Overview: An Online Degree in Computer Science

Pairing together the familiarity of computing platforms and online learning, there is no questioning why online degree programs for computer science is a desirable option for many students. With flexible scheduling and personalized pacing, it is especially suitable for those who wish to obtain a degree but have other responsibilities such as full-time jobs or being a parent.

While there a few significant differences between online and traditional computer science degrees, the required courses and topics of study remain hugely similar.

Requirements for Getting An Online Degree

The requirements of obtaining an online degree is similar — credit wise — to obtaining a degree in the traditional college or university environment.

An online associate’s degree can be obtained upon the completion of 60 credits, with half or more of these credits received from courses related to computing or applied/analytic mathematics. However, there are few online associate’s degrees available, as most associate’s are obtained with a combination of online and traditional courses.

An online bachelor’s — similar to a traditional bachelor’s — can be obtained upon the completion of 120 credits or more. Because of this, courses can become more advanced than that offered in an associate’s degree program. These courses can include, but are not limited to, programming, data analytics, and data security. At times, a specific field of emphasis (such as the humanities, sciences, or engineering) is offered depending on the post-secondary that offers the online program.

An online master’s degree can be obtained upon the completion of varying credits, the numbers ranging from 36-60 — at times even more depending on one’s specification or interest. Coursework is dependant on what specific area of computer science is being pursued.

Tests and Certifications

Typically, those who pursue an online associate’s degree will not need to take any major exit exams, while those who pursue an online bachelor’s or higher will need to take some exams. Though somewhat important, exams are not usually a determining factor for employers. Instead, it is the multiple certifications one need to obtain in order to gain higher job prospects.

These range from troubleshooting to software engineering. Online degree programs usually provide a strong understanding of the materials that are present in certification tests. By passing these tests and getting specific certifications that relates to an intended job, students are usually in good position to gain employment upon graduation.

Advantages of an Online Degree

There are some significant advantages when it comes to choosing an online degree program. First and foremost, students are able to complete the courses according to their own pace — this flexibility is often not an option in traditional degree programs.

This is a great advantage for those who have other responsibilities such as work or parenting. As well, online programs usually cost significantly less than traditional programs. This puts less financial burden on the students and sometimes, their families.

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