Best Online Computer Science Degrees of 2021

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Computer science bachelor’s programs feature interdisciplinary, diverse curricula that explores computing theory, mathematics, and programming languages. To pursue a bachelor’s in computer science, applicants need strong performance in math- and science-related courses and standardized test sections.

Aspiring computer science students can choose from among a bachelor of arts, a bachelor of science, and a bachelor of applied science degree. Learners planning on graduate school often choose BA programs, which incorporate more diverse, general coursework. BS programs often suit students pursuing advanced technical positions, such as computer programmers or software developers. Usually less theoretical than BA or BS degrees, the BAS focuses heavily on hands-on job training and skills for technical careers.

Why Get a Computer Science Degree?

Bachelor’s in computer science degrees may bring many professional and personal advantages, including relevant skills acquisition, salary increase, and promotion. See below for several potential benefits of this degree path.

Even experienced technology professionals sometimes complete online bachelor’s degrees to meet degree requirements for higher-level positions. These include network architect, software engineer, or computer and information systems manager.
Salary Advancement
Finishing degrees often translates to pay raises for working professionals. Some graduates may leverage their degree to transition to better-paying or more interesting fields and careers.
Diverse Specialization Options
One of the most diverse and rapidly growing disciplines today, computer science includes many specializations and career paths. Read further to learn more about the computer science specializations available.
Relevant Skills
Computer science builds core skills in computer programming, data analysis, technical writing, and software development. These skills can serve graduates well in many professional roles and contexts.
Networking Opportunities
Often cohort-based and project-based, the best computer science bachelor’s programs emphasize teamwork and collaborative learning. Student cohorts, group projects, and internship experiences encourage professional networking.

How Much Does a Computer Science Major Make?

PayScale and BLS data suggest that bachelor’s in computer science graduates often make above-average salaries. PayScale cites an average annual salary of $86,000 for bachelor of computer science degree-holders. The BLS calculates a median annual wage of $88,240 for computer and information technology occupations.

Computer science graduates enjoy diverse career options in fields such as data analytics, information security, software engineering, or artificial intelligence. Common career paths include information security analyst, software developer, software engineer, or network architect.

Graduates with requisite talent and professional experience may qualify for high-paying jobs such as computer and information systems manager, which yields a $146,360 median annual salary. Some bachelor’s graduates further increase their salary potential by earning professional certifications or master’s degrees.

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Featured Online Schools

2021 Top Ranking Bachelors in Computer Science Programs

Rank School Location
1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
2 Thomas Edison State University Trenton, NJ
3 Florida International University Miami, FL
4 Eastern New Mexico University Portales, NM
5 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
6 National University San Diego, CA
7 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
8 Florida State University Tallahassee FL
9 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
10 Concordia University, St. Paul Saint Paul, MN

Looking for a Different Degree?

Computer Science Degree FAQ

  • What can you do with a master's in computer science?

    Computer science bachelor’s programs support diverse technical careers, including software engineer, computer programmer, or information systems analyst. Some bachelor’s graduates apply to master’s programs and pursue careers as computer and information research scientists.

  • Is a BA or BS in computer science better?

    BA in computer science degrees often provide well-rounded education useful for graduate school or management positions. BS degrees offer more technical courses and specialization options.

  • How long is a bachelor's in computer science?

    Bachelor’s in computer science programs often take four years, including two years of associate-level coursework. Transfer associate graduates and accelerated program enrollees often finish much faster.

  • Is a bachelor's in computer science hard?

    This degree’s difficulty depends on the student’s quantitative aptitude and work ethic. Many learners find computer science coursework and projects challenging.

Bachelor’s in Computer Science Program Requirements

Getting into college usually requires a high school diploma or its equivalent, a 2.0-3.0 minimum GPA, and satisfactory standardized test scores. Working computer science or IT professionals and transfer students with 3.0 minimum college GPAs may not need to submit test scores. For admission into the computer science major itself, applicants may need to complete prerequisite coursework and submit recommendation letters.

Bachelor’s in computer science degrees usually entail around 60 upper-level credits beyond the 60 lower-level, associate degree credits. Enrollees complete general education courses, core computer science courses, and electives. The best computer science bachelor’s programs require capstone projects or internship experiences allowing participants to showcase and build their skills.

Accreditation and Online Colleges

Bachelor’s in Computer Science Specializations

In preparation for the extremely broad, diverse discipline, the best computer science bachelor’s usually offer specialization options. Computer science students should choose specializations corresponding to their interests and career aspirations. Eight of the most popular program concentrations appear below.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    This specialization studies advanced computer abilities such as predicting and problem-solving. The AI industry explores cutting-edge fields such as machine learning and natural language processing.

  • Computer and Network Security

    This concentration focuses on security infrastructure, including intrusion-detection systems, virtual private networks, firewalls, and cryptography. Participants learn about the various computer and network security threats and defense methods.

  • Data Analytics

    This area explores data collection, mining, modeling, and analysis. Students learn to uncover patterns and draw conclusions that can inform organizational decision-making.

  • Database Management

    This study path cultivates database design and management skills such as SQL, database web programming, and system design. Enrollees learn programming logic, database technology, and database administration skills.

  • Health Informatics

    Focused on improving healthcare IT, this specialization covers IT functions and infrastructure. Common study topics include interoperability, regulations, medical algorithms, and electronic health record-keeping and protection methods.

  • Information Security

    This field focuses on creating, implementing, and maintaining organizational security systems and methods. Learners study various security threats and how to protect storage hardware, networks, devices, and software applications.

  • Software Development

    This specialization teaches students how to create, design, program, and test software components, frameworks, and applications.

  • Software Engineering

    This curriculum concentration covers application development and corresponding application protocols and systems. Sub-specializations may include security, scalability, or debugging.

Courses in a Computer Science Bachelor’s Program

Computer science bachelor’s programs include general education coursework building skills in communication, analysis, problem-solving, and research. Usually project-based, computer science courses cultivate skills in data analysis, computer programming, and software development.

Bachelor’s in computer science feature specialized concentrations and elective courses including networking, data communications, software engineering, or operating systems. In most computer science programs, seniors use their creativity and hone their skills through capstone projects. The courses below appear in many computer science bachelor’s programs.

  • Programming Languages

    This core computer science course introduces participants to various key programming languages for developing websites, software, and computer programs. Participants learn languages such as JavaScript, Ruby, SQL, and Python. This course cultivates skills in coding, scripting, and compliance assurance.

  • UI/UX Design and Development

    This course focuses on creating effective user interfaces and experiences for appliances, vehicles, and web or mobile applications. UI/UX courses emphasize design principles, practices, and digital platforms. An elective for many computer science students, this course helps learners interested in digital design and development careers.

  • Database Management Systems

    Database management entails studying the principles, techniques, and software tools for designing and maintaining databases. Students learn about both relational and object-oriented databases. This course covers relevant emerging trends in database systems and administration.

Scholarships for Computer Science

CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service

Who Can Apply: SFS funds support undergraduate or graduate IT security students willing to work for the U.S. government during summers and after graduation. These substantial awards cover recipients’ tuition costs for up to three years. The length of post-graduation service contracts matches the number of scholarship years. Applicants need U.S. citizenship, passing background checks, and full-time enrollment in cybersecurity programs at accredited schools.

Amount: $25,000 annually for up to three years

Society for Women Engineers Scholarships

Who Can Apply: These scholarships go to undergraduate or graduate women students pursuing computer science or engineering degree programs full time. Only enrollees in programs with accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology may apply. Applicants must reside in one of 20 approved states.

Amount: Varies

Banatao Family Filipino American Education Fund Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports five eligible Filipino students annually. Qualifying candidates demonstrate 50% ethnic Filipino heritage, origins in qualifying California counties, financial need, and plans for a science-related major. Recipients boast 3.0 minimum GPAs and full-time enrollment as freshmen at accredited, four-year colleges.

Amount: $5,000

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