5 Best Post Baccalaureate Computer Science Online Programs [2021 Guide]

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There can be many benefits to obtaining a post baccalaureate computer science online degree.

Baccalaureate Computer Science Online

Not only can a second bachelor’s degree help you broaden your career prospects and maximize your earning potential, but since you’ll be taking classes online, you won’t even need to live near a college campus.

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You can earn your degree on your own time and at your own pace.

Post Baccalaureate Computer Science Degrees Online

Software developer working in the office

Computer science is a flourishing industry.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information technology jobs are expected to grow by 11% within the next decade, and that’s much faster than the national average for other occupations. All in all, more than 500,000 jobs should be added to the market.

Having the right credentials can put you in a prime position to pursue these jobs. Many tech-based careers will ask for a bachelor’s degree at the minimum, and computer science is a flexible, broad-ranging area of study that can help prepare you for a wide variety of work.

Here are a few common specializations for a computer science degree:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Computer and Network Security
  • Software Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information Management and Analytics

You’ll also have options when it comes to degrees. For example, while the most straightforward major is computer science, you can also major in related fields like engineering and information technology.

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You don’t have to have a background in computer science to go back to school for it. Even if your first degree was in a completely different field, you may be able to use it as a foundation for your second.

Many colleges allow students to transfer credits for core classes they’ve already taken, so you likely won’t have to retake the basics, and you should have a better understanding of things like semester schedules and degree requirements. You may be able to quickly streamline your path to graduation.

Also, if you are still undecided about majoring in computer science or accounting, just know that both majors share a very similar curriculum but lead to different career paths.

Computer Science Careers & Salaries

Computer Science Careers & Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for computer and information technology occupations is $91,250 per year.

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This is just an average, however, and many computer science professionals make six figures or more. You’ve probably heard stories about app developers and software engineers who are worth millions. They do exist.

Take a look at some of these computer science jobs and their potential wages:

Careers Annual Median Salary
IT Director $151,150
Computer Hardware Engineer $119,560
Computer Network Architect $116,780
Software Developer $110,140
Information Security Analyst $103,590
Database Administrator $98,860
Data Scientist $98,230
Computer Systems Analyst $93,730
Computer Programmer $89,190
Web Developer $77,200

An important thing to note about these averages is that they don’t take into account things like age, education, experience and certification. As you probably know, these factors can have drastic impacts on your salary.

Computer Science Curriculum & Courses

Computer science students attending a computer class

What classes can you expect to take as a computer science major? While the specifics will depend on your school and any degree concentrations that you might have, the basics might look something like this:

  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Data Analytics
  • Operating Systems
  • Programming Languages
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Tools and Techniques for Software Development
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Machine Learning/Robotics
  • Biocomputation
  • Cybersecurity

If you already have your core classes out of the way, you should be able to focus your studies on computer science without needing to take unrelated electives and general education classes.

Admissions Requirements

Computer science students studying online

The admissions process will look a little different for a second bachelor’s degree as opposed to a first. For example, you won’t need to submit things like SAT/ACT scores, and most colleges won’t care about clubs, extracurriculars and letters of recommendation. You’ll be regarded as an adult student.

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Necessary admissions documents might include:

  • College transcripts. What was your GPA? What classes and credits do you already have under your belt?
  • Application. In addition to the usual information, you might also be asked for more detail about jobs, finances and other hallmarks of the independent student.
  • Personal statement. Some schools will ask you to justify going for a second bachelor’s degree rather than a graduate degree.

There might be other restrictions or requirements for an online computer science degree post baccalaureate. For example, if you’ve never taken any computer science courses on the college level, you might be enrolled with a “pre-major” status until you complete the basics.

You’ll need to talk to your university to get the specifics about a second bachelor’s degree.

Accreditation

Post Baccalaureate Computer Science Accreditation

You’re probably familiar with the concept of accreditation by now, but if you need a refresher, here are the three types:

  • Regional accreditation
  • National accreditation
  • Programmatic accreditation

Accreditation is extremely important for students who are seeking a second bachelor’s degree. To avoid having to retake general education classes, you’ll want to transfer the maximum amount of credits from your first degree program to your second.

You might lose credits if you try to transfer between universities with different types of accreditation or no accreditation at all.

Financial Aid

financial aid for Post Baccalaureate Computer Science students

Financial aid is another thing that might look different the second time around.

You should still fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for different types of assistance, but you should know a few things in advance.

  • You won’t be eligible for federal grants like the Pell Grant. However, you might still be eligible for private or university-funded grants.
  • You should still qualify for student loans, including Stafford loans.
  • You might or might not be eligible for work-study programs. It depends on your school.
  • Scholarships may still be available to you. Just make sure to read the fine print. Some might be limited to “first time” degree-seeking students.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some financial aid programs have “lifetime” limits. For example, the lifetime student loan limit for FAFSA is $57,500. If you’ve already spent that on your first bachelor’s degree, you won’t qualify for more.

Is It Worth Getting an Online Post Baccalaureate Computer Science Degree?

post baccalaureate computer science student studying on his laptop

Yes, getting an online post baccalaureate computer science degree is worth it for many students. In the computer and information technology fields, jobs are projected to grow at a rate of 11% in the next 10 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Common careers in this field include computer programmer, database administrator, network engineer, or IT director.

A second bachelor’s degree can be a wise investment for the future for many people, especially when it’s in a field like computer science. Tech jobs are expected to grow by half a million in the next decade, and their paydays sometimes reach six figures or more.

It may be a great time to go back to school and get the qualifications that you need to enter the computer science industry.

Are There Any Affordable Post Bacc Computer Science Online Programs?

It can be more affordable than you might think to get a post-baccalaureate computer science degree. This is true at even the best universities for computer science.

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Most schools charge by the credit, and since you’ll already have your core classes and electives done, you shouldn’t need to earn a full 120 credits again. This means that you should pay a lot less in tuition.

Universities Offering Online Post-Baccalaureate Computer Science Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Drexel University

Drexel University campus

Drexel University’s post-baccalaureate in Computer Science helps to prepare students for a career in a variety of technology or programming areas.

This accelerated degree program is designed to teach the essential elements of the computer science field, while also providing the basics of programming and advanced technical skills that allow students to participate in a fully online setting.

Students considering computer science education should possess strong analytical and math skills and understand the basic concepts of computer programming.

Earning a master’s degree in Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence are some examples of pathways available to learners pursuing a Computer Science post-baccalaureate degree at Drexel University.

  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Computer Science

Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Harvard University

Harvard University campus

Offering four options for students to gain higher education in computer science, Harvard University’s Extension School certificate programs are designed to give students the tools they need to excel in the technology field.

Certificates offered at Harvard help students learn the ins and outs of information systems and software engineering.

Using a variety of computer languages, students will work to write programs and algorithms that can be used in web development, data security, software engineering, and many other areas of the computer science field.

  • Programming Graduate Certificate

Harvard University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

New York University

New York University campus

Post-baccalaureate students preparing to bridge into a STEM area of study such as computer science who are coming from another field may want to consider New York University’s Tandon Bridge program to assist with the transition.

This program is designed to prepare students to enter into a graduate degree in areas such as computer science, computer engineering, cybersecurity, and many other related fields.

By helping learners become efficient in program languages, operating systems, algorithms, and mathematics, New York University’s Bridge program allows students to enter into an online master’s degree program in computer science for non CS majors and without having to take the GRE and can be completed entirely online.

  • Certificate in Computer Science

New York University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University campus

Taking education to the next level, Oregon State University allows students a flexible format to earn a post-baccalaureate in computer science no matter what field of study students come from.

This self-paced degree allows students to easily transition into many technology-related fields by studying the fundamentals of networking, computer software, coding, engineering, and many other computer-based areas.

Allowing students to enroll during any academic term and to progress at their own pace is a unique feature that Organ State University offers. Students accepted into this program can complete their degree through a virtual learning platform and still have access to a variety of support systems.

  • Postbaccalaureate in Computer Science

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

University of Colorado – Boulder

University of Colorado Boulder campus

Learners looking to make a change in their education field turn to the University of Colorado – Boulder’s computer science post-baccalaureate program to help them reach new levels of knowledge in their academic field.

Technology has become the cornerstone of almost all organizations. Having a diverse portfolio that includes computer knowledge, web development, software design, and knowledge of a variety of operating systems is becoming more and more vital.

The University of Colorado has a flexible online program to help students gain the knowledge needed to excel in a career in technology, no matter what area of study they are coming from.

  • Postbaccalaureate in Applied Computer Science

The University of Colorado Boulder is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your Post Bacc Computer Science Degree Online

Post Bacc Computer Science Degree student studying at home

The time is ripe to get a computer science degree. Not only is it a field with potentially high salaries and varied career prospects, but thanks to its ever-increasing job demand, you could find a world of opportunity waiting for you after graduation.

With the ease of online programs, you don’t even need to live near a college campus to earn your degree. You can study right at home.

Consider a post-baccalaureate computer science degree if you have a passion for the subject and a willingness to go back to school to earn a second bachelor’s degree. It might be just the boost that you need for a better job and a brighter future.

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Joy Cromwelle
WRITTEN BY
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.