Online Colleges for Computer Science

With both the workforce and individuals relying on computers today to accomplish many of their goals, a variety of career opportunities in computer science could be available to you. From computer programming and software development to opportunities at help desks and support lines, computer science professionals are a mandatory fixture in modern life. Moreover, the security of computer and online systems is becoming increasingly more critical as people use online banking and data management to handle money, work, and personal information. Whether you prefer the technical aspect of developing and maintaining computers, software and peripherals, or the human interaction of systems support, you can find an aspect of the industry that fits your needs.

Computer Information Science Online Colleges

While a bachelor's degree may be a requirement for many positions, a candidate with an associate degree and work experience could find employment as a computer support specialist. If you are interested in advancing your education through traditional or online computer science degrees, you'll find numerous options available. You'll discover that the diversity in degree paths, similar to the diversity in careers, is significant. Programs are available in fields such as computer information systems, computer network engineering, information technology, Web design and development, and much more. You can find associate, bachelor's, or master's degrees offered in one or more of these areas. Online programs include those such as the bachelor's degree in information technology and software engineering and the master's degree in information science. Many online programs introduce you to or build up your knowledge in areas such as data storage, programming, and technology applications and can help you to understand the theory behind different technology components.

The outlook for many of these career paths can be good, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For example, 42,900 new jobs for network and computer systems administrators are expected to be created between 2012 and 2022, and these professionals earned mean annual wages of $79,780, according to 2014 BLS data. But if you want more of a job interacting with computer users, you could consider the occupation of computer support specialist. These professionals earned mean annual wages of $51,820, as of May 2014, according to the BLS. Job candidates with college degrees, certification, and up-to-date skills should be in the best position for employment, the BLS reports, and this is where an education could prove beneficial.

Life of a Computer Information Sciences Major

If you're interested in learning the intricacies of computer networks and programs, you may want to consider earning an online computer science degree. As a computer science major, you'll gain the technical skills that employers desire. Online computer science classes cover topics such as web application development, database management, computer architecture and computer networking. According to 2014 data from the BLS, individuals who graduate with an online computer science degree can go on to manage vast computer networks and work in their organization's IT department.

Online Associate Programs in CIS: Class Overview

If you choose to take online computer science classes in pursuit of an associate degree, you'll take a variety of technology-related courses in addition to general core curriculum. You'll study the fundamentals of computer networks and their components as you learn to identify common problems and brainstorm solutions. Other topics covered in online computer science classes can include popular programming languages, operation system fundamentals, principles of computer networks, and human-computer interaction.

The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts associate degree students will study in online computer science classes:

Introduction to Computer Science Using Java

Learn software construction basics using the Java programming language.

Data Structures and Algorithms

Take software construction basics to the next level, studying on topics such as algorithm efficiency, design patterns, non-linear data structures, and recursive algorithms.

Database Management Systems

Examine the design, use, and administration of database systems.

Discrete Mathematics

Study advanced mathematical concepts that are necessary for upper level courses in computer science and computer programming.


Learn Calculus and study its application in relation to computer science theory and practice.

*Franklin University, Associate of Science in Computer Science

Online Bachelor Programs in CIS: Class Overview

If you're working toward an online computer science bachelor's degree, you'll be exposed to a wide range of disciplines within the world of information technology. As a computer science major, you'll gain an in-depth understanding of computer networking, computer programming, information security, and a variety of other topics in IT. According to 2014 BLS data, some employers may require a bachelor's degree for entry level employment in this field. However, requirements for employment can depend heavily on specific job responsibilities.

The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts bachelor's degree students will study in online computer science classes:

Data Structures

Examine data structures, touching on topics such as arrays, linked lists, queues, and stacks, among others.

C Programming

Study computer problem solving techniques using the "C" language.

Database Programming

Examine proper use of the ANSI standard structured query language (SQL/PL) as well as other database programming concepts.

Artificial Intelligence

Study the field of artificial intelligence, touching on topics such as neural networks, conversion criteria, and propagation algorithms.


Learn about intellectual property and the IT code of ethics.

*Regis University, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Online Master Programs in CIS: Class Overview

If you're interested in earning an advanced degree in computer science, you may want to consider earning a master's degree. Master's degree students study advanced concepts within the discipline of computer science. Topics covered include the Automata and Complexity Theory, probabilistic graphical models, machine learning, and robotics. As a master's student, you could learn how to use your knowledge and expertise to develop and improve software programs that are relevant in today's modern society.

The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts master's degree students will study in online computer science classes:


Study the principles and practices of programming language usage and implementation.


Examine robotic systems and learn how to design, plan, and control them.

Computer Graphics

Study advanced computer graphics creation, while touching on topics such as animation, modeling, and rendering.

Network Security

Study the importance of network security and how to build reliable and secure code.

Systems Programming Fundamentals

Learn about the design and implementation of operating systems, as well as common problems and solutions.

*Stanford University, Computer Science MS Degree

Online PHD Programs in CIS: Class Overview

Online doctoral computer science majors study the most advanced concepts, theories and techniques in the industry. According to 2014 BLS data, a PhD in computer science can lead to a career as a computer and information research scientist. Top colleges for computer science can prepare you to help scientists and engineers solve complex computer problems, design and implement computer software programs, and conduct experiments to test specific software programs.

The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts Ph.D. students will study in online computer science classes:

Computation Theory

Study the basic models of computation. Topics covered include finite automata and regular languages, context free languages, Church's Thesis, and time complexity.

Programming Languages

Learn the basic theory and strategy of program language design.

Parallel Programming

Learn how to write functional and correct parallel programs and use a parallel programming computer.

Software Design

Learn software design principles and methodologies.

Programming Tools

Learn to use a wide range of tools used in computer science including JAVA, Perl, the UNIX operating system, and Shell programming.

*Drexel University, Ph.D. in Computer Science


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition," Computer and Information Research Scientists, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Computer-and-Information-Technology/Computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm#tab-1
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition," Computer Support Specialists, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm#tab-4
  3. Computer Support Specialists, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2011/may/oes151150.htm
  4. Drexel University, Ph.D. in Computer Science, 2013, http://www.drexel.edu/cs/academics/grad/phd/
  5. Franklin University, Associate of Science in Computer Science, 2013, http://www.franklin.edu/computer-science-associates-degree-curriculum
  6. Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2013-2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm#tab-6
  7. Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151142.htm
  8. Regis University, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, http://regis.edu/CPS/Academics/Degrees-and-Programs/Undergraduate-Programs/BS-Computer-Science.aspx#.Ul7kp07D_IU
  9. Stanford University, Computer Science MS Degree, 2013, http://scpd.stanford.edu/public/category/courseCategoryCertificateProfile.do?method=load&certificateId=1240861

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