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Online Computer Programming Degrees, Schools and Courses

If you want a career as a computer programmer, you can get started now on classes you can take from home online. Read below for further information about programs and prerequisites. You can also get an idea of what types of courses are offered.

What You Need to Know

As a computer programming student, you'll learn how to design, code, test and debug complex programming applications and apply those skills to a variety of platforms, including desktop, client-server, Web, and mobile.

Degree Options Certificate, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, continuing education, professional development
Schools Most universities have computer science departments that offer degrees in programming, community colleges offer associate's degrees as well as specialized certifications
Courses Concepts in software design and development, databases, web and mobility; various programming languages

What Will I Learn in Computer Programming Courses?

For some programs, it's assumed that you've already taken an introductory programming class. Also, post-baccalaureate certificates will likely require you to have a bachelor's degree before you can be admitted. You won't necessarily need a degree in computer programming or a related field. Any bachelor's degree will probably do.

You'll also need a computer and an Internet connection. Some programs work best with a Windows operating system and Microsoft's Edge browser. Additionally, you might be required to purchase software relevant to the programming languages you are studying, although some programs will include the cost of these materials in your tuition.

Depending on the degree or certification, you might study database development, Web-based programming languages such as HTML, and programming for mobile apps. Some programs will also include instruction in basic networking. Courses of study generally include several programming languages such as:

  • VisualBASIC
  • Java
  • C++
  • C#
  • PHP/MySQL
  • Python

What Online Computer Programming Degree Programs are Available?

Online computer programming is available at the diploma, undergraduate certificate, associate's, and bachelor's degree levels. You'll learn at home using your own equipment and software included with your textbook materials. Some exams can be taken online while others will need to be taken onsite or at a proctored location.

Look for degree programs that offer you a chance to earn certification. Certification shows you have a certain level of competence in the field which can lead to career advancement. Depending on the type of programming you do, certification can either be voluntary or required. If you plan on working for product vendors or software firms, you'll probably be required to earn certification in the language used for their application. Some schools that offer online programming degrees are:

  • Western Governors University: Bachelor of Science Software Development offering two tracks - Java or C#
  • University of Maryland University College: Computer Science Bachelor's Degree where you will learn data structures, computer systems and architecture, and programming languages like Java and C++
  • Arizona State University: Their Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering is a project driven degree offered through the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering
  • Florida State University: They offer a Bachelor's in Computer Science where students learn C++ as well as Java, C# and Perl among other languages
  • Southeast Tech: Associate in Computer Programming focusing on Java and C# along with a survey of various web-based applications and networking.