Online Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum education requirement for many high-tech and well-paying positions. Many students obtain bachelor’s degrees after high school to increase their career prospects. Traditionally, people earn bachelor’s degrees from in-person four-year universities. However, that’s beginning to change; thanks to technology, it’s now possible to earn a bachelor’s degree online. Here’s the breakdown of online bachelor’s degrees and remote college courses.
A bachelor’s degree is a four-year degree obtained from a public or private university. Bachelor’s degrees are a great way to qualify for many high-paying career fields.
Here are the basic facts about bachelor’s degrees, both online and in-person.
What Is an Online Bachelor’s Degree?
An online bachelor’s degree is a four-year degree earned through a university. The only difference between a regular bachelor’s degree and an online degree is where students attend courses. Fundamentally, an online and in-person degree are exactly the same when it comes to employment.
Online Bachelor’s Degree Benefits
There are numerous benefits to earning a bachelor’s degree online. For one, students who opt for online education save money on transportation, room, board, and other expenses related to relocating for college. Additionally, online degrees offer the flexibility students need to work or pursue other interests while attending college.
Flexible degree options allow students to work and attend school at the same time. Additionally, learning remotely frees students from the need to relocate.
Students can easily transfer between online degree programs and in-person courses, and also between schools with the same type of accreditation.
Choosing an online degree can be cost-effective. Some online courses cost less, and students also save money on transportation, room, and board.
Students who have a flexible education schedule can also take other courses while in college. Many future tech workers also attend coding bootcamps.
Today, the quality of online degree programs closely mirrors regular in-person courses. Live classes and community chat contribute to a positive learning environment.
Learn and Work
Many online bachelor’s degree students hold jobs and pay their way through college. Flexible online programs make it easier than ever to work and learn.
Computer Science Job Prospects Job Prospects
Computer science is a booming career path with rapid growth and high salaries. There are numerous career paths to choose from with a computer science degree, and each offers unique opportunities in the field.
Computer Science Salary: $86,370
Computer Science Job Growth: 16%
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top computer science careers are growing much faster than average. The BLS predicts the field will grow 16% over the next decade, far outpacing the occupational average of 5.2%.
- Job Openings
- Jobs Filled
Computer science associate’s degrees are a great first step to a technology career. Degree holders have an advantage in the economy, and outperform high school graduates in the workforce. These benefits tend to increase if students pursue higher education, such as a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree.
As the number of computer science graduates increases, opportunities in the workforce are filled. However, as the chart above indicates, the number of jobs available far outnumbers the amount filled. Even with a stark increase in graduates over the last decade, there’s still and enormous (and exponentially increasing) demand for fresh talent in the field.
In short, computer science is a future-proof career field that’s worth considering. Computer science salaries are high, and opportunities are plentiful. An associate’s in computer science is an excellent way to test the waters and see if an IT career is right for you.
Computer Science CertificationsCertifications
Computer science certifications are the next step in a successful tech career path. With the help of a computer science AS degree, you can prepare for and pass numerous certification exams and give your resume a spectacular boost. Plus, certifications aren’t just useful for finding a job; you can get certified after hiring and advance within the company. Certifications for computer science tasks can open the door to wide range of career possibilities, and expand your technical skills to a professional level. Here, we’ll go over six of the most valuable certification programs for networks, operating systems, cybersecurity, communication, and product support.
Cisco is a major supplier of communications equipment for businesses across the world, especially in the United States. If you live in a town with office buildings, chances are you’ll find Cisco equipment inside. To service its massive customer base, Cisco offers a certification program for individuals looking to install, maintain, and repair these systems. Cisco Certified Network Associates also provide customer support.
Network+ certification from CompTIA is an asset to any computer science degree holder. This globally-recognized certification is designed for people with network and internet communications training. The certification allows you to work with large-scale networks, and prove your qualifications to prospective employers. The examination takes roughly 90 minutes to complete, and costs $319 total.
This certification should speak for itself. Apple offers a certification program for people looking to work with and troubleshoot its products. ACA certification also equips professionals with the skills they need to help businesses set up Apple-based infrastructure, and help employees train with and understand the product they’re using.
CompTIA offers A+ Technician certification programs for anyone looking to work in the tech industry. CompTIA’s A+ program is one of the most comprehensive certifications available, and covers everything from data management to cloud computing. The program is designed to cover all of the essentials of working in a modern IT environment, with an element of security mixed in as well. Companies like Intel and HP accept this certification.
Today, system security is more important than ever. Cybersecurity analyst positions also offer great salaries. CISSP certification is an excellent way to gain the qualifications necessary for one of these prestigious positions. CISSP is a global certification that leads the pack in the cybersecurity industry. If you want to become a cybersecurity professional, a CISSP certification is highly advisable.
Apple doesn’t corner the market on OS and brand certifications, as Microsoft also offers a similar program for professionals. This certification covers desktop and system infrastructure, cloud computing, messaging, communication, Microsoft data, and business intelligence among other things.
Online Bachelor’s Degree Jobs
An associate degree can help you get a job. Additionally, getting an associate degree can help you get a bachelor’s degree at a lower cost, which reduces the risks involved with college education. Your odds of getting a job with an online degree are the same as if you attended college in person. This is because, fundamentally, an online associate’s degree is the same as any other. In fact, online degrees almost never specify if a student attended in-person or online courses.
Computer science is the general occupation of the field, and many jobs with the title are available. Students who become computer scientists will work on numerous tasks that vary widely between employers.
Computer science job responsibilities include programming, analysis, wireframing, system administration, troubleshooting, debugging, and other highly specialized computer-related tasks. In the United States, computer science is one of the most popular coding careers.
- Computer Science Salary: $99,050
- Computer Science Jobs Available: 41,760
Software developers focus specifically on coding and programming. These professionals use their knowledge of high-level programming languages to create and maintain software programs. Software developers work for numerous corporations; and occasionally from home.
Software developer job responsibilities include programming, outlining, creating applications, repairing (debugging) broken code, and solving various digital problems. Software developers, software engineers, and programmers make up a large portion of the tech industry.
- Software Developer Salary: $76,526
- Software Developer Jobs Available: 74,238
Data scientists manage large amounts of data, which is extremely important in today’s information economy. These professionals earn some of the highest salaries in the industry, and perform some of the most complex tasks on a daily basis.
Data scientist job responsibilities include managing databases, creating databases, interpreting large data sets, analyzing information, and turning raw data into usable information. At the end of the day, data scientists are responsible for helping companies make sense of their data.
- Data Scientist Salary: $113,309
- Data Scientist Jobs Available: 23,923
Computer Hardware Engineer
Computer hardware engineering is the most hands-on computer science field. These professionals are trained in computer science and various forms of electronic engineering. They must understand the physical and virtual characteristics that make computer work.
Computer hardware engineer job responsibilities include building computers, designing electronic devices and components, creating plans, upgrading existing hardware, and more. This profession is ideal for ‘builders’ who enjoy working with and creating physical devices.
- Computer Hardware Engineer Salary: $89,641
- Computer Hardware Engineer Jobs Available: 19,520
|Title||Median Salary||Entry-Level Salary||Mid-Career Salary||Late-Career Salary|
|Title||Median Salary||Late-Career Salary|
|Computer Support Specialist||$48,600||$70,000|
|Systems Administration Specialist||$64,800||$93,000|
|Information Technology (IT)||$84,800||$125,000|
|Help Desk Technician||$41,800||$58,000|
Universities are either regionally accredited or nationally accredited. Most well-known state and private universities are regionally accredited by one of seven regional accreditation organizations. Other than regional accreditation, some institutions are nationally accredited.
Online students must pay special attention to accreditation. Many universities that operate primarily online are nationally accredited, not regionally accredited. Degrees from these institutions are just as valid, but transferring credits to or from a nationally accredited university can be tricky. Be sure to research university accreditation before applying to a program.
University Admissions Admissions
University admissions are more stringent than community college admissions. Students must present the usual proofs (diploma or GED) along with transcripts showing grades and grade-point-averages. Most universities also require standardized test scores from the SAT or ACT. Extracurricular activities help, but aren’t usually mandatory.
High School Diploma or GED
A high school diploma is required to enter universities for a bachelor’s degree. A GED, which is an equivalent, also works in many cases. Students must also submit transcripts of their high school grades. Each school’s admission requirements vary, and virtually all students who graduate or earn a GED can find somewhere to go.
SAT or ACT
SAT and ACT testing is required to get into most colleges. The SAT and ACT are standardized general education tests designed to test a student’s knowledge. In reality, these exams test a student’s ability to take a test. Regardless of the efficacy of standardized testing, most schools require at least one of them.
Online Bachelor’s Degree CostCost
Online bachelor’s degrees can be expensive, just like in-person courses. The average cost of a bachelor’s degree is $34,740 per year at a private university. For in-state students, public universities cost an average of $9,970 per year and $25,620 annually for out-of-state students. College cost varies, and online degree students have several opportunities to save. For example, students wishing to earn a degree from an out-of-state college can save on transportation and relocation costs. Here’s the breakdown on how to pay for an online bachelor’s degree.
Scholarships for Online Bachelor’s Degrees
Scholarships are an excellent way to save on tuition costs. Scholarships are essentially free money for education, and you may already qualify for some. We highly recommend investigating (and applying for) as many scholarships as possible.
Student Loans and Financing Rates
Millions of people rely on student loans to attend college. After all, it’s expensive; and most people don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spend all at once. Student loans provide a way to pay for college. However, loans have risk, so be sure to carefully investigate financing rates and terms before borrowing money for college.
Bachelor’s Degree Curriculum Curriculum
Online bachelor’s degree programs are widely varied, but they usually mirror in-person degree programs. As a result, most online bachelor’s degree curriculum follows a universal set of guidelines and course requirements. However, specific courses vary between schools. Here are a few of the generally-accepted courses for online bachelor’s degrees.
General Education and Humanities
General education and humanities are a big part of the college experience. Students must take a minimum amount of these courses to graduate. General education and humanities courses include basic english, writing, economics, state history, and more. Most schools give students options within specific fields. For example, students can fulfill GE requirements with either an economics or business class.
Students across all disciplines learn mathematics in college. Generally speaking, people in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) spend the most time on the subject. Nonetheless, most colleges have a base-level math requirement to graduate.
Each bachelor’s degree program has specific course requirements. Students spend much of their time in college learning the specialized information required for their degree. Specialty courses include engineering, science, or business (depending on the degree students want to earn).
Elective courses are a great way for students to expand their horizons and pursue their interests in college. Students can choose degree-related courses, or spend time learning entirely unrelated subjects. Elective course options include art, music, science, foreign languages, and more. Elective course offerings vary between schools.
Online Degree Options
Online degree programs aren’t just available for associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees. Some students continue studying after earning a bachelor’s degree. Online master’s degree courses are available for some fields of study as well. Here are the other degrees that students can earn partially or entirely online.
A master’s degree is the next step after a bachelor’s degree. Students spend an average of 1.5 to 2 years in graduate school earning this degree. A master’s degree increases career opportunities across the board.
- Program Length: 1.5 – 2 Years
- Average Cost: $40,000 Total
Some students choose to continue college after earning a master’s degree. Students earn PhD or doctorate degrees, which often takes several more years. An advanced degree helps students land the desirable positions within companies.
- Program Length: 3 – 7 Years
- Average Cost: $48,900 Total
Coding bootcamps are not degree programs. Instead, they help prepare students for a job in technology by teaching them in-demand programming skills. Bootcamps have a proven track record, and some programs offer job placement guarantees.
- Program Length: 3 – 12 Months
- Average Cost: $13,500 Total
Computer Science Professional Organizations
Joining a computer science professional organization can help jump-start your career and keep you up-to-date with the latest industry trends. Membership sometimes comes with additional perks, such as access to a strong peer network, coaching, job opportunities, and employment workshops. Computer science degree students benefit from mentoring opportunities in professional organizations.
The Association for Women in Computing, founded in 1978, is a computer science professional organization catered directly to women in tech. This organization provides a strong network, education opportunities, and support for female computer science professionals though its system of nationwide chapters.
The Association for Information Science and Technology is a popular choice for computer science graduates. This organization offers an enormous amount of resources to technology professionals, and covers everything from jobs to legal information. Additionally, the Association for Information Science and Technology welcomes current computer science students.
The Computing Research Association is a top organization for computer science professionals seeking networking opportunities and more. Additionally, the CRA offers opportunities and resources for computer science students and researchers, thereby delivering an all-in-one destination for the field. The organization focuses on technology, leadership, and networking.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology, or ITE for short, is a multinational professional organization for engineers and technology professionals in over 150 countries. With over 160,000 current members, the ITE is one of the most popular and diverse professional organizations for students with a computer science degree.
The IEEE Computer Society is a technology-focused organization for software engineers, web developers, and all kinds of computer science professionals. The IEEE Computer Society hosts dozens of annual conferences on some of the coolest technology developments, including virtual reality, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and security.
The Association for Information Systems is a premier computer science professional organization with chapters located all around the world. This organization hosts conferences, offers career support, provides educational webinars, and gives computer science workers access to a vast global professional network.