All about Degree in Computer Science
Online Computer Science Degrees
A bachelor’s degree in computer science prepares undergraduates for technical computing careers. Typical courses include programming, data analytics, and cloud computing solutions. The degree prepares graduates for in-demand technology careers with high salaries like software development. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects software developer jobs to grow 22%from 2020-2030.
Although an online bachelor’s in computer science may bring high salary potential, degree-seekers may prioritize affordability to avoid excessive debt after graduation. A cheap online computer science degree might include low per-credit tuition rates, accelerated options, and financial aid opportunities.
Why Get a Degree in Computer Science?
In addition to tuition, a degree’s affordability depends on a person’s salary-to-debt ratio after graduation. Prospective students may want to consider future job options when pursuing a degree. An online bachelor’s in computer science is a popular choice, leading to many possible high-paying careers.
Specializations give students the skills and experience necessary for their chosen career, potentially boosting future job prospects. Online computer science degrees may offer concentrations in security, information systems analysis, and mobile computing. Software development is another option.
Students who hold the skills required for tech industry-related jobs may enjoy computer science programs. Computer science majors show strengths in problem-solving, mathematics, data analysis, and technical computing. Graduates have strong programming, designing, and testing skills.
Computer science degrees typically consist of 120 credits with courses in programming, software engineering, computer networking, physics, and mathematics. Applicants submit high school transcripts with their applications. Learn more about top computer science degrees on our ranking page.
Why You Should Earn a Computer Science Degree Online
The convenience and success of online learning has led higher learning institutions to create more distance education classes and programs. In the 2019 fall semester, 17.6% of postsecondary students enrolled exclusively in online courses.
In addition to its convenience, an online program may also save students money. Public schools may charge lower in-state tuition rates for online out-of-state learners. Distance learning allows students to complete courses remotely, avoiding housing and transportation costs. Asynchronous online courses also allow students to continue earning money while pursuing their degree.
How Can I Pay for a Computer Science Degree Online?
Tuition for online computer science degrees vary. One factor depends on whether a school charges online learners the lower in-state tuition rate regardless of residency. Some programs also include separate online fees that further raise net costs.
Schools may also charge program-related fees. Textbooks can raise overall costs. Students should consider using various financing options to help pay for their computer science degrees. Students can pursue the following financial aid sources.
Loans provide funds that borrowers must repay. The federal government offers student loans for qualified learners. Other loans may come from private lenders or financial institutions.
2. Work Study
Work-study programs allow students to earn money for tuition and other educational expenses through a part-time job. The Federal Work-Study Program grants funds to students attending one of the 3,400 colleges and universities.
Grants gift funds to eligible students and do not require repayment. Usually, grants go to students with demonstrated financial need. But some grants may also require students to qualify academically or athletically.
Scholarships provide students with funds that do not require repayment. Often merit-based, scholarships may have specific requirements for applicants. Requirements may include maintaining a minimum GPA or experiencing a financial, social, or personal hardship.
Making Cheap Online Computer Science Degrees Even Cheaper
Tuition is one of many costs associated with higher education. Students also pay for textbooks, equipment, and school fees, all of which can increase program costs. The following list offers cost-saving tips for students pursuing computer science degrees online.
1. Textbooks and Equipment
Textbooks and equipment, such as headphones or a laptop, comprise some of the highest expenses for online students, aside from tuition. Renting textbooks and equipment can cost less than buying them. Rentals allow students to pay installment fees instead of paying up front, making payments more digestible.
2. Program Length
Some computer science online programs offer accelerated options for students looking to graduate sooner. Accelerated programs sometimes feature a program cost rather than a per-credit cost. This fee structure can make the accelerated program more affordable than a standard program with per-credit tuition.
3. Class Size
Public schools generally have lower tuition rates and higher student-to-faculty ratios than private schools. This may result in less personalized instruction and longer response times from instructors.
4. School Accolades
Industry-leading employers may hold prestigious schools in higher regard than other schools. Prestigious institutions often have regional accreditation, notable faculty, and exceptional reputations. While choosing a school with minimal accolades might prove more affordable, it may impact job opportunities after graduation.
5. Included Costs
A school may advertise a cheap online computer science degree, but it could have hidden costs. Programs do not always note the cost of proctored exams, field work, and required materials on their websites. Speak with a program advisor before applying to take note of all required costs when considering different programs.
Will Getting My Online CS Degree Pay Off?
As of November 2021, student loan debt in the U.S. has reached $1.75 trillion. Students may wonder if pursuing an online bachelor’s in computer science merits going into debt.
Fortunately, the tech industry’s continuous growth paves the way for many high-paying careers. The BLS reports that computer science graduates can pursue jobs with median annual salaries of $91,250. These occupations include information security analysts, software developers, and computer and information systems managers. For more salary information, students can review school websites for alumni employment records.
To determine if earning a computer science degree online might pay off, students can also calculate their potential return on investment (ROI). They can calculate this by dividing their monthly student loan payments by their expected monthly salary.
The lower a salary-to-debt ratio, the higher a potential ROI. Learners can use this figure when comparing tuition costs and salary information from different programs.
Jobs for Computer Science Graduates
Computer science online program graduates can choose from many career options. For example, they can work as computer and information research scientists, software developers, and information security analysts. Find job details below, including salary and job outlook data from the BLS.
· Computer and Information Systems Manager
Also known as information technology (IT) managers, computer and information systems managers plan and manage IT responsibilities within an organization. Professionals may advance to leadership positions, such as chief technology officer, with an advanced degree and several years of experience
· Software Developer
Software developers complete the end-to-end process of planning, designing, creating, and testing computer software. Some software developers work as independent contractors for multiple businesses. Others collaborate with large IT teams within one organization.
· Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts monitor, troubleshoot, and protect an organization’s computer network. Some organizations seek candidates with an industry-recognized certification, such as CompTIA cybersecurity analyst, in addition to a bachelor’s degree.
Choosing the Best Affordable Online Degree in Computer Science
Prospective learners should consider more than tuition costs when choosing a program. Students should ensure that the institution or computer science program holds accreditation. Accredited schools and programs prove their commitment to academic excellence and earn recognition from other schools and employers. Attending an accredited school qualifies students for federal financial aid and allows for credit transfer between institutions.
Students should also consider a school’s extracurricular activities, alumni network, and career resources. The best online programs offer digital resources to enhance the learning experience, including online libraries, virtual clubs, and remote networking events.
Frequently Asked Questions About Computer Science Degrees
· How much does an online BS in computer science cost?
The cost of an online bachelor’s in computer science degree varies across schools. In-state learners typically pay lower per-credit tuition rates than out-of-state learners.
· Are there scholarships available for computer science majors?
The computer science field continues to rank as one of the most in-demand industries. Therefore, many tech companies and organizations offer scholarships to computer science majors. Students should check with their school’s financial aid office to learn about potential scholarship opportunities.
· Is a computer science degree online worth it?
The best online computer science degrees provide learners with the tools necessary to enter in-demand technology careers. Some of the highest salaries are in computer science occupations, such as software development and computer information analysis, making this degree worth the time and cost.
· What jobs can I get with an online bachelor’s in computer science?
An online bachelor of computer science opens doors to several careers. Web developer, software developer, systems analyst, health information technician, and information security analyst are among the potential job titles for graduates.
· How much does a computer scientist make?The BLS indicates that computer and information research scientists earn a median salary of $126,830. Several other computer science careers earn between $77,000-$126,000 annually.