35 Best Accelerated Computer Science Degree Online Programs [2020 Guide]

Get your degree in LESS TIME with an Accelerated Computer Science Degree Online. Select from over 35 colleges offering affordable computer science programs.

Looking for the fastest accelerated computer science degrees online?

You’re good with computers and you know it. So, why not make a lucrative career out of it?

Fast Computer Science Degree Online

Computers are everywhere: desktop, mobile, industrial, consumer… the possibilities are endless. Cisco puts the estimate at over 8 billion devices (and growing). It’s no wonder that an online computer science degree is so popular.

The computer science field pays well & is growing

Salary and job data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Median salary in IT field: $86,320
  • Median salary for Software Developers: $105,590
  • Computer & IT jobs will grow by 13% over the next ten years

Computer Science & IT Curriculum

student working with laptop and cellphone

Computer science is now considered a foundational science. It connects in with many other areas such as education, medicine, finance, communication, and entertainment.

You will likely excel in a computer science program if you enjoy solving problems, analyzing situations, can organize and think creatively and logically.

A sampling of common courses:

  • Introductory Programming
  • Intermediate Programming
  • Computer Systems and Architecture
  • Building Secure Web Applications
  • Data Structures and Analysis
  • Advanced Programming Languages
  • Object-Oriented and Concurrent Programming
  • Compiler Theory and Design
  • Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms
  • Operating Systems
  • Computer Graphics
  • 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!

Computer Science Careers

Students working on project

Forbes ranks a degree in computer science as number four on the list of top degrees, as well as second place for highest annual starting pay at $63,313.

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 13%.

Computer related jobs are forecast to continue to grow and along with that growth comes a high demand for trained professionals.

Salaries

Computer Science Careers Annual Salary
Computer Programmers $79,840
Software Developers $105,590
Computer and Information Research Scientist $111, 840
Software Developers $102,280
Computer Network Architect $101,210
Web Developers $66,130
Computer Systems Engineer $83,410
Computer Systems Analysts $87,220
Business Intelligence Analyst $83,410
Information Security Analysts $92,600
Computer Programmers $79,840
Software Developers $102,280
Network Systems Administrators $79,700

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The number of jobs in computer science is forecast to continue to rise. And with an online masters computer science program, you may even qualify for a higher paying position.

Accelerated Online Computer Science Classes

businessman with ipad

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.

With accelerated classes, you can finish your course in 6 weeks or 8 weeks online.

If you are ready to jump in and start now, then there is good news for you. You can! Most universities have new class start dates every month.

Careers in High-Demand

accredited colleges

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 occupation are:

  • Analytical skills
  • Detail oriented personality
  • Communication skills
  • Logical thinking skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Concentration
  • Ingenuity

What is a Bachelor of Computer Science?

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)

  • 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 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.
  • 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 Silicon Valley or Redmond, but everywhere in the US where business, industry, finance or government runs on computers.

Why a College Degree Matters

diploma on the grass

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.

Salary & Education Level

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.

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.

College & University Accreditation

university student doing homework

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.

Regionally Accredited Colleges

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.

If you are attending a regionally accredited college than you don’t need to worry.

Computer Science – Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

ABET is the big name in computer science and computer programming. 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.

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

students on campus

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 Computer Science Degree Requirements

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.

College Level Examination Program is accepted by 2,900 schools as credit in these 33 different breadth requirement areas:

  • History
  • Social Sciences
  • Composition
  • Literature
  • Business
  • World Languages
  • Science
  • Mathematics

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, accelerated degree programs online 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.

CHEA currently accredits two organizations for institutions offering distance learning:

  • 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.

Best Online Computer Science Degrees Rankings

The following universities offer accredited online computer science degrees.

#1  Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

APSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#2  Baker College

Baker College campus

  • BS in Computer Science – Computer Programming

Baker is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#3  California State University – Monterey Bay

California State University Monterey Bay campus

  • BS in Computer Science

​​​The campuses of the CalState are accredited by ​the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

#4  Charleston Southern University

Charleston Southern University campus

  • BA in Computer and Information Sciences

Charleston Southern is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#5  Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University campus

  • BS in Computer Science – General

Colorado Tech is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#6  Columbia College

Columbia College campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Columbia has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1918.

#7  Concordia University

Concordia University Texas campus

  • BA in Computer Science

Concordia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#8  Dakota State University

Dakota State University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Dakota State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#9  Davenport University

Davenport University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Davenport is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#10  Depaul University

DePaul University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Depaul is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#11  Florida State University

Florida State University campus

  • BA in Computer Science
  • BS in Computer Science

Florida State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#12  Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Both the traditional FHSU and its Virtual College are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#13  Franklin University

Franklin University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Franklin is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#14  Herzing University

Herzing University campus

  • BS in Computer Programming

Herzing is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#15  Lamar University

Lamar University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Lamar is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#16  Lewis University

Lewis University campus

  • BA in Computer Science

Lewis is accredited by, and a member of, the Higher Learning Commission.

#17  Limestone College

Limestone College campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Limestone is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#18  Mercy College

Mercy College campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Mercy College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#19  National University

National University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Since 1977, NU has been accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

#20  Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

ODU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#21  Oregon State University

Oregon State University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Oregon State is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#22  Pace University

pace university campus

  • BS in Professional Technology Studies

Pace is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#23  Park University

Park University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Park is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#24  Regent University

Regent University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Regent is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#25  Regis University

Regis University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Regis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#26  Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University campus

  • BS in Computer Science – Information Assurance

Saint Leo is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#27  Salem University

Salem University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Salem is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#28  Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri State University campus

  • BS in Computer Information Systems

SEMO is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#29  Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#30  Trident University

Trident University campus

  • BS in Computer Science

Trident is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission.

#31  Troy University

Troy University campus

  • BS in Applied Computer Science

Troy is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#32  University of Denver

University of Denver campus

  • BA in Information Technology

DU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#33  University of Florida

University of Florida campus

  • BS in Computer Science

UF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#34  University of Illinois – Springfield

University of Illinois Springfield campus

  • BS in Computer Science

UIS was recently reaccredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#35  University of Maryland Global

University of Maryland Global campus

  • BS in Computer Science

UMUC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Taking the next step…

A computer science 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.

Related Guides:

This article is brought to you by
Hannah Davis
Hannah Davis
Editor
Isaac Collins
Isaac Collins
Author
Joy Mays
Joy Mays
Director
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *