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How to Get a Computer Science Degree

A computer science degree gives a graduate a wide range of job opportunities. Graduates may work for the government, private businesses or independently with their knowledge. The process of earning a degree takes time, but it can be a little faster than most people assume.

Jobs For Computer Science Graduates

Most graduates go on to work with software development or performing quality assurance. They may become system administrators for businesses that use computer networks, or they may work as computer system support analysts and engineers. Graduates may also become database administrators and web developers. The list of job options is very wide, so graduates have their choice of applications they want to pursue.

Choosing A School And Program

The biggest decision is picking a school and program. Some schools offer programs that meet a student's needs better than others. For example, one school may take more transfer credits than another would. This means less time spent studying and less money spent overall. Some students choose schools that are only in their state of residence to save money. In addition to this, a big choice is whether to pick an online computer science degree program or a program based on campus. This choice depends on each student's spare time, life commitments and learning preferences. Some schools also offer accelerated programs, which give students the option to finish a four-year degree one or two semesters earlier. Most students choose a bachelor's degree program for computer science.

Finishing Program Requirements And Enrolling

Work on finishing any prerequisite classes, tests and other requirements for the program. There may be a separate program application for the computer science degree program than the actual school application. This is especially true with post-graduate computer science degree programs. Some students may want to apply to a few schools to broaden their options.

Projected Salary And Future Job Growth

Pay ranges vary based on education level and job choice. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that software developers usually earn a little more than $90,000 annually with a bachelor's degree. However, computer programmers usually earn less than $75,000 with the same degree. With a doctoral degree in computer science, a computer and information research scientist typically earns more than $100,000. Future job growth is expected to remain the same as it is in most other fields.

Top Online Computer Science Programs

Rank School FT to PT
Faculty Ratio
Fin. Aid Rate
Acceptance Rate Retention Rate Graduation Rate Accred.
Job Place. Rate
1 Dakota State University

820 N Washington Ave,
Madison, South Dakota 57042-1799

(605) 256-5111

3.41 to 1 55% 89% 60% 44% 53 2% 61%
  Dakota State University's online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program is taught by Ph.D. holders. The faculty strives to prepare students for a rewarding career in software design, system programming or applications programming.
2 Elizabeth City State University

1704 Weeksville Rd,
Elizabeth City, North Carolina 27909

(252) 335-3400

3.27 to 1 38% 50% 79% 43% 67 13% 42%
  The distance education department at Elizabeth City State University strives to provide instructors and students with an online environment that fosters collaboration. In addition, the school offers instruction equivalent to that found on campus, and prepares students for further education or professional employment.
3 University of Advancing Technology

2625 W Baseline Rd,
Tempe, Arizona 85283

(602) 383-8228

1.07 to 1 48% 78% 0% 32% 22 0% 90%
  With a choice between traditional online &mdash one five-week class at a time; three per semester &mdash or accelerated online &mdash two classes at once in either one or two five-week sessions per semester &mdash format, students of the University of Advancing Technology's online advancing computer science degree program have the flexibility to further their expertise at their convenience.
4 Rasmussen College-Minnesota

226 Park Avenue South,
St. Cloud, Minnesota 56301-3713

(320) 251-5600

N/A 16% 88% 0% 36% 35 0% N/A
  Taught by industry-experienced faculty, Rasmussen College's Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science program is regularly updated to reflect changing consumer and employer needs, as well as up-and-coming topics of the field. Designed to prepare students for a career in the computer sciences, students can expect to gain a thorough understanding of the mathematics and programming languages required to develop complex software products.
5 Mercy College

555 Broadway,
Dobbs Ferry, New York 10522

(800) 637-2969

0.27 to 1 83% 64% 69% 29% 46 6% N/A
  Mercy College's online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program will give students the practical experience and theoretical background necessary to succeed in the computer science profession and related fields. Offering a flexible, affordable and accessible program, students can make their degree fit their busy schedules.
6 Lamar University

4400 MLK Blvd,
Beaumont, Texas 77705

(409) 880-7011

1.67 to 1 15% 88% 56% 32% 59 9% N/A
  Through a program designed to work around the busy lives of adult learners, Lamar University's Bachelor of Science in Computer Science online degree program provides students with a broad understanding of the different aspects of the field. From theory of programming languages to software engineering, students will earn an education that will prepare them for a professional career in the field.
7 National University

11255 North Torrey Pines Road,
La Jolla, California 92037-1011

(800) 628-8648

0.10 to 1 0% 0% 58% 24% 37 4% N/A
  Students can prepare themselves for a career in the computer science industry or one of the many fields increasingly reliant on computer sciences with National University's online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Degree program. They'll learn through an academic foundation and realistic programming assignments.
8 Franklin University

201 S Grant Ave,
Columbus, Ohio 43215-5399

(614) 797-4700

0.08 to 1 0% 0% 30% 12% 38 3% N/A
  Designed to meet the needs of busy adult learners, Franklin University's online Computer Science Degree program, taught by professionals with experience in the field, can be taken when it best fits the learner's schedule. With a solid base in software engineering, students will gain experience with, and knowledge of high-demand technology skills that will help them remain competitive in the computer science field.