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Top Online Degree Programs in Computer Science

Top Online Degree Programs in Computer Science
Top Online Degree Programs in Computer Science

Choosing the right online computer science degree program can be overwhelming with so many options available. To help you narrow down your search, here are some of the top programs based on various rankings and factors.


Top Ranked Programs:

  • Oregon State University: Regularly tops rankings for its online bachelor’s in computer science, known for its affordable tuition, flexible pacing, and strong industry connections.
  • Auburn University: Offers a well-rounded curriculum with specializations in areas like cybersecurity, software engineering, and data analytics.
  • Maryville University of Saint Louis: Emphasizes practical skills and career preparation through project-based learning and professional certifications in various in-demand fields.
  • Regis University: Provides a faith-based perspective on technology alongside a rigorous computer science curriculum with a focus on ethical considerations.

Other noteworthy programs:

  • Western Governors University: Offers a competency-based program at an accelerated pace, ideal for self-motivated learners.
  • Saint Leo University: Features a specialization in information assurance, preparing students for cybersecurity careers.
  • Baker College: Provides a flexible and affordable online bachelor’s with concentrations in web development and game programming.
  • Wilmington University: Offers a general computer science degree with the option to add specializations later.
  • Davenport University: Focuses on practical applications through internships and project-based learning.

Considerations when choosing a program:

  • Your career goals: What specific area of computer science do you want to work in? Choose a program with relevant specializations or electives.
  • Accreditation: Ensure the program is accredited by a recognized body to guarantee its quality and validity.
  • Flexibility and format: Consider how the program fits your learning style and schedule. Some programs offer asynchronous courses, while others have live sessions.
  • Cost and financial aid: Compare tuition fees, scholarships, and financial aid options before making a decision.
  • Student support: Look for programs with strong academic and career support services to help you succeed.

Remember, the “best” program is subjective and depends on your individual needs and preferences. Research thoroughly, compare options, and reach out to program advisors for further guidance before making your decision.

What is the fastest you can get a computer science degree?

For motivated individuals with strong prior programming experience, the Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science offered by the University of Colorado Boulder can be completed in one year through their accelerated plan. This intensive program requires full-time dedication and significant self-discipline.

Fastest Bachelor’s Degrees:

  • Several universities offer accelerated online bachelor’s programs in computer science that can be completed in two to three years instead of the traditional four. Examples include programs from Oregon State University, Southern New Hampshire University, and University of Illinois Springfield. These programs are structured differently than traditional programs and typically require a significant academic workload.
  • Some traditional four-year programs offer opportunities to accelerate through summer terms, course overload, or transferring in AP credits. Speak to your academic advisor at your chosen institution to learn about available options.

Fastest Master’s Degrees:

  • Some universities offer intensive one-year master’s programs in computer science, particularly for students with strong undergraduate backgrounds. These programs are demanding and require a high level of commitment. Examples include programs at Georgia Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University.


  • Speed isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a computer science degree program. Consider the quality of the program, reputation of the institution, cost, and your career goals.
  • Accelerated programs often require a heavier workload and may not be suitable for everyone. Carefully assess your learning style, time commitment, and financial resources before making a decision.

What is the easiest field in computer science?

Web development: Building websites and web applications can be a good starting point for those with visual creativity and strong problem-solving skills. Many popular tools and frameworks offer visual interfaces and drag-and-drop functionality, making it possible to develop simple web applications without extensive coding knowledge.

User experience (UX) design: This field focuses on designing user interfaces and interactions that are intuitive, enjoyable, and efficient. It requires strong critical thinking and empathy, but less emphasis on hardcore coding compared to core development roles.

Data analysis: While mastering data science can be complex, basic data analysis tasks like data cleaning, organizing, and visualization can be learned with accessible tools and resources. These skills can be valuable in various roles, even outside of technical fields.

IT support: Providing technical assistance to users requires strong communication and problem-solving skills, but not always deep programming knowledge. Depending on the specific role, knowledge of hardware, software, and troubleshooting techniques might suffice.

It’s important to remember that even within these “easier” fields, there are areas that can be quite challenging. As you progress and specialize, you’ll inevitably encounter new complexities and learning opportunities.

Ultimately, the best way to find the “easiest” field for you is to:

  • Explore your interests: What are you passionate about? What kind of problems do you enjoy solving?
  • Consider your existing skills: What are you already good at? What skills can you leverage in a computer science career?
  • Try out different things: Take online courses, attend workshops, or do personal projects to get a taste of different fields.
  • Talk to people: Network with professionals in different areas of computer science to get their insights and advice.

Remember, there’s no shame in starting with a “simpler” field and gradually building your skills and knowledge. The most important thing is to find a path that you are both interested in and that has the potential to grow with your capabilities.

Which field in computer science is highest paid?

Determining the absolute “highest paid” field in computer science can be tricky, as it depends on several factors like specific job titles, experience level, location, company size, and industry. However, some specializations consistently rank among the top earners:

High Earners:

  • Machine Learning Engineer: With the booming world of artificial intelligence, machine learning engineers who design and build self-learning algorithms are in high demand, commanding average salaries exceeding $200,000 in some regions.
  • Data Scientist: Extracting valuable insights from vast datasets to inform business decisions is crucial for organizations, making data scientists highly sought-after. Their average salary often surpasses $150,000.
  • Software Architect: These individuals design and oversee the software development process, requiring extensive technical expertise and leadership skills. Their average salary can reach over $175,000.
  • Principal Software Engineer: Senior software engineers with leadership responsibilities and expertise in specific technologies like cloud computing or security can earn close to $200,000 on average.
  • Cybersecurity Engineer: As cyber threats evolve, skilled professionals who protect networks and data are increasingly valuable. Cybersecurity engineers’ average salary often exceeds $140,000.

Other Notably High Paying Fields:

  • Information Security Analyst: Monitoring network security and preventing cyberattacks is another crucial role commanding average salaries above $100,000.
  • Cloud Architect: Designing and managing cloud infrastructure for scalability and performance is highly technical and in demand, with average salaries reaching over $180,000.
  • DevOps Engineer: Bridging the gap between development and operations, DevOps engineers ensure software delivery efficiency, earning an average salary exceeding $130,000.


  • Salaries can vary significantly within each field based on factors mentioned earlier.
  • Your personal skills, experience, and certifications can greatly impact your earning potential.
  • Choosing a field based solely on salary may not be the most fulfilling path. Consider your interests and passions when making your decision.

In Conclusion:

while it is important to consider salary when choosing a career path, it should not be the sole determining factor. It is crucial to find a field that aligns with your interests and passions, as this will lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying career. Additionally, keep in mind that salaries can vary greatly within each field, so it is important to continuously develop your skills, gain experience, and obtain certifications to maximize your earning potential. Ultimately, finding a balance between financial stability and personal fulfillment is key in choosing the right career for you.

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