Have you always dreamed of getting an accelerated computer science degree online?
You are just good with computers. You are constantly coming up with new ideas for the use of technology and instead of getting frustrated you enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to make your ideas come to life.
Computers are everywhere. Not meant in a freaky “Computers are taking over the world!!!”
But in an exciting way for you. Cisco estimates that there are more than 8 billion computer based devices operating today. That includes traditional computers, mobile devices as well as industrial and consumer devices.
Think of that Roomba connected to your wi-fi that you can activate to vacuum your home from 1000s of miles away.
Computers are everywhere. A computer science degree could allow you to understand something that permeates almost every aspect of modern life.
That means there are jobs to be had when you have a degree in computer science. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs related to computer and information technology will grow by 12% in the next 7 years.
You already knew this right? That’s why you searched for “how to get a computer science degree”. But you also searched for “accelerated” and “online”.
Because you can’t wait 4 years to get your degree. The industry is booming now. You don’t want to pay $100,000 before you see your first paycheck.
Here’s the secret.
Computers are involved with every aspect of modern life, that can include your college education.
You can get an accelerated degree in computer science online in just under 3 years, saving you $10,000s.
Accelerated Computer Science Degree Programs Overview
Computer science is now considered a foundational science. It connects in with many other areas such as education, medicine, finance, communication and entertainment.
Think of anything. Anything! And you can probably think of a way that computers are connected to that area. Or if that area is not, you can probably think of a way they could be.
That’s the creative energy you need to succeed in computer science.
You could excel in a computer science program if you enjoy solving problems, analyzing situations, can organize and think creatively and logically. Is there is a part of you always thinking of how something could be done better?
Computer science requires forward thinkers, because technology changes and it changes quickly!
A computer science degree would prepare you for this field by offering classes like:
- Fundamentals of Mobile Web Application Development
- Emerging Trends in Technology
- Introduction to Business Intelligence
- Fundamentals of Cloud Computing
- Ethical Hacking
- Apple iOS Programming
- Universal Windows Applications Programming
- Visual Communication in the Media
- Fundamentals of Enterprise Architecture
Classes like these can prepare you to enter a rapidly changing career.
Instead of watching as computer science evolves you can be at the front of the change!
Careers with an Accelerated Computer Science Degree
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be 4.4 million jobs in computer and technology fields by 2024. Growing at a rate of 12%. You are not surprised, right?
Computer related jobs are forecast to continue to grow and along with that growth comes a high demand for trained professionals.
Trained professionals who get paid well.
|Computer and Information Research Scientist||$111, 840|
|Computer Network Architect||$101,210|
|Computer Systems Engineer||$83,410|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$87,220|
|Business Intelligence Analyst||$83,410|
|Information Security Analysts||$92,600|
|Network Systems Administrators||$79,700|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
The number of jobs in computer science are forecasted to continue to rise. Every industry is using and impacted by the use of computers.
Where do you want to be as technology is moving forward? Someone at the front of the changes or someone trying to catch up?
Accelerated Computer Science Degree Programs Offer Year-Round Admissions
If you are ready to jump in and start now, then there is good news for you. You can!
Many universities that run accelerated online computer science degrees also have new start dates each month. That means you could start this month.
Technology is changing so quickly that even waiting a couple months or a year to start will have an impact on what you learn.
But there is no reason to wait, you can start now with an online class and get your feet wet. Then dive right in and swim to success! Maybe that is a bit too cheesy.
How about, just dive in?
Accelerated Computer Science Degree Programs Online – Accelerated Classes vs. Self-Paced Classes
Accelerated and Online are two words that work very well for a computer science degree. There are two options that are available to take advantage of accelerated and online classes.
Accelerated online classes are very similar to a traditional class. The professor sets the start date for the class, gives you deadlines for assignments and all work must be done by the designated end date.
Kind of like ordering pizza online. Ordering online is very similar to ordering a pizza in person. You get all the same things as in person but the order is placed online. But imagine your delivery was twice as fast. That’s an accelerated class.
Self paced classes have a lot more flexibility than an accelerated class. Kind of like a buffet. You choose what to take and how much and when. Also you only pay one flat rate for the meal.
Let’s break it down more clearly. And stop talking about food, it’s making me hungry!
Option 1: Accelerated Online Computer Science Classes
When you attend a college class at your local school, you will typically be sitting in class for 16 weeks. But it doesn’t have to take that long.
You could register for an online class in Fundamental Cloud Computing and be done in 8 weeks. Same as a traditional class in materials, assignments and grading but faster.
And you can have a pizza delivered to you while in an online class.
Option 2: Self-Paced Online Computer Science Classes
If the approach of an accelerated online class still sounds too restricting than the self-paced online classes could be your ticket.
Instead of taking a set class, you can register for a term of flex-paced classes at Western Governors University or Capella University and take as many classes as you want.
At Capella University they have a self paced option for completing your general education requirements for a your Computer Science degree.
This program is called Sophia Pathways and how it works it that you pay $650 and work to complete as many courses as you need in 60 days.
Although Capella does not have a Computer Science degree program they are accredited and their Sophia courses are transferrable to over 2000 different colleges and universities.
Just like a buffet, right? You can take your plate and fill it up with as much as you can handle for a flat fee. Only you determine how fast you can go. If you are fast, you will get a lot of credit in a short time.
Types of Accelerated Computer Science Degree Programs
There are 2 types of computer science degrees. Awesome and super awesome. But they go by different names.
You will be looking at programs to get a:
- Bachelor’s in Computer Science
- Bachelor’s in Information Technology – Programming and Software Development
The basic difference between the two are
- a Bachelor’s degree in Computer science will usually lean towards areas that involve more mathematics and software design.
- a degree in Information Technology usually has a focus on installing computer systems, using software and maintaining networks and databases.
Both involve working with computers, so you can decide if you enjoy designing or working with the systems.
Not sure which one is a better choice for you? Check out our in-depth look at computer programming degree programs you can get online.
3 Ways to Accelerate Your Computer Science Degree Even More
Are you ready now? You have a good idea of which direction you want to go.
You want to jump in and start working with computers before they take over the world?
Or should I say, before people with degrees in computer science take over the world. You can use these 3 ideas to accelerate your computer science degree and end up finishing years ahead of the crowd.
1. Test out of college classes (up to 1 year)
Degrees are made out of credit hours and credit hours are earned by sitting in class. Right?
This idea allows you to rewrite the programming code for earning credit hours and remove the “sitting in class” part of the instructions.
Usually you would have to take some time off work in order to sit in a class on Modern American History. Modern American History has nothing to do with Computer Science and you already know this stuff. What a waste of time!
There are not College Level Examination Program exams specifically geared for Computer Science.
But every college degree requires up to 51 credits of “general education” in classes like Ethics, Psychology, Sciences, Sociology.
Those are the classes you will want to test out of. All you have to do is register for the exam online, grab the study guide and cram.
Then take the exam and pass with a 50% and get your credit for that class.
Save your big bucks and classroom time for the fun classes like Linux programming.
2. Get college credit for your life and work experience
If you love computers you probably have life and work experience with computers. Seriously, you live and breathe computers right?
So get credit for that! Most universities will give you college credit related to your life and work experience. You could get credit for
- – military experience
- – work experience
- – continuing education units
- – company training
Universities like Colorado Technical University will evaluate for course credit experiences that adhere to the American Council of Education recommendations.
At Colorado Technical University you put together and submit a Experiential Learning Portfolio. Your portfolio outlines how your experience has met the requirements of the course you want credit for.
You submit it and Voila! You get credit. At Colorado Technical University you can earn up to 32 credit hours toward your Bachelor degree. That’s 2 typical semesters of class you can get credit for!
3. Stay continuously enrolled with max courseload
Sometimes you just have to put your nose to the grindstone. That’s what this idea entails. Every school has a maximum number of credits you can take in a semester.
You want to max those credits out like it’s your first credit card and you think you’ll never have to pay it back.
This is a good time to max out your credit limit. For classes not necessarily on your credit card.
One school year will usually involve earning 30 credits, a computer science degree usually is 180 credits.
At 30 credits a year that will take you….forever. Or at least 6 years, by then everything you learned in your freshman year could be obsolete.
You got to move fast in the world of computers.
Plan to take up to 18 credit hours every semester. Don’t forget there are 3 semesters every school year. Yes, summer is not just for beaches. You can take a full course load over the summer.
3 semesters each year of 18 credit hours will leave you with 54 credits in a year.
108 credits in 2 years.
162 credits in 3 years.
Throw in a few Credit by Exam courses and Credit for Life Experience and you are done in half the time.
Transferring Your Existing College Credits
You know those credits you earned way back when you did a few community classes? They still count. Don’t waste anything when it comes to credit.
A credit saved is a credit earned.
You can transfer the credit you earned from another college into your new computer science degree. Just as long as the credit came from an accredited college.
If the credit happens to be for one of the classes you now need then it is SUPER AWESOME. But even if it is from your days of pursuing a dream of a degree in Psychology, those classes can count as electives now.
First check that
- Your previous classes were taken at an accredited college
- You earned at least a C in the class
- The class will match your new degree (or count as an elective)
Did you say yes to all 3 requirements? Then you just saved yourself some credit hours. Well done!
Lower Tuition Costs
You know getting a computer science degree can be pricey. Very pricey, I’m not going to lie.
But let’s look at a few ways to make it less pricey.
At Colorado Technical University you are looking at $325 per credit hour. For a 4 credit class that is $1300. A 3 credit course would be $975. You are looking at $59,475 for your degree.
Did you say ouch?
I feel your pain. The secret here is that in order to pay less for classes you need to take fewer classes.
Remember about testing out of classes for only $80? Or submitting life experience portfolios and earning 30 credits worth $9750?
Once you dive into your degree you want to make sure that you can afford to finish it. As you can see the cost for different universities can change your price tag from “No way can I pay for that” to “yeah, I could do that.”
A degree does not have to put you into a lifetime of debt.
Computer Science Degree Accreditation
Different universities have different levels of street cred. If you say “I have a degree from Harvard”, of course you sound smart. But you don’t need a degree from Harvard to get a job in computer science.
But you do need your degree to be accredited. Accreditation is what makes your degree valid.
If you are attending a regionally accredited college than you don’t need to worry. Your degree is real. But if you want to go for some big name accreditation you would look for schools that are accredited by:
ABET is the big name in computer science programs. Some big name schools have chosen not to bother with accreditation and go by their reputation only. But it never hurts to check if your school is accredited.
The future is now. The future we dreamed about as kids is now. Computers play a huge role in this futuristic time we live in. What role are you going to play?
You can take the ideas that you found here and say it is too much work. Accelerated classes? Challenging exams? Submitting portfolios? Maxing out your course load?
That is a lot of work! It will be really hard.
Computer science is a very competitive field. Six figure incomes are not just given out to everybody.
It will be expensive. Even with the cost savings you learned, you are looking at about $60,000 or more.
Always a but.
Will it be worth it?
How would a degree in computer science change your life? Will you be able to apply for jobs you only dreamed of? Could you wake up going to a job you love?
Could you change the future? And what would it look like?
What technology would you develop that would change your life?
Technology is not going away, and every day more people are accessing the Internet for business, pleasure, to play games or just do the grocery shopping. When Newsweek magazine infamously declared the Internet was over — in 1995 — nobody truly envisioned the possibilities of printing 3-dimensional objects, watching an actual movie online, accessing the Internet from a cellular phone, or participating in higher education through online collegiate courses.
The technological limits of the time did not allow for those ideas, requiring massive amounts of bandwidth, to be feasible. Only with the arrival of broadband and larger bandwidth could the platform for technologies like streaming, cloud storage and other modern Internet innovations come to be realized. The technology on which the Internet, and now almost all businesses and governments, runs underpins the fabric of modern life from the simplest swipe of a debit card to moving billions of dollars in money and goods across the world. Keeping the Internet open for business is of vital economic importance, and becoming more so every day, and no degree offers a better or faster entry into such a diverse array of specialties than obtaining an accelerated computer science degree.
Overview and Careers in a High-Demand Specialty
Computer science, sometimes abbreviated to CS or CompSci, is a trans-disciplinary course of study about the operation, architecture, use and design of computers, their hardware and software, as well as the mathematical elements such as those in the theories of computation such as algorithmic construction and analysis. The candidate qualities needed for such an occupation are:
- Analytical skills
- Detail oriented personality
- Communication skills
- Logical thinking skills
- Critical thinking skills
A bachelor’s of computer science (BSC or BSCS) is a four year course of study at a degree-granting institution, though that timeframe can be shortened by taking a more intensive course of study leading to an accelerated computer science degree. Opening the door to multiple career paths with a BSC or even an MSC, can enhance earning power, assure long term financial stability and play an important role in job security. Moreover, a degree plus workplace experience can give you the skills you need to make that startup dream a reality. In a growing and evolving computing world where major money buys emergent technologies, who knows what the next WhatsApp will be.
Possible career paths for Computer Science graduates, recent average salaries and projected growth through 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics include:
- Information Security Analysts: $86,170 average pay per year, projected growth of 37 percent.
- Database Administrator: $77,080 average pay per year, projected growth of 15 percent.
- Computer Systems Analyst: $79,680 average pay per year, projected growth of 25 percent.
- Computer Programmer: $74,280 average pay per year, projected growth of 8 percent.
- Computer Network Architect: $91,000 average pay per year, projected growth of 15 percent.
- Web Developer: $32,500 average pay per year, projected growth of 20 percent.
- Software Developer: $93,350 average pay per year, projected growth of 22 percent.
- Computer Hardware Engineer: $100,920 average pay per year, projected growth of 7 percent.
- Computer and Information System Managers: $120,950 average pay per year, projected growth of 15 percent.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor statistics notes the relatively low unemployment rates for computer and mathematical occupations as a whole and maps the areas all across America where such professionals are in high demand. No matter where you want to go with your accelerated computer science degree, there are opportunities everywhere — not just the Silicon Valley or Redmond, but everywhere in the US where business, industry, finance or government runs on computers.
Salary and Why A Degree Matters
A degree makes a serious difference, especially in a field like computer science, where a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree is less as a certification and more of a basic qualification for job candidates seeking to work in the field. As the occupation and technology evolves at a lightning fast pace, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited degree granting institution is the guarantee of a well-rounded and technologically current employee, who comes prepared to contribute. As previously mentioned, of the many reasons to obtain a degree, the most prominent are employability, financial security and the long term benefits over the course of a working lifetime.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in a recent study, averaged the salaries in unemployment percentages of people 25 and older, across all levels of education from no high school diploma all the way up the ladder to Ph.D. and holders of professional degrees such as medical doctors and lawyers. By the measures of weekly wages and rates of unemployment, the difference even an associate degree makes in job and financial security is stark. The numbers, even when averaged, simply do not lie.
- Less than a high school diploma: $472 average weekly earnings, with unemployment of 11 percent.
- High school diploma: $651 average weekly earnings, with unemployment of 7.5 percent.
- Some college, but no degree: $727 average weekly earnings, with unemployment of 7 percent.
- Associate degree: $777 average weekly earnings, with unemployment of 5.4 percent.
- Bachelor’s degree: $1,108 average weekly earnings, with unemployment of 4 percent.
- Master’s degree: $1,329 average weekly earnings, with unemployment of 3.4 percent.
- Ph.D: $1,623 average weekly earnings, with unemployment of 2.2 percent.
The study averages the base wages across all seven groups to $827 per week and unemployment to 6.1 percent.
- Less than a high school diploma: $355 less than the average per week, or a shortfall of $18,460 per year.
- High school diploma: $176 less than the average per week, or a shortfall of $9,152 per year.
- Some college, but no degree: $100 less than the average per week, or a shortfall of $5,200 per year.
- Associate degree: $50 less than the average per week, or a shortfall of $2,600 per year.
- Bachelor’s degree: $281 above average per week, or $14,612 per year.
- Master’s degree: $502 above average per week, or $26,104 per year.
- Ph.D.: $796 above average per week, or $41,392 per year.
When totaled over the course of 10 years, not accounting for raises, promotions with commensurate pay, or long periods of unemployment, the differences amount to under average earnings of $184,600 at the no high school diploma of the scale. However, for the baccalaureate, earnings are above average by $146,120, and for the master’s degree come in at above a quarter million. Financial security depends, of course, on spending habits, savings, and budgeting for basic living expenses like housing, depending on where you live.
In searching for a computer science program make your own chant, “Accreditation, accreditation, accreditation.”
Accreditation is the crucial difference between having a degree that is accepted not only by potential employers who want a credible standard of instruction and testing, but accepted by other institutions where you may wish to continue your education. For instance, if you begin working toward your degree at a community college before transferring to a bachelor’s degree-granting institution, you would want your credits for that hard work to be transferable between schools, and this is one of the things that accreditation guarantees. Then maybe you’ll take the credits from your undergraduate years and want them to be considered when applying for admission to graduate school for a master’s degree program. Again, accreditation makes the difference, and with so many degree mill schools engaging not only in fraudulent degrees and phony accreditation, but also in predatory lending, it makes sense to do your best research before you invest in your degree.
Begin by checking the school’s website, which should mention regional accreditation bodies that are registered with the Department of Education. Then check accreditation with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, which not only has a database of regional accrediting bodies, but also faith-based accrediting bodies and important programmatic accrediting organizations.
As of this, CHEA’s only computer science accrediting body is ABET – Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology – which accredits 3,367 programs at 684 institutions worldwide. An ABET accredited program, with a regionally accredited school is the best guarantee of return on investment for the money and effort you’ll spend obtaining a valuable accelerated computer science degree. Accreditation also helps to finance your degree by assuring grant making organizations, scholarship foundations and loaning entities that the institution is valid and the degree worth the money.
Roadmaps to an Accelerated Computer Science Degree
Once you’re admitted to a school, depending on if you are a returning student, a new high school graduate or a distance learner there are several different paths to the accelerated computer science degree, but it’s going to mean more intensive courses, fewer breaks and working around the typical undergraduate breadth requirements. Not everyone is cut out for the pressure, but conversely working at an accelerated pace can assist people in leaving school earlier, owing less and earning more sooner than their classmates.
Testing out of undergraduate breadth requirements can nip off significant time from even an accelerated computer science degree, and save large amounts of money. It’s not cheap to go out of pocket, but compared to most tuition and time required for the same courses, it’s no contest. CLEP – College Level Examination Program – is accepted by 2,900 schools as credit in these 33 different breadth requirement areas:
- Social Sciences
- World Languages
Online courses, where laboratory units are not mandatory, can also be wedged in on weekends, evenings, breaks and summer vacation, or even whenever you have a spare quiet hour or so. For students with a busy home life, caring for children or family members, online coursework can also be a mental change of pace and a time saver. Even students already enrolled in a traditional four-year or two-year course of study can use online courses to slice hours from their undergraduate requirements. As with all programs leading to a degree, accreditation for your online coursework is vital if you are to use the course credits toward a degree.
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), which accredits private schools and colleges that confer diplomas, certifications, and degrees up to master’s level for technical, occupational and professional careers.
- Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) Accrediting Commission, which is for distance learning programs that award credit toward associate’s baccalaureate, master’s, professional and doctoral degrees.
Finally, you may have heard of the five-year plan or the 4+1 master’s degree. The blended master’s accelerated computer science degree is offered as a way to take upper-division courses as an undergrad, and having them apply to both the baccalaureate and the master’s, with usually only one year postgraduate work to attain a master’s degree. Often offered as a hybrid course, the 4+1 generally requires both online and on-campus work, though the on-campus hours can be as little as two days per week.
List of Online Computer Science Degrees
|University||Accreditation||Tuition Per Credit Hour|
|Austin Peay State University||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$635|
|Baker College||Higher Learning Commission; IACBE||$240|
|California State University||Western Association of Schools and Colleges||$500|
|Charleston Southern University||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$490|
|Colorado Technical University||Higher Learning Commission||$325|
|Columbia College||Higher Learning Commission||$220|
|Concordia University||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$460|
|Dakota State University||Higher Learning Commission||$335|
|Davenport University||Higher Learning Commission||$697|
|Daytona State College||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$311|
|Depaul University||Higher Learning Commission||$585|
|Florida State University||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$215|
|Fort Hays State University||North Central Association of Colleges and School||$194|
|Franklin University||Higher Learning Commission||$526|
|Herzing University||Middle States Commission on Higher Education||$284|
|Lamar University||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$270|
|Lewis University||Higher Learning Commission||$600|
|Limestone College||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$408|
|Mercy College||Middle States Commission on Higher Education||$321|
|National University||Western Association of Schools and Colleges||$354|
|Old Dominion University||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$352|
|Oregon State University||Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities||$487|
|Pace University||Middle States Commission on Higher Education||$555|
|Park University||Higher Learning Commission||$396|
|Regent University||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$395|
|Regis University||Higher Learning Commission||$470|
|Saint Leo University||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, ACBSP||$470|
|Salem University||Higher Learning Commission||$590|
|Southeast Missouri State University||North Central Association of Colleges and School, AACSB||$208|
|Southern New Hampshire University||New England Commission of Higher Education||$320|
|Trident University||Western Association of Schools and Colleges||$405|
|Troy University||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$301|
|University of Denver||Higher Learning Commission||$643|
|University of Florida||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$129|
|University of Illinois||Higher Learning Commission||$362|
|University of Maryland University College||Middle States Commission on Higher Education||$499|
|University of Nebraska||Higher Learning Commission||$196|
Hard Work Makes It Work
One of the hallmarks of the predatory school is the guarantee of success, guaranteed passing scores, easy coursework and other too-good-to-be-true promises. In the end, the only factor that can bring you your degree is the work it takes to pass your courses. The primary thing to keep in mind is that a degree is an investment of time, money and effort on your part, with a valuable payoff in knowledge, satisfaction, confidence, an expansion of opportunities and a greater chance to provide for the future of your family, your own business or a comfortable retirement. What you expend in effort over the course of your studies will come back to you with tangible and intangible benefits, and the excitement of being in the middle of the technology that underpins the modern world.