. In many cases, transfer students can apply credits they've earned elsewhere to their degree at Bellevue, and there are also opportunities to gain credit through prior learning experience.

  6. Park University
    Location

    Parkville, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students who successfully complete the information and computer science program at Park University will be prepared to move onto graduate school or immediately enter the workforce in a variety of tech- and business-related fields. There are 5 specialty areas for students to choose from, including data management, information technology, networking and security, software development and computer science. Students are able to select more than 1 specialty if they choose, and those who opt for the networking and security specialty will take CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA) coursework in preparation for the CCNA certification exam. Depending on the chosen specialty, the program takes 46-58 hours to complete. The program is regularly updated to keep pace with changing technology and techniques, and it is designed specifically to prepare students for real-world careers, including database analyst, web programmer, information technology project manager, software engineer and applications programmer. The school also works to help place interested program participants in regional internships. Staff is on hand to help with financial aid applications, and the school also offers several scholarships, including endowed scholarships, freshman academic scholarships, competitive freshman scholarships, scholarships for transfer students and a range of other specialized scholarships. Online courses, which run for 8-week terms in an accelerated format, start 5 times a year, which means students don't have to put off enrollment to the beginning of a new semester. Distance courses are accredited by the online-learning assessment agency Quality Matters. Discounts and special programs are available for military personnel and other qualified applicants, and distance learners have access to the same student services as on-campus students, including tutoring, library services, writing services, academic advising and counseling.

  7. Davenport University
    Location

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students who complete the computer science BS program at Davenport University will be qualified to enter the workforce in a variety of exciting fields, including gaming, artificial intelligence, computer vision and language design, robotics and autonomous systems. Graduates of the program report landing jobs with organizations like Google, Microsoft and Apple, as well as in the health care, telecommunications, finance and automotive industries. The average computer scientists, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited by Davenport, earns $77,550 a year. Davenport graduates report an employment rate of 91%.

    Upon entering the program, students can choose one of of four optional specializations: gaming and simulation, artificial intelligence, mathematical modeling and computer architecture and algorithms. No matter the path, financial aid is available - in fact, more than 95% of Davenport students receive financial assistance. Financial advisers can guide students through the process of securing grants, scholarships and loans, as well as Davenport institutional scholarships, Davenport Foundation scholarships and several other awards offered by the school. In total, Davenport offers more than $15 million in scholarship money a year.

    The school accepts transfer credits from colleges, community colleges and in some cases even high schools. Students starting college as freshman can begin to earn credit while they're still in high school, thanks to statewide articulation agreements with career centers, tech centers and high schools, as well as through the college's dual enrollment program. High school students can even earn credit through participation in AP and IB programs, as well as through specialized testing.

  8. Dakota State University
    Location

    Madison, SD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students who graduate from the Dakota State University computer science program will emerge with a bachelor of science degree and the skills needed to begin work as programmers, analysts, software engineers, penetration testers, software developers and tech startup entrepreneurs. Throughout their course of study, students will work with cutting-edge software and technology like DSUnix, Solaris, Irix and Linux, while also enjoying access to the security, anti-hacking and networking tools available through the Information Assurance Lab. Every professor who teaches the computer science program at Dakota State University has a PhD in computer science. The school puts a heavy focus on tech and related education. For example, DSU maintains an honors program called the Center of Excellence in Computer Information Systems. The program enables deserving students to become leaders in both the design and application of IT tools as they're used in education, business, government and industry. There are also several clubs and organizations, which are open to distance learners as well as on-campus students, including the Gaming Club, Computer Club, programming contests and LAN parties. Financial aid exists specifically for computer science students. Distance learners will complete most of their coursework through Desire2Learn (D2L), which is a course management system that gives them access to lecture notes, assignments and exams. Online students can set their own schedules and they'll have the opportunity to work with their student peers in a virtual classroom. Transfer students can apply qualifying credits from qualifying schools to their degrees, and distance learners enjoy the same student services as their on-campus counterparts, including career services, library services, academic advising and counseling.

  9. Pennsylvania State University
    Location

    University Park, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Penn State World Campus' bachelor of science in software engineering program requires 126 credits to complete and combines design projects, experience in software development and classroom study. The program focuses on computing skills, engineering principles, software construction and project leadership. Students will learn to use modern technologies to develop software for embedded systems, web applications and mobile applications. Coursework is challenging, and includes subjects like object-oriented methodology, computer programming, software security, software design and software validation and verification. Senior year includes a capstone course series that was designed with input from the industry. The senior capstone enables participants to plan, create, implement and manage their own software systems. The capstone project, like the entirety of the program, is collaborative and requires cooperation between classmates and instructors. Upon graduation, students will be qualified for positions as sales engineers, computer systems analysts, project managers, user interface designers, software developers, systems administrators, software testing engineers and video game designers. Online learners are not required to log on at a specific time, but they are required to complete weekly discussions, assignments, readings and even some group work. Students will communicate with instructors and each other through email, video conferencing, phone calls, bulletin boards and social media. The school offers help with financial aid, both for new students and transfer students, as well as tuition assistance for unemployed students and a range of special programs for military personnel. Penn State also offers and supports several scholarship programs and maintains a web page dedicated specifically to scholarships, eligibility requirements and application details.

  10. Northern Kentucky University
    Location

    Highland Heights, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    At Northern Kentucky University, students looking for flexibility in their academic schedule can choose from a variety of program formats to earn a bachelor's degree in computer science. Part-time, full-time, accelerated, hybrid and online options exist for the majority of coursework. All students begin their studies with an introduction to informatics, including topics of networks and data communication, elementary programming and web development. Following this, classes explore object-oriented programming, data structures and algorithms, operating systems and theory of computation. There are a number of math courses necessary for completion, and as a result, many students opt for a minor in mathematics. Aside from these requirements, students are able to choose from concentrations in artificial intelligence, computer graphics or computer security. Overall, an average of 4 years is spent satisfying 60-63 credit hours. In order to graduate, a minimum 2.0 GPA is required. There are a number of on-campus and online services to assist students in their academic journey. The Student Success Center is host to the Veteran Resource Station, health and wellness opportunities, counseling supports, the International Education Center and TRIO-Student Support Services, which aid first-generation college enrollees. The Department of Computer Science also offers field-specific resources, including career advising for the tech industry, student organizations, on-campus competitions, internship opportunities, and a virtual co-op program. In order to be admitted to this program, students must fill out the school's online application, submit ACT scores of 18 and higher or an SAT equivalent, as well as have successfully completed Kentucky's pre-college curriculum.

How Much Can You Make in a Computer Science Career?

According to the BLS, through 2026 computer-related occupational opportunities are expanding much faster than average, and often carry considerable median salaries. This suggests that earning an online computer science degree is the first step toward qualifying for an array of lucrative careers. In order to accurately project earning potential, students should examine which field or specialty interests them. While no degree can guarantee job placement or a specific salary, this degree does ensure students possess the pertinent skills needed for common computer science-related positions. Below is a list of common computer science careers.


  • Computer and Information Research Scientists


    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $114,520
    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +19%

    Job Description
    Computer and information research scientists are hands-on with all computer-related functions. These professionals are subject matter experts who influence the IT goals of their organization and are responsible for executing the goals they set. Graduates holding this degree could eventually be on track to become chief information officers or chief technology officers.


  • Computer Hardware Engineers


    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $115,120
    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +5%

    Job Description
    These engineers are expert researchers who also design and develop computer systems. Typical responsibilities include developing computer equipment schematics, testing designs, analyzing results, and keeping equipment up to date. In some roles, professionals may oversee computer hardware manufacturing. This role requires effective communication and collaboration with other engineers to ensure hardware components are compatible with the latest software.


  • Computer Network Architects


    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $104,650
    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +6%

    Job Description
    Computer network architects focus on the design of LAN and WAN communication networks. These networks range in both size and capability, which means that professionals may be hired directly into large organizations or may work for a company that services many small organizations. Duties include presenting communication network plans to upper management, upgrading hardware, and researching new technologies that support the organization or clients.


  • Computer Systems Analysts


    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $88,270
    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +9%

    Job Description
    In this role, analysts create a bridge between business and information technology. Professionals also examine current computer systems to identify ways they could be improved. Analysts are responsible for calculating the cost and benefit analyses for all upgrades. Other job roles include customizing new systems and overseeing their installation. Management responsibilities often require professionals to monitor projects and personnel working on the project to ensure its success.


  • Computer and Information Systems Managers


    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $139,220
    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +12%

    Job Description
    Computer and information systems managers, also known as IT managers, plan and execute computer-related initiatives. Organizations rely on their expert knowledge to determine computer system goals. Other duties include staying abreast of recent technological developments, ensuring network security, conducting cost-benefit analyses, and negotiating services with vendors. Because most managers do not perform all of these duties, professionals must have good communication and collaborative skills to work with other managers.

  • Sources: BLS

Job outlook and salary projections for professionals who graduate with an online bachelor’s degree in computer science certainly vary by education level, but students should also consider geographic location. According to the BLS, the top paying states include New York, Washington, and New Mexico, and the highest employment levels include California, Virginia, and Maryland. Still, job roles make a difference. Scientific research and development services, software publishers, and federal executive branch roles hold the highest concentration of employment.

ALABAMAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 290PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +21.9 percent
ALASKAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 30PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +6.9 percent
ARIZONAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $104,440NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
ARKANSASMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $94,410NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
CALIFORNIAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $123,130NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 5,000PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +22 percent
COLORADOMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $106,950NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 310PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +20.1 percent
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (DC)MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $130,700NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 760PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +21.8 percent
CONNECTICUTMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
DELAWAREMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
FLORIDAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $95,780NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 530PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +13.1 percent
GEORGIAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $97,020NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 710PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +9.5 percent
HAWAIIMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $105,100NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 130PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +17.3 percent
IDAHOMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 30PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +28.6 percent
ILLINOISMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $114,650NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 940PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +20.5 percent
INDIANAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $100,500NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
IOWAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
KANSASMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $86,990NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 90PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +34.8 percent
KENTUCKYMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
LOUSIANAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 40PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +20 percent
MAINEMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
MARYLANDMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $109,280NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 2,560PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +3.9 percent
MASSACHUSUETTSMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $120,730NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 1,010PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +22.4 percent
MICHIGANMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $99,330NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 560PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +12.5 percent
MINNESOTAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $116,530NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 360PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +24.9 percent
MISSISSIPPIMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $93,820NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 250PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +0.8 percent
MISSOURIMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $90,700NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 240PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +32.1 percent
MONTANAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $64,500NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
NEBRASKAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $88,170NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 40PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +25 percent
NEVADAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $107,930NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 30PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +16.7 percent
NEW HAMPSIREMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 170PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +7.6 percent
NEW JERSEYMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $122,860NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 1,350PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +11.2 percent
NEW MEXICOMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $128,100NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 870PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +23.4 percent
NEW YORKMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $124,160NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 960PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +20.3 percent
NORTH CAROLINAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $109,810NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 170PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +29.1 percent
NORTH DAKOTAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
OHIOMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $105,990NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 170PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +9.8 percent
OKLAHOMAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $85,810NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 480PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +15.5 percent
OREGONMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 250PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +27.1 percent
PENNSYLVANIAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $103,320NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 610PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +11.9 percent
RHODE ISLANDMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $116,640NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 430PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +14.4 percent
SOUTH CAROLINAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 360PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +3.4 percent
SOUTH DAKOTAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
TENNESSEEMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $102,750NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 160PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +30.8 percent
TEXASMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $105,680NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
UTAHMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY:$93,830NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED:580PROJECTED JOB GROWTH:+39.1 percent
VERMONTMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
VIRGINIAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $123,240NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 2,630PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +23.2 percent
WASHINGTONMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $127,050NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: 1,920PROJECTED JOB GROWTH: +47.9 percent
WEST VIRGINIAMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
WISCONSINMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $68,920NUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A
WYOMINGMEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: N/ANUMBER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED: N/APROJECTED JOB GROWTH: N/A

What Courses Can be Taken for an Online Computer Science Degree?

A bachelor’s degree in computer science satisfies general education requirements in addition to foundational knowledge and theories. However, coursework offered tends to differ because universities have their own standards for developing curricula. Some computer science programs are more developed than others, allowing them to offer more elective options than other, more limited programs. Students should consider the expectation of accrediting agencies in this field, as they set the minimum standards for what programs should offer.

Operating Systems
Students examine current problems associated with operation system designs and implementation processes. This course provides historical perspectives and focuses on process management, memory management, and file systems.
Fundamentals of Computer Programming
This course begins with computer organization principles and basic programming concepts. Students explore issues including embedded systems and parallelism. By the end of the course, students should be able to write basic computer programs using iterative and conditional structures.
Programming Databases
This course familiarizes students with the design and implementation processes of database management systems. Through case studies and commercial database systems, students explore topics including storage models, data models, and query language.
Introduction to Algorithms
This introductory course exposes students to the analysis and design methods of computer algorithms. By the end of this course, students should be able to analyze asymptotic performances, apply design paradigms of analysis, and synthesize efficient algorithms.
Artificial Intelligence
This course examines challenges associated with developing computer systems that can handle cognitive tasks, including natural language processing, reasoning, representation, and learning. Students develop valuable problem-solving, planning, and decision-making skills through hands-on projects.

How to Choose the Best Online Computer Science Program

    There are multiple factors to consider when choosing a computer science bachelor’s degree online. For instance, reputable accrediting agencies help to ensure programs meet pertinent academic standards. Additionally, students should consider what fees may be incurred by the program outside of tuition costs, such as internship or clinical fees. Students who want an advanced degree might consider what other programs their school offers. This section addresses common questions about a bachelor’s in computer science.

  • How Much Does It Cost for an Online Computer Science Degree?

    There are multiple factors that can influence the cost of a bachelor’s degree in computer science. For instance, online programs through prestigious universities or brick-and-mortar schools in general may cost more than programs that are 100% online. Students should also consider residency requirements. Many online programs still charge out-of-state tuition. Generally speaking, students should expect to pay at least $30,000.


  • What Are Online Computer Science Classes Like?

    Online programs are commonly offered asynchronously, which means students are provided a syllabus in the beginning of the semester that outlines all due dates. Each week, students have a combination of assignments, exams, projects, or discussion board prompts to complete on a certain day. Students are typically able to engage with professors and classmates for help or collaboration. Some courses may require additional programs or field experience.


  • Are There Concentration Areas That Could Give Me a Competitive Advantage?

    While there is no guarantee that concentration areas lead to higher pay or secure job placement, students should review the job outlook for potential career paths and identify what additional skills could increase their marketability. However, many schools do offer degree concentrations for computer science, which include data mining, embedded systems, bioengineering, genomics, and game animation.


  • What Accrediting Agencies Should I Look for When Choosing a Good Computer Science Program?

    Over 85% of schools in the U.S. are regionally accredited. Therefore, students should look for one of the six regional accrediting agencies for overall school quality. However, computer science students should also consider programs vetted by the Computing Accreditation Commission, which is a branch of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.


  • What Professional Organizations Can I Join That Offers Support and Resources to Computer Science Students?

    While there are multiple professional computer science organizations that offer student-level memberships, students may want to consider the IEEE Computer Society, which has existed since 1946 and has over 60,000 members across the globe. Also, the Computing Research Association (CRA) focuses on intellectual and ethical integrity of the computer science field. The CRA also offers awards to undergraduate students.


Scholarships and Financial Aid for Computer Science Programs

Paying for tuition is a primary concern for students considering an online computer science degree. Students typically regard FAFSA grants and loans as the primary source for funding their education. Federal grants are a great option since they do not have to be repaid. However, loans must be repaid and collect interest, meaning you can ultimately pay significantly more than what you borrowed. In addition to grants, students should consider applying for scholarships. There are multiple foundations and professional organizations that set aside funds to help students pay for their tuition.

Richard E. Merwin Scholarship

The Richard E. Merwin Scholarship sets aside $40,000 each year for students who are active volunteer leaders. Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA and be in the last two years of their undergraduate program in a computer-related program to qualify. Application deadlines are the end of April and September each year. Additionally, students must be enrolled full-time and be in good academic standing. Awards are $1,000 or more.

Lance Stafford Larson Student Award

The Lance Stafford Larson Student Award encourages students to develop exceptional communication skills in the field of computer science. Students must submit a 20-page paper that examines a computer related subject and can apply each year before October 31. The first place award is $500.

Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Society

This honor society encourages students in the computing discipline to reach academic excellence. This award is offered through Upsilon Pi Epsilon and the IEEE Computer Society. Each year, a maximum of $1,000 is awarded to four students who have at least a 3.0 GPA. Recipients also receive a free one-year periodical subscription. Applicants should be completing their bachelor’s degree and must be enrolled full-time at an accredited university.

The Women Techmakers Scholars Program

Formerly known as the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Program, the Women Techmakers Scholars Program strives to promote gender equality in computer science. This award is given to candidates who display academic excellence and leadership qualities. The best candidates should have created some level of impact in the female tech community. Students should be enrolled full-time at an accredited university. Awards range from $5,000 to $10,000, and winners are invited to the annual Google Scholars’ Retreat.

Wayne Black Scholarship

Each year, the Energy Telecommunications and Electrical Association awards the Wayne Black Scholarship Award to a student pursuing a degree in a computer science-related field. Desirable candidates should display an affinity for technology, academic excellence, and leadership qualities. Applicants must be undergraduate students enrolled full time at an accredited university, and must submit a one-page biography and a five-page essay. This award is $5,000.

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