The Top 10 Online Programs for Computer Science Degrees

One of the fastest-growing fields of employment, computer science is gaining momentum as more students flock to high-tech degree programs. More people than ever want to earn the IT skills that can open up further career opportunities in an increasingly digital world. Naturally, there are few areas of study better suited to online coursework than computer science.

A good online school in any subject is one that can overcome the inherent limitations of distance learning. Online computer science degree programs should not cut corners compared to those pursued in a physical classroom. Along these lines, this list evaluates online computer science (CS) programs on the basis of:

  • Objective criteria, including U.S. News & World Report ratings, program diversity, and accessible student services like tutoring, academic advising and career counseling
  • Unique CS programs and features, such as special combined undergraduate-and-graduate tracks
  • Overall value for the investment—the ‘bang for your buck’ factor

Ranking the 10 Best Online Programs For Computer Science

The following are all-online as well as campus-based schools that provide superior value for the tuition invested to earn an online computer science degree.

#1 — Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Institute of Technology takes the number one spot on our list because it will soon offer considerably more ‘bang for the buck’ than just about any other school out there.

The school has recently announced it is partnering with Udacity, a MOOC—or Massive Open Online Courseware—provider to offer a high-quality master’s degree in online computer science for a fraction of the cost of competitor programs—$6,600. The first professional Online Master of Science in Computer Science, or OMS CS, will take three years to complete.

Heretofore, free ‘MOOCs’ haven’t offered serious degrees to those who ace their programs. Meanwhile, credible online degrees with name recognition courtesy of their brick-and-mortar counterparts aren’t exactly cheap.

Where most programs spell ‘compromise’ in these respects, trading access for quality and vice versa, prestigious Georgia Tech is set to deliver innovation in a way that’s actually affordable to most online degree-seekers. Best of all, it has an impressive CS department ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report.

#2 — Pace University

New York-based Pace University has a stellar lineup of online CS degree programs ranging from the associate’s and bachelor’s to master’s and doctoral levels. Here, distance learners can enjoy a high-caliber curriculum at competitive rates.

The school’s undergraduate options include the iPace degree completion program. iPace gives working students who need to finish their bachelor’s degree a chance to do that, both online and part-time. The basic Bachelor of Science (BS) in Professional Technology Studies is a real steal at $535 per credit, giving distance learners with some college experience a chance to earn an undergraduate computer science degree online for around $30,000.

Pace currently takes the top spot in U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best online bachelor’s degree programs, scoring high in faculty credentials, student services and technology, and student engagement.

#3 — Oregon State University

Oregon State, a public research university, offers affordable online degrees priced well below the average. For around $26,500, a web-based bachelor’s can be had through the highly-regarded School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

It can take as little as one year to earn a BS in Computer Science through OSU’s new ‘post-bac’ option. One of the first online post-baccalaureate programs for CS students in the country, the new degree appeals to those who already have undergraduate degrees. Oregon State is an excellent medium-priced option for those who want to expand their existing bachelor’s into the IT sector without committing to graduate school.

#4 — Western Governors University

As its name suggests, Western Governors University was founded in 1997 by the governors of 18 Western states. The idea was to make an online, accelerated, affordable and accredited education available to people of all ages. Today, WGU’s competency-based model of education has carved itself a solid niche that regularly turns out satisfied graduates.

WGU is uniquely affordable and flexible. Students work at their own pace, demonstrating competency as they go for course credit. “Course mentors,” easy hotline assistance for homework help, and built-in mobile functionality via the WGU app are among the perks for online enrollees. An online bachelor’s costs as little as $23,000–as much as most public four-year colleges charge for a single year.

#5 — Dakota State University

Dakota State University made its popular undergraduate CS major publicly available online in 2010, part of a wider state initiative to expand workforce development in this key growth industry. Here, online students can enjoy community advising, tutoring services and a web-based Online Writing Lab (OWL).

At Dakota State, students can earn a BS or MS in the computer sciences through the Office of Extended Programs. Undergraduate-to-graduate CS education can be completed entirely online in a variety of specialties. The online MS in CS is an especially good value among online computer science degree programs, costing just $10,000.

#6 — Colorado Technical University

Based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado Technical University (CTU) is another school with a highly-rated campus-based institution, a student-friendly distance-learning syllabus, and affordable tuition. In 2009, CTU’s “amazingly interactive, experientially immersive” Virtual Campus won the Best of the Best award in the Computerworld Honors program. The school is for-profit and regionally accredited.

CTU offers both master’s and doctoral online degrees through its College of Information Systems and Technology. These include Masters of Science in Computer Science with one of three concentrations: Computer Systems Security, Database Systems, or Software Engineering. All doctoral online degrees are Doctors of Computer Science (DCS).

#7 — Regis University

Based out of Denver, Colorado, Regis University’s online CS Bachelor issued through the School of Computer and Information Sciences has recently earned the ABET stamp of approval, the gold standard of computer science accreditation. Regis is one of just a few all-online programs that can claim this distinction.

Students can earn a BS in Computer Networking capped off with an MS in Systems Engineering in an accelerated, lower-cost program. The path encompasses both undergraduate and graduate degrees in a single 152-credit hour program designed to save students money. As a bonus, it’s also one of the few schools that accepts MOOC coursework as valid transfer credit.

#8 — Sam Houston State University

U.S. News & World Report ranked SHSU #2 in their account of the best online graduate Computer IT programs in America. Compared to the number one school on the list—University of Southern California—Sam Houston is significantly cheaper, offering graduate courses online for less than a third of the per-credit cost.

Sam Houston State University is a good public school option for students in search of online graduate studies. At $445 per credit, a full-time online MS candidate will spend $15,000 to $16,000 on a degree through the Computer IT program. Graduate studies include the MS in Information Assurance and Security.

#9 — Colorado State University—Global Campus

The non-profit Colorado State University—Global Campus is “the nation’s first 100% online, independently accredited public university.” The regionally-accredited CSU-Global distance learning platform has a student-friendly system of awarding transfer credit. Transfer applicants to CSU-Global can even get credit for completing Udacity’s ‘Introduction to CS’ MOOC.

CSU-Global graduates get name recognition, real faculty support, student resources and accessible rates of tuition. Students collaborate with their peers in real-time and via virtual extracurricular groups and clubs. Note that CSU—Global Campus is not the same institution as CSU, although the two schools are siblings within the wider Colorado State network.

#10 — University of Maryland

The University of Maryland’s University College (UMUC) is an option to consider for those who want a flexible degree from an established institution. Part of the largest public university in the U.S., UMUC offers numerous online credentials from the certificate through graduate levels across a variety of IT specializations. All of UMUC’s online CS faculty are experts in their field, and they are the same teachers that instruct classroom learners.

Aspiring computer scientists can major in Computer Networks and Security, Digital Media and Web Technology, or Technology Management. UMUC is also now hosting a joint undergraduate-graduate track in Cybersecurity that shaves nearly 20 credits off the total number required to achieve the BS and MS.

The Top 10 Online Information Technology Programs

When searching for a school offering an IT or technology degree, one should consider the school’s reputation as well as cost. Sometimes students choose the less expensive colleges only to learn that they are not up to the standards set by accreditation. Colleges for technology should offer the student the ability to transfer to another college or university. Students should consider financial aid and student satisfaction as well.

Someone that is searching for an online IT degree can find computer science, computer technology, and software development and information security, just to name a few. Receiving a degree in one of these programs will equip the student with the fundamentals he or she needs to pursue a career with excellent pay. Information technology programs will ensure the student is capable of managing his or her own computer software business.
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The Top 10 Online Software Engineering Programs

Software engineering is a popular field with many job opportunities available. Luckily, there are many online software engineering programs available for students today. Programs are ready to equip potential software engineers in dealing with the career’s intellectual and practical aspects as well as prepare them for different workplace settings. A software engineering degree will prove invaluable for people looking to progress in this field.

Recommended Online Software Engineering Programs

There are important factors to take into consideration when looking for the best online software engineering programs. Students have to think about the school’s reputation. This includes its prestige, academic standing, affordability, student passing rate, teacher reputability, and student outcomes. Programs should be well-rounded to give students flexibility and a greater range of experience. Knowing the school has good standing when it comes to academics will assure students that the time and money they spend was well worth it.

Ranking The Top 10 Online Software Engineering Programs

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The Top 10 Online Web Design Programs

Students searching for the best colleges or universities that offer online web design classes will search for Web design degree programs online. A good web design program offers the ability to design websites and programs that others will purchase. Online web design programs offer all of the classes online. This helps people that work full time or have a family, to attend classes and earn their degree on their own time. Listed below are some of the best institutions that offer these online web design classes.

Recommended Online Web Design Programs

Ranking The Top 10 Online Web Design Programs

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The Highest Paying Computer Science and IT Jobs

The study of Computer Science is merely that: it is the science of computing. It has been said that scientists build to learn, whereas engineers learn to build. Anyone with less than a Ph.D. in Computer Science will probably end their “scientist” career when they receive their diploma or master’s degree. When a student crosses that threshold and enters the business world, they become engineers. Usually, their title will reflect this change. “Project Engineer” or “Software Engineer” might be your starting title, often with a “Junior” or “Associate” added to it. Sometimes the title is as simple as “Application Developer.”

This doesn’t mean that you stop learning. On the contrary, you will learn more on the job than you did in school. Theory will take a backseat to practical applications of everything you’ve learned up to this point. Topics that may have been glossed over in school will be highlighted on your to-do list, such as gathering requirements, testing, and learning the business. In school, you are taught two things: the basics of your craft, and how to teach yourself. When you land your first job, you can bet that you will be relying heavily on both of these new skills – the former to serve as a starting point for the advancement of your understanding, and the latter to push it forward.

If too much academic pressure is overwhelming for you, you can still get a job. However, it likely won’t be a very fun job and it probably won’t pay you very well either. In such a case, you’d be looking at data entry, desktop support, or a whole host of other jobs that require zero brain power and a lot of tedious hours of pointing and clicking.

If you enjoyed your program, on the other hand, and you did well, chances are high that you can land a pretty decent gig straight out of college, often making more than what most of your peers will be making. IT jobs are lucrative, and unlike a lot of high paying jobs, they are plentiful. Everything needs an IT guy in some capacity. Small companies need someone around to help keep the employee’s computers running and to help build and run the website. Large companies need help in just about every area that a computer scientist could want to go.

Below are some of the most lucrative areas to begin your IT career. Salary ranges are listed to give a sense of the minimum and maximum one could expect to make in the given field, based on a national average.

Project Engineer

“Project Engineer” is a blanket term that covers any kind of engineering field. These will typically be found in more corporate environments that don’t have time to waste on thinking up more applicable job titles. The end result is, you will need to read the job description very carefully to know what you will be doing. This will include anything from infrastructure support to application development. The bottom line is, you will be in charge of projects. Some of these can be high visibility, so the potential for awards and advancement is high. Salary range: $51,000 – $92,000

Database Administrator

Database Administrators, or DBAs, can be compared to accountants. Their jobs are very detail-oriented. Most IT jobs are, but databases are often the foundation of the company. Lose data, and you lose everything. Corrupt data can mean loss of customers, revenue, or even jail time. It is for this reason that DBAs are held in high regard for their rigor and tenacity. They are the gatekeepers to the data. They ensure the regularity of backups, and do routine checks to ensure that if one database goes down, the mirrored database picks up the load without users noticing anything. They also assist developers in tuning their queries so they run more efficiently. Because of the detailed knowledge required, DBAs often specialize in a particular database vendor. This makes them highly specialized, but often stagnant. They are paid good salaries to stay where they are and keep doing what they do so well.

Salary range: $47,000 – $95,000

Software Engineer

A software engineer is a very specific field of engineer and they are more than just developers. Software engineers are responsible for the entire development project, start to finish. They will talk to the customers, gather requirements, manage a team of contractors, divide up tasks, ensure project timelines, develop and execute a testing plan, present it to management and customers, and see it through to completion. Software engineers are given a project and it becomes their baby. They must nurture it and help it grow if they want to be successful. In the end, they have a working system that they designed, developed, tested, and delivered from start to finish. It is a very demanding, but rewarding job. They are the creators, but good software engineers are hard to come by. For this reason, they are rewarded handsomely for their hard work and dedication.

Salary range: $61,000 – $100,000

Data Scientist

Data Scientist, Data Mining Analyst, Business Intelligence Analyst – a rose by any other name is still a very lucrative rose. Data is at the heart of business today. The problem is, it is a mess. There’s so much data, we don’t know what to do with it. But these experts know exactly what to do with it. They can slice it and dice it and extract exactly the information the CEO needs to present to shareholders to explain why they expect stock to rise in the next quarter. Without these data geniuses, the data is just a jumble of numbers. With their help though, patterns emerge, flaws are noticed, and the business is improved. And in return, they are paid accordingly.

Salary range: $93,000 – $148,000

Operations Researcher

Computer science is so closely related to math that the two are almost inseparable these days. Operations researchers are generally computer nerds who are really good at math, or math majors who secretly wanted to be computer science majors. These Einsteins of business will examine your operations and determine what can be done to optimize operations and save the company a ton of money. The field was popularized in the 1980s by the airline industry, but now it’s more uncommon not to have an OR person on staff. They are celebrated in business for their ability to reduce costs and streamline operations.

Salary range: $58,000 – $130,000

IT Manager

Everyone has a boss. But in some cases, you get to be the boss. Managers in the IT field often come from the trenches, having worked in one of the fields listed here. Rarely are they hired straight out of college, even if they have a master’s degree. Management is all about experience. It is when the experience pays dividends and the salary increases. Of course, so does the responsibility. You will be in charge of hiring and firing, performance reviews, team outings, and meetings. And when things go wrong, you will be the one who takes the fall.

Salary range: $64,000 – $135,000

There are, of course, many more paths one can take with a computer science degree. These are some of the better paying, and more exciting fields in IT that will also allow for advancement. The promotion process will vary from company to company. The good news is, your skills transfer. If you hit a wall at one company, another will gladly take you and put your skills to work.

All salaries were taken from glassdoor.com.

10 Amazing TED Talks About Science And Technology

Since Ted talks began, many science and technology leaders have participated in the program. Science giants such as James D. Watson, Richard Dawkins, and Craig Venter have presented, as well as technology leaders like Bill Gates. Here are the top 10 leading science and technology TED talks thus far.

1. Big Questions About the Universe – Stephen Hawking

In 2008, Stephen Hawking addressed some of the biggest, unsolved questions in the universe, such as: How did life begin? Are we alone? How did the universe form? He not only asked these questions, but also gave some of the best answers science has yet produced. He cautioned about extraterrestrial threats, including the dangers of space. However, Hawking felt that man should keep exploring the universe. The theoretical physicist and cosmologist also proclaimed he believes there is life outside of the Milky Way galaxy.
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The 12 Best iPad and iPhone Apps For IT Workers

IT professionals and developers (both software and web) are finding that their iPads and iPhones are tools for doing actual work as well as playing Fruit Ninja and monitoring Twitter. Here are twelve iPad and iPhone apps that IT professionals have found to be especially helpful. Where applicable, we’ve included the most recent version at the beginning, and the price and publisher at the end of each note.
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The Top Ten Best Network Management Degree Programs

In an era dominated by mobile devices, cloud computing, and near-required access to the Internet and online resources, there is perhaps no degree more valuable than one in network management or administration. This degree prepares individuals for a career in management that will allow them to oversee network operations, databases, software and hardware upgrades, and a whole host of other crucial tasks usually handled by a company’s IT department. This degree is available online from a number of highly reputable universities, making it easily accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

Many universities offer programs in network management, or similar programs that will prepare students become professionals in information technology. Of the many programs available, ten school in particular offer the strongest commitment to value, prestige, and accelerated progress, which many students need in the 21st century. Before committing to any school, be sure to review the best institutions in this category.
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The 10 Best Online Computer Science Programs

An information technology or computer science degree is an important step to gaining the education you need to advance in the field. An online technology degree is a great option for students with strong interest in computer science or professionals who need more background in the field. Online computer science programs can offer flexibility to working professionals. Because programs are online, it is that much more important that the information technology and computer science program provide the best value and educational experience. The following are top online programs for getting the skills you need to work in this field.

Recommended Online Computer Science Degree Programs

  1. Everest University B.S. in Computer Information Science
  2. Capella University B.S. Information Technology
  3. Colorado Technical University B.S. in Information Technology

Ranking The Best Online Computer Science Programs

1. Colorado State University
2. University of Atlanta
3. University of Illinois
4. Colorado Technical University
5. American Sentinel University
7. Baker College
8. Penn State University
9. Grantham University
10. Regis University

10. Regis University

Currently, Regis University holds the No. 14 spot on the Top 25 Online Colleges by TheBestColleges.org. The university also consistently ranks as one of the best Catholic universities overall. The school of professional studies offers a number of computer science and information technology degree programs. The program also offers accelerated classes for students willing to move at a faster pace, and group projects for those more comfortable working in teams and would like peer feedback. Students can enroll in a joint bachelor’s and master’s degree program if it suits their career interests. Students may pursue bachelor’s degree from Regis for $58,880 in total tuition.
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