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Computer Education Degree Programs

Learn what degree you'd need in order to become a computer teacher. Explore the curriculum of a computer education program, and check the career outlook for computer teachers. Find out whether distance-learning options are available for computer education degree programs.

What Types of Degree Programs are Offered in Computer Education?

Computer education is a field aimed at those who wish to hone their knowledge of computers and information technology so they can teach others. Computer education degree programs of this type are usually offered at the master's and doctoral degree levels. You may also have a choice of concentrations, such as instructional technology, instructional system design, teaching with technology or computer science, among others.

Although many schools offer bachelor's degree programs in computer-related fields, most computer education programs are offered at the graduate level. Possible degree titles you may find include a Master of Science (M.S.) in Educational Technology or a Master of Computer Science. Some schools also offer graduate-level computer education certificate programs for teachers interested in including new technology as part of their curricula.

Common Program Levels Master's and doctoral degrees; graduate certificates also available
Common Courses Programming, statistical application, software evaluation, visual literacy, educational trends
Learning Environments Traditional classroom format for all programs; online options available at the master's degree and graduate certificate levels
Possible Careers Computer software engineer, teacher, professor, researcher
Median Salary (2018) $78,470 (for all postsecondary teachers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15% growth (for all postsecondary teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

The curriculum in the computer education degree program will train you in many aspects of computer use. You'll be prepared to teach others topics from computer literacy to various computer applications. As a doctoral degree student, you'll learn how to develop, research and test new technologies as they apply to teaching. The doctoral degree program requires the completion of a dissertation and a designated number of hours in research and computer education.

As a master's degree student, you'll have a thesis or non-thesis option. If you choose the thesis option, you'll complete an oral thesis presentation on what you've learned. The non-thesis option involves an oral and written final examination. You may also be required to complete a portfolio or participate in an internship. Computer education degree programs may include the following course topics:

  • Evaluating educational software
  • Applying statistics to practice
  • Educational trends
  • Educating with computers
  • Visual literacy in schools
  • Visual basic programming
  • Web-based teaching applications

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

Some schools offer computer education master's degrees and certificate programs through distance learning. Your computer must meet technical requirements to allow course material delivery; you must also have Internet access and an e-mail account for correspondence. You generally won't have to attend campus, although some schools allow you to visit campus.

An online master's degree program may not require a thesis. Your courses and assignments are delivered electronically through streaming video or a Web-based course management system. You may be required to take proctored exams. Online programs typically have the same courses and requirements as campus-based programs.

What Can the Degree Do for My Career?

Computers and computer technology is a large part of our world today. Children as young as kindergarten age are being taught computer skills. Earning a degree in computer education will not only keep you up with technology, but will also keep you competitive in the job market.

A master's degree program will provide you the qualifications to teach computer education in schools, while a Ph.D. program prepares you for research and teaching positions in colleges and universities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment outlook for computer-related fields, such as computer software developers were projected to increase faster than average at a rate of 24% from 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov).