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Accelerated Computer Science Programs

FAQs, Resources & Tips for Choosing the Best Program

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Accelerated degrees in computer science provide a basis for careers in important and sought-after fields. Computer science graduates are especially in demand in government agencies related to cybersecurity, and the number of scholarships provided by these agencies speaks to the urgency of this need and the related job security this offers. Modern reliance in technology further expediates the need for computer science workers. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the rate of growth for computer and information research scientists over the next 10 years to be 19 percent, which is must faster than average.

FAQs on Accelerated Computer Science Programs

The top 10 FAQs regarding accelerated computer science programs, including questions about the length of the program, available and most lucrative careers, the best courses to take and more, have been answered in detail.

Q: What is the fastest way to a computer science degree?

A: First, a student should figure out which level of computer science degree is desired. Traditional time to complete degrees while going to school full-time is associate at two years, bachelor’s at four and master’s at two. Accelerated degrees can reduce this time to one-year associate, two-year bachelor’s and one to one-and-a-half years for a master’s. In addition, the length of time needed to earn a computer science degree might be reduced depending if a college will apply previously earned credits or professional experience toward graduation credit requirements. In addition, some universities have a combined bachelor’s-to-master’s track that is completed within five years total.

Q: What can you do with a degree in computer science?

A: A degree in computer science can lead to careers such as IT consultant, cyber security consultant, database administrator, computer scientist and software developer. The types of jobs in the field are diverse, and degree-holders can be hired by employers like the military, large corporate companies like Adobe, smaller, independent companies or even individuals who work for themselves.

Q: Is a computer science master’s necessary?

A: A certificate or associate’s in computer science is adequate to get a job in computer science; however, each step up in degree level offers benefits. A bachelor’s and master’s degree would provide a more comprehensive foundation in computer science than a lesser degree, along with perks like increased pay and upward mobility.

Q: How much do you make in computer science?

A: According to Payscale, the average earnings for people with an associate degree in computer science is $64,000; the bachelor’s degree average is $83,000; and master’s average is $100,000. These further vary by position.

Q: What are the highest paying jobs in computer science?

A: Across the board, software engineers make the most money, according to Payscale. Of those with a master’s in computer science, the highest earning job is principal software engineer, pulling in $138,272 a year. At the bachelor’s level, IT project managers can make $88,001 on average. Associate degree earners’ most profitable positions include developer and programmer jobs.

Q: What is the best computer course for a job?

A: Web designing and software and programming language courses are among the most beneficial courses, as they are needed by a wide variety of companies and individuals.

Q: What does computer science teach?

A: Simply put, computer science teaches how to process data using computers. A degree in computer science will educate students on algorithms, computer mathematics, computer software languages, networking and cybersecurity, among other subjects.

Q: Why is computer science so important?

A: The field holds importance because of its effect on the daily life of individuals and businesses. For example, people depend on computer science to protect their information that is stored online. Also, modern reliance on technology means society depends on computer science to provide educational tools, increase performance and speed, fix bugs and more.

Q: Does an accelerated computer science degree require a thesis?

A: Many accelerated computer science degrees do require either a thesis or capstone project, but this is decided by individual learning institution and not an across-the-board requirement.

Q: What does it cost to get a degree in computer science?

A: Associate degrees in the field start out tuition around $2,000; bachelor’s starting at about $9,500; and master’s beginning around $7,400. The costs of more expensive colleges can top out in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Example Accelerated Computer Science Courses

The fundamental computer science courses cover topics such as operating systems, security and Java, while advanced courses in subjects like database management and advanced cryptography allow for more specialized educations. Many jobs require background in a variety of these skills to prove expertise.

Operating Systems

Topics covered in this course include how to manage several tasks on the computer that launch concurrently and use shared resources; context switching; deadlock; memory management; dynamic memory allocation; demand paging; crash recovery; and disk management. Hands-on projects are a normal requirement of this course. Skills learned through the operating systems course are used in jobs like software engineer, director of operations and system administrator.

Computer Security

This course addresses the basics of security policies and mechanisms, the basics of cryptography and network security, security design and e-commerce security. Legal and ethical issues and certifications are also covered. Careers that include this skill set are security analysts, forensic computer analysts and IT systems engineers.

Programming with Java

Students learn the fundamentals of Java programming with hands-on projects writing and implementing Java programs and creating applications that utilize Java’s elements. Java programming is used by professionals in positions like Java developer, software engineer and software developer.

Database Management

In this course, students write Structured Query Language (SQL) statements that find information for business reporting, create entity relationship diagrams (ERDs) to design databases and more. Part of the course requires using either Oracle or MySQL for the SQL statements and either ER Assistant or Visual Paradigm for the ERDs. Database management course skills are valuable in careers like Oracle database administrator, geographic information systems analyst and non-profit program coordinators.

Advanced Cryptography

This course deals with the theories of cryptography, with emphasis on definitions, foundations and formal proofs of security. The advanced cryptography course is developed for students interested in research of the subject. Careers including advanced cryptography include software engineers, system administrators and IT network administrators.

Scholarships & Resources for Accelerated Computer Science Programs

Computer science-related scholarships are available from a variety of sources, including government, private scholarships and national associations. Applicants should keep in mind any post-graduation commitments included in the scholarship awards, as certain sources, especially government, tend to require a work obligation.

CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service

CyberCorps scholarships are awarded to full-time bachelor’s or master’s degree program students enrolled in majors that involve cybersecurity or information assurance fields. The merit-based program intends to bolster federal information assurance programs by requiring recipients to work for three years post-graduation for a government agency or research center dedicated to cybersecurity. The National Science Foundation funds the grants, which award $22,500 to undergrads or $34,000 to grad students.

SMART Scholarship

Undergrad, grad and doctoral students with demonstrated skill in STEM fields may apply for the SMART scholarship. Recipients of the $25,000 to $38,000 will be given the opportunity to work in civil service roles post-graduation.

AFCEA STEM Major Scholarships

The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association-sponsored scholarships apply to full-time sophomore or junior college students enrolled in a STEM subject related to cybersecurity, intelligence or Homeland Security-related fields.

Betty Stevens Frecknall Scholarship

This scholarship applies to a computer science or CIS/MIS/IT major with a 3.0 or higher GPA. The student must have completed a full semester of college, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and be enrolled full-time in an accredited school.

Women in Defense HORIZONS Scholarship

Applicants must be women enrolled in an accredited higher education institution on full-time or part-time basis. Undergrads who qualify must be in at least their junior year; all graduates are eligible. Students must be interested in a national security or defense-related field, be a U.S. citizen, have at least a 3.25 GPA and demonstrate financial need. Applicable fields of study include computer science, among others. Recipients must participate in closed group discussions, provide career updates, provide links to their published works and be available as a speaker at HORIZONS events.

A host of professional organizations seek student, professional and business members and dedicate themselves to furthering computer science and related fields.

Association for Computing Machinery

The ACM, an association for both students and professionals, aims to shape the future of computing. Membership includes continued education resources, networking, job center and volunteering opportunities. About 100,000 members make up ACM’s network.

Association for Women in Computing

The AWC membership options include chapter and independent members. Memberships for women in computing fields include volunteer opportunities, networking, locally and nationally organized events, education, self-esteem building and mentoring.

IEEE Computer Society

The IEEE Computer Society, which offers five types of memberships, including one for students, is comprised of 60,000 members among 168 countries. Member perks include conferences, training webinars, ComputingEdge technology publication articles, career development and a digital publication portal.

Computing Research Association

The CRA is an association for organizations, not individuals. The organizations must have a strong interest in computing research. Membership benefits include reduced conference, workshop and seminar fees; Taulbee Survey results months before they are released to the public; research news; job posting services; voting privileges; and more.

International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology

IACSIT is an invitation-only fellowship of computer science and IT professors, deans, research scientists, engineers, scholars and the like. Members benefit from conferences, workshops, international academic journals, research and networking. The association strives to apply state-of-the-art methods and technologies to collaborative research.