Exploring Programs and Degree Milestones for Computer Science Students
Those interested in pursuing careers in fields like information technology, programming or web design should consider earning a bachelor’s in computer science degree online. These programs not only allow for flexible schedules, but may also help deepen student’s understanding of computer science as they rely on technology to facilitate instruction and interaction with classmates and professors. Discover top-notch computer science degree programs with this best-of list and explore typical computer science course work, scholarship opportunities and career paths for graduates with a bachelor’s in computer science below.
Top 10 Exploring Programs and Degree Milestones for Computer Science Students
|#1||Champlain College Burlington, VT|
|#2||DePaul University Chicago, IL|
|#3||Drexel University Philadelphia, PA|
|#4||Pace University New York City, NY|
|#5||LeTourneau University Longview, TX|
|#6||Dakota State University Madison, SD|
|#7||Lawrence Technological University Southfield, MI|
|#8||Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI|
|#9||Ohio University Athens, OH|
|#10||Park University Parkville, MO|
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Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Science
As they begin the search for a program, prospective computer science students will need to evaluate their options for an online bachelor’s degree. This best-of list ranks programs based on factors like graduation rates and tuition cost, and is a way for students to compare some of the top-rated options available.
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Timeline for an Online Computer Science Bachelor’s Program
Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science online can help give students more background and experience with digital systems. Because these programs typically examine emerging trends and technological advances, students often will help develop solutions for computer systems and infrastructure and analyze various programming languages. These online degrees can typically be completed in four years and often help prepare students for future careers in the field. Below are some general requirements in a sample four-year timeline to give students an idea of what they can expect during their education.
The application process may look different for each online program, but schools will often have similar base guidelines for prospective bachelor’s level computer science students. These guidelines typically include GPA requirements, providing transcripts and submitting a standard application. Having completed some relevant courses can also helpful. Read on to get a better sense of what may be required and considered when applying to an online bachelor’s program for computer science.
Some schools may require computer science students to have maintained a minimum GPA in previous studies, and may also have a minimum SAT or ACT score requirement. Students should review each online computer science program’s guidelines when considering applying.Transcripts
oWhether entering a computer science program directly following high school or transferring from another higher education institution, online students will typically need to provide academic transcripts just as traditional students would.Relevant Coursework
oIn addition to meeting the minimum GPA requirements, having completed relevant courses can also be beneficial to applicants. If possible, enrolling in computer science classes in high school to can help a prospective student stand out from other applicants.Application
Many schools will have a standard application for prospective students to complete. Students should also note there may be application fees and supplemental material required, with additional costs that may also specific to the computer science program.Apply for Financial Aid
Determining how to pay tuition is a crucial step when applying for and enrolling in any online degree program. Computer science students should be prepared to meet financial aid application deadlines, explore degree specific aid options and provide any required documentation by the university before enrolling in classes.
The focus of the first year in a bachelor’s level computer science program will often be to map out online classes and complete the core credits required by the university. First-year students may have the opportunity to take some introductory computer science classes, depending on their academic experience and school’s requirements.
During the first year of study, bachelor’s level computer science students will typically be required to take core classes like English and math along with required electives while maintaining a minimum GPA.Complete Lower Division Computer Science Classes
Bachelor’s level online students will typically need to complete introductory computer science classes that serve as prerequisites for upper division classes. Students should be sure to understand the minimum GPA requirements for these classes as they may differ from the university’s overall academic standards.Determine the Course Schedule
Computer science students should meet with an academic advisor to determine the coursework and anticipated class schedule needed to earn their online bachelor’s degree within a desired timeline. If an academic advisor is not available, the university may have other resources available for students to stay on track.
The second year in an online bachelor’s program in computer science is often a great time to start thinking about career goals following graduation and to begin taking the necessary steps to reach those goals. This may include gaining work experience and fine-tuning coursework.
Internships are generally a great way for students to gain work experience, build their résumé and make important professional connections in the computer science world. It can also serve as a way to determine which career path or technological specialization may be of interest.Complete Degree-Specific Core Classes
As students prepare to begin taking upper division classes, they should ensure they have completed the necessary prerequisites for junior and senior level computer and technology classes before the end of the second year.Begin a Portfolio
Depending on the type of computer science work a student hopes to find after graduation, they may consider taking on projects to improve their skills and build a portfolio. For example, if a student is interested in computer programming, they may want to work on developing an app. If they envision a career in web design, they should take this time to begin building a web site.
Aside from taking upper division coursework, students in their third year of an online bachelor’s degree program in computer science may want to start taking steps to increase their odds of success after graduation. Students should consider membership in a professional association and begin developing their résumé or finding a mentor in the specialization or field they wish to enter.
Several organizations and associations exist that are tailored to computer science professionals and students. These groups typically offer members the opportunity to network with peers, stay up-to-date on industry news and post job openings. Many also offer discounted rates for students.Determine a Preferred Career
At this point, students have typically decided on an area of computer science in which to specialize. Students should begin enrolling in classes that support those interests and connect with others already working in that field to get a better sense of what to expect following graduation.Maintain a Good GPA
Most upper division computer science classes will require students to maintain a minimum GPA in order to graduate. Students should consider continually meeting with their professors if they feel like they are falling behind in class.
The fourth and final year of an online bachelor’s in computer science program is often spent completing any remaining required courses and applying for jobs or graduate programs. Students should be sure to note any important graduation deadlines during this time.
At the beginning of the final year, online computer science students should check in with their advisor to make sure they have completed all the necessary courses and maintained a GPA that will allow them to graduate within the timeframe set forth.Apply for Graduation
Review and submit the graduation application, along with any necessary fees, signatures or other required materials for bachelor’s level computer science programs.Apply for Jobs or Graduate Programs
When applying for jobs or graduate programs, computer science students may want to reach out to professors, former colleagues from an internship or connections made through professional organizations for references and guidance. Their university may also have resources to help graduates navigate entering the workforce or continuing education.
If online computer science students have maintained the academic track set forth when they entered their bachelor’s degree program and have met regularly with their advisor, the graduation process should go smoothly. Graduation requirements may vary among programs, but students will generally need to submit an application for graduation and show proof of their fulfillment of course requirements.
Most online bachelor’s degree programs in computer science require a minimum of 120 credit hours, comprised of core classes, degree-related core classes, electives and upper-division classes.Satisfy Required University Core Curriculum
Most students will complete the core computer science classes during their first two years of their bachelor’s degree program. Postponing required core classes may impact a student’s eligibility for graduation and delay their progress.Faculty Approval
Students will typically need a faculty member or even the dean of the college to sign off on their graduation application. In order to receive this approval, students must have met all the requirements set forth by the university and computer science program.
After Your Degree: What to do with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science
In a society increasingly dependent on technology, a variety of career options are available for those who have earned their bachelor’s in computer science degree online. These professionals are often in high demand for developing and building mobile apps, data centers, networks and information systems. Computer scientists typically research and design technological innovations and find new ways to implement existing technology. They can work across diverse industries like education, healthcare, science and business. The specialties below are a few examples of careers that may be available for graduates with this degree.
Database administrators, or DBAs, typically work to utilize, store and organize specialized technology. They often work with others to create and secure databases and may specialize in areas like customer service software.Job Growth (2014-2024)
11%Median Annual Salary (May 2015)
$81,710 per year
Software developers are typically responsible for designing and developing user-facing applications and the underlying systems for software. They are often employed by computer design firms or software publishers.Job Growth (2014-2024)
17%Median Annual Salary (May 2015)
$100,690 per year
Information Security Analysts
Information security analysts typically develop ways to protect computer networks and systems at a company and may serve as a teacher for colleagues about ways to keep their information safe. This job often entails handling security breaches and observing information technology trends.Job Growth (2014-2024)
18%Median Annual Salary (May 2015)
$90,120 per year
Web developer’s typically design and create websites. Duties may include technical aspects like coding and non-technical responsibilities like overseeing the content, graphics and audio on a site. Web designers may work independently or they may collaborate with designers and writers to help with a site’s content and layout.Job Growth (2014-2024)
27%Median Annual Salary (May 2015)
$64,970 per year
Core Principles Learned in an Online Computer Science Bachelor’s Program
Bachelor's in Computer Science
- Applications of Information Technology Computer science students will typically gain the necessary skills for using technology in order to organize, analyze and communicate information. They will often have a working knowledge of hardware, software, office applications, information security and ethics and the internet.
- Computer Systems and Architecture Data representation, assembly language, central processing unit architecture and memory architecture are some of the concepts usually covered in computer systems coursework. These topics can help computer science students gain an understanding of the basic concepts of computer architecture and the factors that influence the performance of a system.
- Fundamentals of Programming Graduates will typically be comfortable with Java programming language and will be able to design, implement, test, debug and document computer programs. Specific concepts often include object-oriented programming and principles of concurrent programming.
PHD in Computer Science
Master’s in Computer Science
Students and professionals in the fast-paced field of computer science may benefit from joining professional organizations or associations. Members often network with peers, find mentors to help further develop their skills and gain access to the latest industry information.
ASIS&T works to marry information science practice and research by finding and sharing new theories, techniques and technologies. Members have access to webinars, research and professional development content, and networking opportunities.
This organization is made up of computing educators, researchers and professionals who engage in dialogue and strive to improve the challenges faced in the field of computer science. Members, including both students and professionals, have access to the organization’s online learning center, industry news and job postings.
This association is a national organization with local chapters around the country. Their goal is to advance the field of information technology through professional development, support of information technology education and national policies. There are student and professional membership options available.