Computer science professionals are in high demand, making an online bachelor’s degree in computer science a popular choice. The degree in general encompasses the design, creation and testing of software, hardware and computer networks, although students usually select an area in which to specialize.
Core classes for a bachelor’s in computer science online include data structures and algorithms, operating systems, advanced mathematics and database management. Students learn technical languages to use throughout their degree program and how to apply knowledge and theory to real-world problems, putting their coursework to work while still in the classroom. The following table provides a brief rundown of the courses bachelor’s degree students may find in their CS program:
|Introductory Programming||Students study structured and object-oriented programming using the Java language.|
|Intermediate Programming||Students design, implement, test, debug, and document Java programs using development tools.|
|Introduction to Discrete Structures||This class surveys fundamental mathematical concepts relevant to computer science and addresses problems in computer science.|
|Computer Systems and Architecture||This class studies the fundamental concepts of computer architecture and factors that influence the performance of a system.|
|Advanced Programming Languages||In this course, students study programming languages with an aim to write safe and secure computer programs.|
|Object-Oriented and Concurrent Programming||Students design, implement, test, debug, and document complex robust programs in an object-oriented language.|
|Data Structures and Analysis||Students study user-defined data structures and object-oriented design while they develop secure Java programs.|
|Software Engineering Principles and Techniques||Students will study software engineering from initial concept through design, development, testing, and maintenance.|
Danielle has always been interested in computers, starting as a young child. After high school, she earned an associate degree in computer science but struggled to find a job that she was passionate about and that paid what she felt her work was worth. In fact, Danielle discovered that her dream job as a software developer was out of reach until she earned a bachelor’s degree. She did her research and found a college she could attend online while continuing to build her work experience.
According to Forbes, a bachelor’s degree in computer science is one of the highest paid majors for recent college graduates. In fact, many technology-based majors are in the top tier for job marketability and salary, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the market to increase by 27 percent from 2012 – 2022.
PayScale.com reports that those with a bachelor’s degree in computer science typically earn an estimated 35 percent more than those who hold an associate degree alone. The table below shows the starting salary of some of the most popular computer science careers and the entry-level salary with an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree.
|Career||Entry-Level Salary with A.S.||Entry-Level Salary with B.S.|
|Software Developer||Unavailable with A.S.||$55,190|
|Information Security||Unavailable with A.S.||$49,960|
Students and parents often struggle to pay college expenses. However, there are many opportunities for national and regional scholarships for students earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
Intel Science Talent Search – The Society for Science and the Public recognizes outstanding work form high school seniors in computer science with this scholarship.
Microsoft Scholarship Programs – Scholarships are available in four categories: general scholarships, scholarships for women, minority scholarships, and awards for people with disabilities.
Gates Millennium Scholars Program – GMS selects 1,000 students each year to receive a scholarship for use at any college or university.
Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Scholarship – This scholarship is awarded to one student annually who shows excellence in a field related directly or indirectly to space flight and exploration.
SMART Scholarship for Service – Part of the National Defense Education Program, this non-profit organization offers a scholarship, which includes full tuition, which is designed to lead directly to employment with the Department of Defense.
Ford Motor Company Tribal Scholars Program – Through the American Indian College Fund, this scholarship is available to eligible American Indian/Alaska Native students pursuing degrees in numerous areas, including engineering and computer science.
Wayne V. Black Memorial Scholarship – The Energy Telecommunications and Electrical Association created this scholarship to honor Wayne Black for his years of service in the organization.
ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Scholarship – The ESA Foundation established this scholarship to help women and minority students pursue careers in computers and video game arts.
William E. Weisel Scholarship – Students pursuing careers in robotics or automated systems are eligible for this merit-based yearly scholarship.
The CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Program – Students in information security at Carnegie Mellon University may be eligible to participate in the Scholarship for Service Program, offering full financial assistance to highly qualified applicants.
AWC Scholarship Fund for Women in Computing – The Ann Arbor chapter of the Association for women in computing developed this scholarship to increase the number and influence of women in technology and computing.
TELACU Scholarship Program – Combining financial assistance and highly effective educational programs, TELACU’s programs support scholars in California, Illinois, Texas and New York.
AFCEA San Diego County Scholarship Program – Residents of San Diego County majoring in science, math, or engineering curricula at a four-year university are eligible for this scholarship.
Alaska Space Grant Program Fellowships – Stipends are available for students attending a university in Alaska and pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Preference is given to women and individuals form underrepresented groups.
Internships provide a bridge from college coursework to entry-level career, whether paid or unpaid. They allow students to get their foot in the door with a company and, hopefully, use that internship to network and land a job. Here’s a list of key internships in the computer science field.
IBM – IBM has both internship and co-op opportunities for undergraduate students that allow students to become more familiar with the company’s organization, work style, culture, and global reach.
Unisys Corp. – Unisys offers student employees both real-world internships and coo-op experiences that expose students to innovative technology and professional and social networking opportunities.
Verizon – Students earn valuable hands-on experience in a variety of technology-driven areas. Internships include full-time paid summer internships and paid part-time internships where available.
Lumension Security – Software Engineering Partnership Interns develop new partnerships with major vendors and manage the acquisition of software products.
Intel’s Atom Products Team (Bachelor’s Level) – Intel seeks interns who are pursuing degrees in electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, or another related field for summer or school-year internships.
The Mitre Corporation – Interns work in the cyber networking lab and help develop proof-of-concept prototypes and characterize their performance. Students pursuing an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science are eligible.
Lord Corporation Internship Program – This paid summer internship program gives students real-world experiences in STEM disciplines.
Delphi – Delphi has internships that allow students with at least a sophomore standing to assist the IT supplier with develop and manage various Delphi technologies.
Diebold – A number of summer and school-year internships are available on a full-time or part-time basis for students in a variety of disciplines.
AISES Internship Program – Many internship opportunities are available through the American Indian Science and Engineering Society for students of all levels of their college career.