It’s no secret computer science has become one of the most popular majors for college students all over the world. What used to be a mysterious, niche discipline is now considered a foundational science with many real-world applications.
Today, an online computer science degree opens up several opportunities for you. Through an accelerated online computer science degree program, it’s possible to get your degree faster than others.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 21 percent job growth for software developers through 2028. It makes sense that related degree programs, such as computer science, are rising in popularity. A career in computer science is a good fit for many types of people. People with a degree in computer science go on to work for large companies, such as Google and Microsoft.
With this rise in computer science degree popularity, online programs are gaining steam. Thanks to the convenience of online college, more people are becoming computer scientists and working in tech fields.
Students don’t have to relocate, learn at their own pace, finish their education faster, and save money. Accelerated online programs offer the added benefit of efficiency if you are gunning to get started in the field sooner than later.
Benefits of an Accelerated Computer Science Degree
If you’re looking to quickly enter the professional world, a traditional online degree may not be right for you. As higher education continues to be disrupted by nontraditional online programs, the options for degree programs have grown.
More colleges and universities offer accelerated computer science degrees online. These allow you to earn your degree more quickly. In a traditional classroom, a single class could take up to 16 weeks. In comparison, accelerated online program classes are six to eight weeks long.
Accelerated programs give you more bang for your buck. While a traditional four-year bachelor’s degree could cost close to $200,000, an accelerated online program could start at just $9,500. This is particularly helpful for online students who want to avoid expensive loans and financial aid.
Choosing an online degree in computer science offers limitless benefits when it comes to flexibility and cost. If you’re interested in a bachelor’s degree in computer science, consider all of your options.
Don’t worry, there are tons of programs to choose from. Below are just a few of the best ones. We’ll get to some below.
Computer Science Degrees Explained
Though this article focuses mostly on bachelor’s degrees, there are several other degree options out there. If you’re considering online computer science programs, you can earn your undergraduate or graduate degree from home. It’s possible to get an associate’s degree online. There are also Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees to choose from.
The associate’s degree is a good starting point while a bachelor’s degree is a more traditional 120-credit degree program. A post-bac (post-baccalaureate) is meant for students who already have a bachelor’s degree, but want to develop skills in another discipline.
They are most common for students looking to go to medical school. However, they are also offered in other technical fields, such as computer science.
Computer Science Degree Requirements
No two programs are exactly alike but any computer science program is going to have the same basic course requirements. You’ll take programming courses for Java, C++, and more. You also study a great deal of math.
It’s not uncommon to take calculus and advanced math courses. Some other common requirements include AI, computer science theory, algorithms, operating systems, computer architecture, and data management.
Computer Science Degree Curriculum
Every online accelerated computer science degree program is going to have slightly different curriculum requirements and course offerings. Nonetheless, here is a list of some of the most common requirements:
- Data Structures and Analysis
- Computer Programming
- Computer Science Ethics
- Operating Systems
- Ethics in Computer Science
The more flexible the program, the fewer strict curriculum requirements you may have, and the more specialized you may be able to become. But remember, some computer science fundamentals are key in helping you build a strong foundation.
Computer Science Degree Specializations and Concentrations
While some programs are broad and flexible, others are more defined and specific. You should consider whether you want to specialize in software engineering, computer programming, or information technology, for example. Some programs even have specializations in niche areas of interest like game development.
If you want to become a web developer or database administrator, there are programs out there for you. Many online computer science degree programs don’t take the traditional four years to complete. We’ve put together a list of some top programs out there below. This is to help you get an accelerated computer science degree online.
But first, let’s touch upon what you should consider when researching which program may be right for you.
Researching Computer Science Degree Programs
When choosing a degree program in computer science, remember there are other education options if you are interested in a career in technology. From coding bootcamps to other specialized non-degree courses, you can gain certain skills outside a traditional degree program.
If you’re looking for a solid academic foundation though, we’re here to help. We have a few ideas on how to research accelerated online computer science degree programs.
Rankings on online degree programs don’t always match traditional school rankings. Though some top-ranked universities also offer top online programs, some lower-tier schools are also starting to offer top online degree programs.
Cost, flexibility, student services, academic advising, and accreditation often influence these rankings (and they influence our school rankings below and should influence your research).
Computer Science Degree Flexibility
The flexibility of an online accelerated computer science degree program is one of its biggest draws. Imagine being able to sink your teeth into the world of computer networks and software engineering without having to quit your day job.
Better yet, imagine being able to log in to class from anywhere, and in most cases, imagine being able to study on your schedule.
Want to attend one of the top programs in the country but live on the opposite coast? No problem. When starting your programs and school search, remember to consider how flexible the degree program is.
Programs that include pre-recorded lectures and self-paced classes, give you all the flexibility you need to balance your degree program with your other obligations.
Computer Science Degree Cost
When researching programs and schools, the cost is arguably one of the most important factors when deciding if a program is right for you. If you’re considering a program’s ranking, remember that affordability and cost-benefit usually influence that ranking. The higher the ranking, the higher the cost-benefit results of that particular program.
While you’re considering cost in degree programs, also consider the investment. The program’s cost is an investment in a highly lucrative career in the computer science field.
In fact, the average salary for someone with a bachelor’s degree in computer science is $86,000 per year. The highest paying career in computer science is software engineering, with an average annual salary of over $138,000.
Computer Science Degree Accreditation
Accreditation is one of the most important control measures for higher education today. When a college or university isn’t accredited, its degree programs might be less valuable. Understanding whether the cost of a degree is worth the investment can often be left up to the institution’s accreditations.
Accreditation is a form of certification of the school’s standard of instruction. Without accreditation, you may not get what you’re paying for. Accreditation is what allows you to transfer credits between certain schools. It also ensures your undergraduate work is relevant if you apply to more advanced degree programs.
Most schools are accredited by regional accrediting bodies and those regional institutions are accredited by the Department of Education. As you’re doing your research, you can check accreditation status at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Top 5 Accelerated Computer Science Degree Programs
As you research your higher education options for computer science, consider the benefits of an accelerated computer science degree online. These programs have high flexibility, reasonable costs, and faster rates of completion.
Keep in mind that different programs have different entry requirements and prerequisites. This ranges from standardized test results to associates degree credits.
Here is a list of the top five accelerated computer science degree programs online. This should give you a sense of the types of computer science degree programs out there.
This is a post-bac program, which means it’s designed for students who already have a bachelor’s in something else. The university offers four different program start-dates throughout the year for optimal flexibility.
This post-bac program in applied computer science is also intended for students who already have a bachelor’s in a different subject. If students already have course credits in computer science, they can transfer up to 15 credits to the 45-credit post-bac degree program. Similar to the Oregon State program, UC Boulder also offers three annual start-dates to choose from.
This online BS in computer science offers concentrations in computer programming, database technology, and mobile application software engineering.
This online BS in computer science is as flexible as can be. Students work with academic advisors to create a personalized career completion program. Throughout the program, students take courses in mathematics, programming, and finish the program with a capstone project.
This degree program is an adult-accelerated Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. Incoming students can receive college credit for prior experience working in coding or programming software.
Now that you know which program to choose, you may wonder what your career prospects look like upon graduation. A computer science degree leads to many career paths. The following list is just a few of them.
Computer Science Degree Job Prospects
Computer science is a great starting point when it comes to the broader tech field. Here’s a shortlist of a few jobs you can dip your toes into after completing an accelerated computer science degree online.
A web developer creates everything you see on the web, including this website. They make sure a website has the structure it needs to function on multiple devices. They may also work with UX design.
This one is exactly what it sounds like. If you like data and have a knack for interpreting it, this might be an excellent path for you. Maintaining databases, especially complex ones, requires prioritizing security and integration.
Information Technology Specialist
IT specialists work with the everyday complexities of basic technology. If you enjoy teaching, this field would allow you to informally teach as you help others who are less technically skilled than you.
A software engineer builds programs using one or more of the many computer languages out there. Because of the vast variety of different kinds of software currently available, this line of work promises to never get dull.
An online accelerated computer science degree is an excellent investment if you want a broad and solid academic foundation. If you can’t wait to get started with a career in the tech field, accelerated degree programs are a great option.
Accelerated tracks make sense if you’re making a career shift. Considering cost and flexibility, accelerated computer science degrees online are the most efficient, cost-effective way to gain an advanced degree in computer science.
As you embark on your undergraduate programs and school research, keep accreditation and ranking in mind. With careers like web development, database administration, and software engineering, there are several reasons to study computer science.
The right computer science degree gives everything you need to reach your career goals.