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Cheapest Computer Science Universities

Society's increasing dependence on technology drives job growth for computer scientists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for computer and information technology professionals to increase 13% from 2020-2030.

Most jobs in the IT field require only a bachelor's degree, but some advanced roles require a master's. Learners can qualify for positions with 4-6 years of education.

This guide highlights the best computer science schools and explores requirements to qualify for computer scientist positions.

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Questions About Computer Science

Which degree is best for computer science?

Computer scientists often hold a master of science. Common majors include information technology and computer science. Computer network architects and information technology specialists usually need only a bachelor's degree.

What is the highest-paid job in computer science?

Computer and information research scientists are among the top earners in the field. These professionals earn a median salary of $126,830 per year, according to BLS data.

What types of jobs can I get with a computer science degree?

Computer science degrees can qualify holders for positions as computer research scientists, computer programmers, and information security analysts.

Why Get a Degree in Computer Science?

Computer science degree-seekers use strategy and theories to address technological problems. Learners often pursue computer science degrees to qualify for mentally stimulating positions with high salaries. According to the BLS, computer and information technology professionals earn a median salary about $49,300 higher than the median for all occupations.

Online programs allow students to attend the best computer science schools in the country from any location. Online computer science programs typically cost less than in-person options. The following section explores the overall cost of attending computer science schools.

How Much Does a Computer Science Degree Cost?

The cost of computer science degrees vary by school and program. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students paid an average of $19,792 for graduate tuition and fees for the 2019-20 academic year. The average cost of undergraduate tuition and fees was $25,281 for the same year.

Online learners often save money. According to the Education Data Initiative, online bachelor's programs cost an average of $51,090.

Along with tuition, students pursuing computer science degrees should budget for lab fees. Learners may also need additional computer software.

How Much Do Computer Science Majors Make?

According to March 2022 Payscale data, earning advanced computer science degrees often increases salary potential. The data shows an average annual salary of $91,000 for computer science bachelor's degree-holders. Professionals with a master's degree in computer science earn an average salary of $109,000 per year.

An individual's earning potential depends on their position, experience, and location. For example, computer network architects earn a median salary of $116,780 per year, according to the BLS. Computer programmers throughout the country earn a median of $89,190 annually, while those in California earn an average salary of $107,300 per year.

Courses in Computer Science

A bachelor's of science in computer science requires about 120 credits. Full-time students typically graduate in four years. A master's degree in computer science requires about 40 credits, which translates to about 12 courses. Most full-time students earn their master's in 1-2 years.

Many computer science schools offer concentrations or minors. Common specializations include computer graphics, data science, and programming languages.

Although curricula vary by program, many computer science degrees require the following courses to help learners hone technical skills.

  • Computer Science Fundamentals

    This course covers industry basics. Students learn about common computer science theories that influence today's practices. Coursework explores computer hardware components. Students also learn the basics of computer software languages and algorithms.
  • Computer Network Security

    Students learn how to enhance network security with cryptography and authentication systems. Coursework highlights ethical hacking practices. Students learn to prevent malicious attacks. Learners examine internet routing systems and computer security policies.
  • Research in the Computer Science Field

    Students in this class learn best practices for conducting computer science research. The course highlights knowledge gaps in the computer science field. Learners design a research study to add knowledge to the industry or test a theory. Students prepare to design ethical and reliable surveys.

How to Become a Computer Scientist

Aspiring computer scientists begin by earning a bachelor's degree in a related subject. Aside from computer science, common major choices include information technology and computer programming.

Most computer science research positions require a master's degree. Some bachelor's degree-holders pursue entry-level roles to gain experience and build a resume before attending a master's program. Many master's programs require a computer science-related undergraduate degree. However, learners with unrelated bachelor's degrees may qualify for admission after taking prerequisite courses.

Computer science students complete internships and research projects. Some learners submit findings to scholarly journals for publication.

Career and Salary Outlook for Computer Science

Computer science schools prepare learners for a variety of technology-related roles. Some professionals focus on troubleshooting issues. Others create preventative security measures. Many computer science jobs professionals can work remotely. Some positions require occasional weekend and weeknight work.

This section highlights three common jobs for graduates of computer science schools. Each position features unique education and professional requirements.

  • Information Security Analysts

    These professionals oversee organizations' computer security. They prevent data breaches by ensuring that every computer's software stays current. These professionals also prepare reports on attempted attacks and defenses. Information security analysts must keep up with new industry trends and advancements.
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers

    These workers coordinate their organization's technology purchasing and maintenance. They evaluate technology needs and order the correct equipment. These managers also help troubleshoot technological issues and schedule security updates.
  • Computer and Information Research Scientists

    These scientists find innovative ways to enhance and use technology. They study theories and identify areas to improve security and user experience. These professionals conduct experiments and tests on new technologies and then evaluate results.
Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030)
Information Security Analysts $103,590 33%
Computer and Information Systems Managers $151,150 11%
Computer and Information Research Scientists $126,830 22%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Cheapest Computer Science Universities

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