Online Computer-Related Degree Programs

Whether you're interested in computer engineering, networking or programming, you can find a number of online programs through accredited schools. Read about online associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs related to computers, and check the coursework for each program. Explore career options for those with an education in computers. Schools offering Information Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Computer-Related Degrees Can I Pursue Online?

According to U.S. News and World Report, computer software developer, systems analyst and web developer rank among the top 20 careers in 2016. Associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs exist online to train you for entry into these jobs and many others within the computer industry. Undergraduate and graduate fields of study include computer science, engineering, networking, programming and Internet-related subjects.

Online Degrees Online degrees are available at the associate, bachelor and master level in the computer industry
Associate Degree Programs Computer software specialization, information technology, information services and support and information management
Bachelor's Degree Concentrations Software engineering, computer security, communications and database administration
Master's Programs Network management and security, biocomputing, artificial intelligence and computer engineering
Prerequisites Undergraduate programs typically require a high school diploma or GED, while higher level programs require completed credit hours, a bachelor's degree and computer science or mathematics experience
Topics Covered Computer and network architecture, software programming, network security, hardware engineering and programming languages
Possible Careers Undergraduate degrees prepare students for entry-level work in computer-related fields, while higher level experience can lead to administrative work, engineering positions or management
Median Salary (2018)  $53,470 (for all computer support specialists
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 11% growth (for all computer support specialists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Online Associate Degrees

Online associate degree programs typically cover basic technology information, though you can find some that focus on areas such as programming or website development. Some introductory programs in networking, telecommunications and data security exist, though more in-depth training is often provided at bachelor's and master's degree levels for these fields. Some common online associate degree programs include:

  • Computer Software Specialist
  • Information Technology
  • Information Services and Support
  • Information Management
  • Computer Engineering Technology

Online Bachelor's Degrees

Bachelor's degrees in computer science are designed to give you fundamental knowledge in computer hardware and software. Specific concentrations are available in software engineering, computer security, communications or database administration. In these programs, you may learn how to design, test and analyze computer software and the systems needed to make an organization technologically functional. You may also choose to train in specific software design for businesses and clients utilizing programming languages, such as Java, C++ or Perl.

Bachelor's degree programs in computer engineering focus more on analytical skills and technology innovation. While you are often still exposed to topics in software programming and systems design, computer engineering degrees often supply the back-end structure to technology, such as functional aspects of devices, applications and systems. While these programs are available online, you may benefit through some on-campus instruction or the ability to apply your studies to your existing career.

Online Master's Degrees

An online master's degree program typically includes advanced studies and research in a specific area of computers or technology. Graduate studies in computer science and engineering may be presented as interdisciplinary programs, incorporating technology education with management training. Often research-intensive, you may be required to concentrate your studies in one of several areas, including:

  • Network management and security
  • Biocomputing and artificial intelligence
  • Information technology project management
  • Database programming and development
  • Computer engineering

Are There Any Prerequisites?

Most undergraduate programs require that you have only a high school diploma or GED. A small degree of computer competency may be beneficial, but not necessary. If you've got some schooling or experience in the field and would like to earn a bachelor's degree, some online completion programs may require a specified number of completed credit hours, recommended coursework and a working knowledge of computers and programming. Master's degree programs typically require a bachelor's degree and prerequisite computer science and mathematics courses. You may also need to submit graduate placement test scores.

Some programs, especially those geared more toward software or support, may require that you purchase, download or install applications or diagnostics tools. Some schools provide any necessary training software, though you may be responsible for acquiring it yourself. Most software manufacturers offer significant discounts to students.

What Will I Learn In These Programs?

Depending on whether you're enthusiasm lies with practical application or theoretical research, courses typically expose you to many facets of technology while focusing on your chosen area of interest. Online coursework generally follows the same path and covers the same topics as traditional on-campus classes. Topics of study may include a combination of the following:

  • Computer and network architecture
  • Software engineering and programming
  • Multimedia application development
  • Network and data security
  • Programming languages for software and Internet
  • Server, desktop and communications support
  • Automation and hardware engineering
  • IT project and program management

What Careers Will I Be Prepared For?

Typically, associate and bachelor's degree programs prepare you for entry-level positions in most computer-related fields. With a solid foundation of technological knowledge, support skills and programming expertise, you may qualify for administrative positions in networking, systems, servers and databases. You may also be eligible to begin an engineering position in a technology field, though experience is often a determining factor in your level of occupational responsibility.

As a graduate of a master's degree program, you may be eligible for promotions into management, advancement into research-related occupations or teaching positions. State licensure is required to enter academia, and professional certification may be strongly recommended for several technology fields.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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