Online Master’s in Computer ScienceProjected to grow 13 percent between 2016 and 2026, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that over 500,000 new jobs in the computer and information technology field will be added during these years. Online computer science degrees are offered from many non-profit universities, for professionals from many backgrounds within the STEM field.
If you plan to teach courses in computer science at the college level, want to advance in your current computer science career, or just expand your learning, a part-time or full-time online master’s degree in computer science is a viable chosen pathway.Choosing an Online Computer Science DegreeMost online computer science degrees range from 30-40 credits and depending on enrollment and program type, students can complete their online master’s in computer science in one to three years. With different program types and concentrations, it can be important to ask some defining questions:Will an online master’s degree in computer science help to advance my career? Does completion of an online computer science degree allow you to apply for higher management positions? Will your pay scale increase after graduation? While many careers in computer science require just a bachelor’s degree, a master’s in computer science may expand your learning.What is the difference between a bachelor and master’s degree in computer science? A bachelor’s degree in computer science sets the foundations of the field.
While earning your master’s degree in computer science specializes your skills into a specific concentration, such as information security, data analytics, software engineering, or cryptography to name a few.How does an online master’s in computer science look? Online computer science degrees, depending on concentrations will differ from school to school. Some universities use asynchronous and synchronous approaches to learning while others may allow you to self-pace your progression in the program.Does the university offering the computer science program provide student support for online students? Online programs at any universities should have student support available for their students. In the form of library, career, and academic supports, a well-rounded online computer science degree assists prospective, active, and former students.Will the program integrate advances in STEM and other emerging technologies? Credible university online computer science programs will have faculty that is knowledgeable and even professionals in the field who are actively involved in real-world solutions.
main_featured /Is an Online Computer Science Degree Right for You?When you initially think about higher education, you probably think about on-campus programs. Rightfully so, online programs aren’t your only option. There are part- and full-time options on-campus for a master’s in computer science. Hybrid or blended computer science programs offer a mix between online coursework and on-campus classes. Here is what you may encounter for online computer science programs:What to ExpectOnline master’s in computer science programs vary in admission requirements – depending on the university. Some programs require working knowledge of object-oriented language such as Java or C++ or completion of core competencies in coursework such as calculus, data structures, and computer organization.Computer science programs offer a mix of core required coursework and electives – depending on your concentration.
Some approaches to these online courses may include interactive videos, face-to-face group projects or hands-on learning experience opportunities.Sometimes, an online master’s computer science program will have their students come to campus one to several times to meet with your classmates, engage in face-to-face learning experiences, hear from professionals in the field, or work together on real-world problems. CurriculumIn comparison to on-campus coursework, online computer science degrees should have classes that are equivalent or better than their brick and mortar counterpart.
Some core coursework to expect in your online program may include:Analysis of Algorithms: Develop the skills to divide and conquer, understand greedy and graph algorithms, learn how to optimize, randomize, and analyze algorithm and apply algorithmic thinking to produce solutions to practical and classical problems such as sorting, searching, and graph problems.Operating Systems Principles: Learn the basis of design and implementation of different operating systems including process scheduling and coordination, memory management, file system management, and structuring.Computer Architecture: Advanced evaluation of a large focus on computer hardware design including memory hierarchies, run-time optimization, parallel processing, instruction sets (RISC and CISC), vector processing and input/output topics.Software Engineering: Introduction to software life cycle models including design techniques, data flow and structures, project and risk management, coding and testing methods, practicing according to industry standards and perspectives. FacultyWhen you apply for an online master’s in computer science, the individuals leading the courses should be experts in their field working on real-world solutions and cutting-edge research. Review the faculty profiles to ensure that the same professors are teaching on-campus and online classes – making the match between the two programs seamless and comparableFor full-time professors, review their published research and reports. Have they worked with technology companies in the past? Are they engaged in any projects at this time? Have members of the faculty earned awards for their research in computer science?How long have they been teaching in the field of technology and computer science? Do they work in the community? You want to make sure that the faculty members are professionals in the field of which you are studying. Attending class with a professor in an education background may not be the best fit for a computer science program.
Jobs After Your Computer Science DegreeAfter one to three years of study, your online computer science degree may have prepared you for a wide array of positions in many different fields. The applicability of computer science is far reaching. Some example careers you can pursue include:Computer ScientistAssistant/Adjunct Professor of Computer ScienceSoftware Application ManagerIT StrategistDirector of Web DevelopmentChief Technology/Information OfficerWith a master’s degree in computer science, you can pursue a career in machine learning systems, cloud computing, data science, robotics, medicine, or business. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information research scientists work with other scientists and engineers to solve complex problems that involve analysis of software and hardware systems.
Computer scientists may also develop software systems that create foundations for other computing advancements. There is no doubt that technology is integrated into many aspects of our lives. With it’s growth comes the demand for individuals experienced and knowledgeable on computer architecture, information security, data systems, and algorithms for application in other existing systems.Alternative Online ProgramsThis guide focuses solely on computer science programs.
Other online programs in the technology and analytic field are also available on our site:Data Science Degrees OnlineOnline Business Analytics / MS in Analytics degreesOnline MS in Information Systems programsOnline MS in Business Intelligence programsOnline analytics-focused MBA programsOnline Analytics certificatesOnline PhD in Data Science programs