Whether you want to work for a social media giant or a blockchain startup, computer science or information technology is a great subject to study in today’s tech-focused world. However, studying on campus isn’t always the best choice. When you’ve got little time, a limited budget, and a need to upgrade your skills without uprooting your life, an online master’s, bachelor’s, or certificate might be the perfect way to pursue a technology degree.
Studying online enables you to learn anywhere, at any time, and usually at a lower cost than traditional in-person instruction. As you’re not tied to a particular location, you have a vast selection of programs and institutions open to you. This article will help you choose the best online computer science or information technology degree for you.
An online degree in computer science or IT may be the perfect choice for some students, but it won’t be for everyone. Remote learning is a different experience from attending college in person, as you’ll be required to complete your assignments, reading, and tests in your own time, so you will need to be disciplined and focused.
So who should get an online computer science or IT degree? Here are a few top candidates:
Online degrees are an excellent option for busy people with work or family commitments. You can complete the units remotely and work from your home, your local library, or anywhere you like! There’s no need to travel to a particular location to take classes. You should be able to complete much of the learning at whatever time suits you, so you can fit studying around your life instead of needing to disrupt your routine to attend in-person classes.
Additionally, you may be able to enroll at any point in the year, so you don’t need to wait for a long time for the new semester to come around. You also won’t be tied into a rigid schedule, so you can adjust the timings to suit you.
The beauty of online studying is that it’s fully remote, meaning you can get on with your online computer science or IT degree from your preferred institution without needing to travel or relocate. It’s an excellent option for people all over the country, giving everyone equal opportunity to pursue their degree regardless of location.
Finally, it’s all about the money. Since online programs don’t have the same kind of overheads as a brick-and-mortar school, they can afford to charge their students significantly less tuition, making it an easier and much more affordable option for anyone on a budget.
The great thing about online studying is there are so many courses to choose from. If you’re looking for a shorter, more basic degree course, you could opt for an associate’s degree. For longer and more in-depth study, a bachelor's or master’s degree can give you a greater understanding of the subject and qualifications that will be well respected by employers.
Selecting an accredited degree will give your study more credibility, as it means the course has been checked and approved for offering high-quality education.
If you’re set on studying computer science or IT, you may be wondering whether you should go for a bachelor's degree or a master’s degree. A bachelor's degree is an undergraduate qualification that gives you a grounding in the subject, whereas a master’s degree is the next level up.
For an online computer science or IT degree, you may study the following topics:
An online Master of Computer Science or IT program or degree should build on the information and experience you gained from your BA. It should naturally take you one step further. Top accredited online master’s programs might cover any or all of the following:
No matter which online college you choose, you’ll also need to do some coursework. Usually, this will be tailored to fit your area of specialty or interest.
An online computer science or IT degree can certainly save you money, as program costs are generally lower. For an online bachelor’s degree, top online colleges may charge upwards of $60,000, although you may find some in the range of $10,000 to $30,000 (usually charged on a per-credit basis). For a master’s degree, fees are similarly variable, with courses being offered for as little as $5,000, or as much as $40,000.
Don’t forget you may also need to pay other costs on top of tuition, like textbooks or other course materials.
Qualifying for FAFSA Student Aid, a private student loan, or college scholarships can also help you meet the cost. You may be able to secure a lower rate and most online colleges offer discounts for US service members and their spouses. Some employers may sponsor you to complete your studies too.
Choosing an online college for computer science or IT can feel like a challenging process. After all, you need to narrow down the best computer science or information technology colleges, and it can be hard to choose. You might consider the following:
Accredited courses have been vetted by an accrediting agency (the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation). They need to meet specific high standards, including being capable of providing high-quality education to their students, with sufficient resources, well-trained staff, and rigorous qualifications. Getting an accredited degree not only ensures you’ve had thorough training in the subject, but you can also use your credits for further study at a different school.
To get all the benefits of studying online, make sure you check that the course is well set up for online learners. For example, you may want to look into its digital library provisions, the support you will get from teachers and other university staff, and whether you will have any personalized career support. You should also consider the structure of the course and whether it’s possible to start at any time, or if you’re tied into the traditional semester.
Of course, lowering the cost of getting a degree is one big reason to study online, so comparing prices is also a good idea.
If you’re set on studying for a computer science or IT degree through an online college, your next step is to apply. You might be eligible for financial help depending on your circumstances, so make sure you apply for relevant scholarships and loans.
Studying online enables you to obtain your computer science or IT degree from anywhere at a lower cost than traditional programs. Even if you have existing work and family commitments, you can take advantage of the flexibility of online study and work at your own pace. Taking a computer science or IT online degree may change the whole direction of your career!