How to Get a Computer Science Degree and How to Make Money from It?
Joining a world of codes, scripts, and computer languages is both exciting and demanding – the truth is that the filed of computer science gives you an opportunity to learn new things day by day, but it still brings a dose of responsibility and effort.
Computer science jobs are among the best-paid professions in the U.S., and since the art of computing develops new technologies almost every day, we can say that computer science specialists don’t have many difficulties when it comes to finding employment.
Apart from being well-paid, these jobs are in a high-demand. If you want to get prepared for the profession from the future, a computer science degree will provide you with the proper knowledge and skills that you need to succeed.
How to Choose the Best College for Computer Science?
Choosing a perfect college for computer science is the first step in your successful future career. Unlike traditional lectures that require you to be physically present, the classes we know today are mostly held online, which is convenient for students who are also working professionals.
Bachelor of Computer Science
In order to get a bachelor of computer science degree, you’ll need to complete a college program that usually lasts 3-4 years. General computer science programs mostly focus on mathematical and theoretical concepts of computing, but other multidisciplinary programs prepare students to become software engineers, programmers, network communications specialists, database administrators, and software developers.
A computer science degree is often equalized with a bachelor’s degree in information technology (IT), but the truth is that these two fields are quite different. Namely, computer science is aimed at the development of computer hardware and software, while IT involves the deployment of computers and networks within a business.
A computer science curriculum includes learning about the ins and outs of software, databases, and network, and it provides students with a lot of research opportunities in various subfields of computer science and teaches them how to apply their computational thinking to diverse programs and applications.
Most colleges around the U.S. provide flexibility in course selection, which means that students are allowed to work independently in the area they choose, which is quite beneficial for their practice.
That said, they can choose among courses focused on networking, distributed systems, robotics, machine learning, graphics, databases, and more. Once they’ve obtained a bachelor’s CS degree, students can start a successful career in research, industrial, and entrepreneurial computing.
Colleges that provide the best computer science experience are Caltech, MIT, Stanford, and more.
Online Computer Science Degrees
As mentioned earlier, many prestigious colleges around the U.S. offer online programs that can help you obtain a computer science degree.
Such programs provide students with the essential skills regarding different programming languages, mobile and web development, and network communications. Besides, they often prepare students to earn certifications that can increase their chances of finding the best job possible.
To gain an online computer science degree, you usually need to complete a two-year program (120 credits), after which you become applicable for a certificate. Although you’re studying from your computer, it’s vital to respect task deadlines set by your instructors to finish the course successfully.
What’s the Price of Computer Science Online Degree?
The total cost of the best online computer science degree depends on many factors, and one of them is state residency.
Many colleges tend to charge higher tuition for out-of-residence students, but some of them charge flat tuition regardless of the place you live. Hence, get to know all about the fees and payment plans of the online college program you want to enroll.
Some online computer science courses charge from $130 to $620 per credit, which means that you can expect to pay from $15.500 to $75.000 in total.
What to Expect from an Online Computer Science Degree Curriculum?
The curriculum offered by the online computer science courses is a bit different from the one provided by on-campus programs, mostly because on-campus studies last longer than online classes.
Still, the “online curriculum” will introduce students to a broad range of subfields – from programming, data structures, algorithms, computer architecture, to operating systems and software engineering. As you can see, you have a lot of options here.
Since computer science arises from mathematics, students are often required to take advanced math classes regarding statistics, linear algebra, and calculus to get a computer science degree online.
Apart from learning the basics included in the curriculum, students will also be able to delve into the fields of mobile development, networking, and artificial intelligence. By the end of the course, students can apply all the things they’ve learned to solve the practical problems they may face in their workplace.
Are There Professional Associations in Computer Science?
Students who’re completing their online courses in computer science are advised to join the Professional Associations.
The membership in such organizations quite beneficial for students since it usually offers access to trade publications, conferences, events, job boards, and workshops of professional development.
As you can see, professional associations are quite a valuable resource for students since they give them the opportunities to cascade knowledge, learn more, and meet other people from their branch.
Here are the most prominent organizations you can consider:
- IEEE Computer Society: This society provides professional certification in software development, secure software, big data, cloud computing, and cybersecurity. Besides, they publish about 13 peer-reviewed magazines and more than 20 academic journals.
- Association of Computing Machinery: ACM organization sponsors more than 150 events worldwide each year. Their learning center offers students access to online courses and memberships and many other excellent opportunities.
- Association of Information Science and Technology: The ASIS&T organization offers conferences, publications, seminars, and job broad to professionals in the fields of computer science and IT to help them improve access to information.
What are the Best Online Schools for Computer Science?
The U.S. offers a broad range of reputable and historic colleges that provide a lot of different programs suitable for everyone – accordingly, sometimes it’s hard to find an ideal choice.
We’re going to provide a list of the most prominent online schools, which help you get a bachelor’s degree in computer science and become qualified for jobs that require computer knowledge and skills.
The list is based on the college’s tuition price, location, and courses they offer – let’s start:
1. University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida)
The University of Florida offers a 120-credit curriculum that includes classes in software engineering, programming, operating systems, as well as the senior project in computer science.
The courses offered by the University of Florida allow you to find employment in financial and insurance companies, health care, security, and practically every industry that’s interested in computer science. Besides, students are encouraged to choose non-technical courses, such as humanities, foreign languages, and social sciences.
- 15-59 hours of transferrable college credit
- At least a 2.5 overall GPA
- Completed Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1 Course
- $129.18 per credit hour for Florida residents
- $552.62 per credit hour for non-Florida residents
2. California State University Monterey Bay (Seaside, California)
California State University offers a rich curriculum that encompasses the fields of computer science and information technologies.
Students who choose this program will start by taking a set of essential courses in computer mathematics, programming using various computer languages, problem-solving, and general knowledge of network communications.
By the end of the course, students can qualify as computer programmers, software engineers, program developers, project managers, and more, depending on the fields they want to specialize in.
- 60 or more transferrable credits
- At least 2.00 overall GPA
- Complete with a C or better the ‘Golden Four’ courses (English Composition, Speech/Oral Communication, Critical Thinking, and College level Mathematics course)
- Tuition depends on the program you choose, but the average price is $525 per credit hour
3. University of Denver (Denver, Colorado)
The University of Denver provides a fully online degree with a primary focus on systems analysis, networking, web design, and programming. That said, students will learn how to build websites and databases, and to use quantitative reasoning and interpersonal skills that would help them advance in the workforce.
This course will primarily provide you with a Bachelor of Arts in Information Technology degree, and it’s an excellent choice for those who want to upgrade their current IT knowledge, and for those who’d like to gain valuable skills in the field of information technology.
- 27 or more transferrable credits
- At least 3.75 overall GPA
- Three years of work experience before enrolling
- You can expect to pay $668 per credit for tuition
After you’ve finished the 10-weeks course, you’ll be able to work as a job analyst, HR administrator, operations manager, project manager, entrepreneur, or recruiter.
4. Weber State University (Ogden, Utah)
Computer science online courses offered by the Weber State University usually run full semesters, which is similar to on-campus studies. You need to follow specific due dates and instructions for assignments provided by your instructor on Canvas, the platform you’ll be using.
There are many exciting courses you can choose here – server-side web development, productive Internet application development, Java application development, advanced Internet programming, and more. Besides, students can receive a game development or a mobile application certificate as they graduate.
- Three letters of recommendation, academic and/or professional
- Al least 3.0 overall GPA
- Transcripts from every institution of higher education attended
- The annual tuition will be about $8.100
5. Franklin University (Columbus, Ohio)
Franklin University offers courses for getting Online Associate Degrees, Online Bachelor’s Degrees, and Online Master’s Degrees.
All the courses will provide you with knowledge in relevant fields, you’ll learn how to deal with constant technology changes, and you’ll be prepared to investigate, assess, design, and collaborate on the creation of technology-based solutions associated with businesses.
You’ll need to complete 124 semester hours:
- Fundamental General Education Core (24 hours) – English Composition, Math, Sciences, and more.
- Additional General Education Requirements (14 hours) – Learn Strategies, Interpersonal and Speech Communication, and more.
- Professional Core (24 hours) – Introduction to Computer Science, Database Management Systems, Cyber Security Fundamentals, etc.
- University Electives (24 hours) – This includes any undergraduate courses offered by the University, except developmental education courses.
- Major Area (22 hours) – Application Server Programming, Fundamentals of Operating Systems.
- Major Electives (16 hours) – You can choose 16 hours from the offered courses, such as Software Testing, Human-Computer Interaction, Mobile Programming, etc.
- 30 or more transferable credits
- At least a 2.5 overall GPA
- Students must meet the University algebra competency requirement
- Standard tuition costs $398 per credit, current service members will pay $250 per credit, while the international students can expect to pay $256
College Official Website: https://www.franklin.edu/
All of the universities mentioned above offer an excellent learning experience, and no matter which one you choose, you can be sure that you’re getting the best online computer science degree, which can help you find a perfect job for your preferences.
What Can You Do with a Computer Science Degree?
What can I do with a computer science degree? is a question many graduate students often ask themselves.
The truth is that such a degree opens the door to many job opportunities that require computer abilities and skills most CS specialists already have. The list below will provide you with some of the computer science degree jobs that are the most common ones in the U.S.
1. Software Developer
Being a software developer is quite an interesting profession since you have the opportunity to perform specific tasks on different devices, such as computers and mobile phones.
Still, apart from being interesting, it requires you to be responsible for the entire development process, including testing and maintenance of software.
That said, software developers are expected to have the technical creativity that would help them solve the problems uniquely and efficiently, as well as a significant level of computer language fluency since it’s required for writing code for programs.
2. Software Engineer
Even though the terms of software engineers and developers are interrelated, the truth is that their research field is a bit different. Namely, software developers are responsible for the entire development process, while engineers usually apply their engineering principles to software creation.
That said, a software engineer will write a code that will allow computer applications to run flawlessly and execute functions without problems. If you want to work as a software engineer, you must take responsibility for testing and debugging apps as you work with cross-functional partners, and understand programming languages such as Java, C++, Python, Ruby, and others.
3. Mobile App Web Developer
Smartphone technology is at its cutting edge now, which is why mobile app developers are in high demand.
The central role of mobile app developers is to create an application software for various operating systems such as iOS, Windows, and Android. Accordingly, you’ll need experience in computer languages such as Java, C++, C, Phyton, and more, and your creativity will help you design products and create technical solutions based on your users’ needs.
4. Web Developer
The goal of web developers is to assess the needs of users and create the technical structure for websites, making sure they’re responsive, accessible, and quickly open through different browsers and interfaces.
A full-stack web developer can work with both front-end and back-end development, and their knowledge helps them plan, manage, and build software – that way, they can boost the number of website viewers and visitors through search engine optimization (SEO).
5. Database Administrator
As a database administrator, you’ll analyze and evaluate the data needs of users, and develop and improve data resources that store sensitive information.
Database administrators should possess skills that will help them solve computer problems, correct any malfunction they find inside the database, and modify systems as the users’ needs grow.
6. Engineer of Computer Hardware
The job of a computer hardware engineer is to design, develop, and test computer components, including motherboards, routers, and memory devices.
This particular profession requires a combination of creativity and technical expertise, as well as perseverance to perform complex system tests from time to time to make sure the hardware works flawlessly.
7. Computer Systems Analyst
Every company needs a professional computer system analyst, who’ll assess their computer systems and recommend some changes to hardware and software that would enhance the overall company’s efficiency.
The job requires regular communication with managers and employees, which is why computer systems analysts need strong interpersonal skills apart from tech knowledge – that said, the professionals in this field must be able to convince staff and management to accept the latest technology solutions that meet the needs of an organization.
8. Network Architect
Network architects are also an essential factor for every organization since they design, implement, and maintain networking and data communication systems, such as local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), extranet, and intranet. That said, network architects assess the needs of organizations for data sharing and communications.
Besides, the experts in network architecture should evaluate the products and services available on the market and test systems before they’ve decided to implement some techniques and resolve potential issues as they occur after the setup is done.
9. IT Project Manager
The task of project managers in the IT sector is to analyze technical problems for their company or client organization and propose potential solutions that would enhance productivity. Additionally, they coordinate the efforts of a team of programmers and analysts to complete the designated projects.
The primary skill that IT project managers should have is a quick problem-solving technique that would correct all the malfunctions within the client’s system, as well as strong communication skills that would help them discover the needs of their clients.
10. Machine Learning Engineer
Machine learning engineer is another job that’s in high-demand, and if you decide to specialize in this field, you should know that your job will be to build and deploy ML (Machine Learning) systems that could automatically learn and improve independently.
This is one of the jobs with a computer science degree that requires you to know data structures and algorithms, and how to build neural networks and structure machine learning projects. Thanks to the course you choose, you’ll be provided with essential coding skills crucial for success.
What Is the Average Computer Science Degree Salary?
The average salary those with an online computer science degree can expect varies on a couple of factors, but the deciding factor is the field you choose to specialize in.
For instance, if you work as a software developer or a software engineer, you may have $106.000, and if you find a web designing more engaging, expect about $66.000 for your annual income.
Apart from the specific job you decide to do, the factor that will also impact your salary is your education level.
For instance, the salary of IT professionals with a bachelor’s degree can be even $30.500 higher than the income of IT professionals with an associate’s degree.
Final Words – Education Matters!
No matter if you choose on-site or online computer science classes, be sure that your effort will pay off eventually. Computer science is the profession of the future, and any field you want to dedicate to will find you a way to a successful career.