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An online degree in computer science can open the door to wide range of opportunities in nearly any industry. And with the majority of businesses transitioning toward computer-based operations, the field of computer science is expected to grow, along with the need for qualified workers. Students who earn an online computer science degree can gain a solid knowledge base about:

  • Computer science fundamentals
  • Building and operating efficient and advanced computer systems
  • Troubleshooting issues and solving complex problems
  • Computer architecture and software systems
  • Related disciplines, such as artificial intelligence and software engineering

What Does an Online Degree in Computer Science Entail?

Degree program in technology in Computer science help students learn to master the many facets of computer programming and design. Undergraduate courses typically cover subjects like database management, Java or C++ programming, and data structures. Programs also tend to have a strong focus on mathematics, such as calculus, linear algebra and statistics.

Students who pursue a master's degree in computer science should expect to take advanced classes in a variety of disciplines, such as software development process and machine learning, while also mastering the fundamentals of complex computing systems.

Many computer science degree programs offer opportunities for students to focus on specializations like social computing, networking, interactive intelligence, machine learning, and software engineering. Other students may choose to specialize on specific programming languages, or on specific processes within computer science.

Career Outlook for Computer Science Majors

Those who earn a computer science degree -- an associate, bachelor's, master's, or even Ph.D. -- can work in a wide range of jobs within nearly any industry. Potential careers include:

  • Computer Support Specialist: These professionals test and evaluate computer networks, perform regular maintenance, and troubleshoot problems for a business or organization. Those who choose this career are usually required to have at least an associate degree. Employment for computer support specialists is expected to grow 17 percent in the U.S. over the next decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • Software Developer: Those who choose this career path design, develop and test computer software to meet the needs of businesses and consumers. Employers are likely to require prospective employees to have a bachelor's degree and strong computer programming skills. The BLS projects that employment for this career will grow 22 percent nationwide from 2012 to 2022.
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator: These professionals are typically in charge of installing and maintaining the network hardware and software that helps businesses function. Those with this job title typically have a bachelor's degree. Employment for network and computer systems administrators is expected to grow 12 percent across the country from 2012 to 2022, according to the BLS.

In addition to these occupations, those with computer science degrees can pursue employment as a computer and information research scientist, database administrator, computer hardware engineer or software designer, among others. Overall, the BLS projects that employment in all computer-related occupations will grow 18 percent nationally from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the 11 percent growth predicted for all occupations combined.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Computer Support Specialists, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm#tab-1
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Network and Computer Systems Administrators, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Computer-and-Information-Technology/Network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm#tab-1
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Software Developers, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Computer-and-Information-Technology/Software-developers.htm#tab-

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