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Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Science 2021

Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Science 2021

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An online bachelor's degree in computer science can open up a wealth of rewarding career paths, including systems management and data science.

An online computer science degree can help professionals advance their current careers or enter a new field. Computer science graduates pursue careers as software developers, data scientists, and information security analysts — all jobs that offer median salaries in the six figures and faster-than-average projected job growth.

Many computer science employees work remotely, making these careers largely pandemic-proof. As the tech industry continues to grow, onlinr computer science graduates will benefit from strong career demand. After earning an online bachelor's degree, computer science graduates can also pursue graduate programs in computer science, data science, or machine learning.

Our list ranks the best online bachelor's in computer science programs to help prospective students find the right fit to reach their career goals. This article also explores career and salary outlooks for different computer science jobs.

Top 10 Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Programs 2021

#1 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
#2 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI
#3 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
#4 Regis University Denver, CO
#5 University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield, IL
#6 Central Methodist University Fayette, MO
#7 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
#8 Lewis University Romeoville, IL
#9 National University San Diego, CA
#10 Baker College Flint, MI

What Is Computer Science?

Computer science is the study of computers, computer technology, and computational systems. Computer scientists work in fields like technology, business, healthcare, and academia.

Computer scientists write software code, design algorithms that analyze data, and solve computing problems. Computer science professionals can specialize in areas like computer systems, programming languages, or software engineering. Newer specialties include artificial intelligence and human-computer interactions, which rely on cutting-edge technology.

What Is an Online Computer Science Degree?

An online bachelor's in computer science program trains students in fundamental computing and programming concepts. Students learn programming languages, software engineering techniques, and computer science algorithms. Many online computer science programs offer concentrations that allow students to tailor their degree to match their interests and goals. Common concentrations include data science, information security, and information management systems.

In addition to computer science classes, online bachelor's in computer science programs include general education and elective courses. General education requirements often include humanities, social science, and natural science classes that help build critical thinking skills.

The flexibility of an online CS degree track may appeal to students balancing their studies with work and family obligations. Online learners typically complete the same coursework and requirements as students in on-campus programs.

Choosing the Best Online Computer Science Degree Program

Prospective students should consider several factors when choosing an online program, including tuition costs, degree requirements, and institutional reputation. Learn more about what to look for in an online college and how to pick a college. Then, check out our resource on how to choose your major.

What Can I Do With a Degree in Computer Science?

Bachelor's in computer science programs prepare graduates for lucrative careers with strong job growth potential. Graduates can work as computer information systems managers, data scientists, and computer systems analysts.

Graduates can also pursue a master's degree in computer science, which allows them to advance their careers. Options include online master's in information assurance security, online master's in information technology, online master's in data science, and online MBA in management information systems programs.

Computer Science Salary Information

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers — also known as IT managers — oversee an organization's computer-related activities. They determine the organization's IT goals and implement computer systems to meet those goals. These professionals also oversee IT employees, ensure the security of an organization's network, and analyze the costs and benefits of system upgrades. They may make recommendations to top executives. A bachelor's degree in computer science and work experience meet the requirements for computer information systems manager jobs.

Median Annual Salary

$146,360

Job Outlook (2019-2029)

10%

Data Scientist

Data Scientists create algorithms that analyze large datasets to detect patterns. They develop tools to sort, manage, and display data. These professionals work in diverse fields, including business, healthcare, and science. The position demands strong programming and computing skills, in addition to analytical and critical thinking abilities. Many data scientist jobs require a master's degree, though employers may hire candidates with a bachelor's in computer science.

Median Annual Salary

$122,840

Job Outlook (2019-2029)

15%

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analyst — also known as systems architects — help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization's computing systems. They work with managers to understand an organization's IT needs, research new technologies, and conduct cost-benefit analyses for IT systems and computing upgrades. These professionals also install and configure new systems and conduct testing on their performance.

A bachelor's degree in computer science meets the entry-level education requirements for computer systems analyst jobs.

Median Annual Salary

$90,000

Job Outlook (2019-2029)

7%

Computer Information Scientist

Computer information scientists create new technologies and develop applications for existing technologies. They may also conduct research, develop theories, or creating new computing languages. Some computer information scientists specialize in areas like programming or robotics. These professionals work in many industries, including business, science, and medicine. Many positions require a master's degree, though some entry-level and government positions only require a bachelor's in computer science.

Median Annual Salary

$122,840

Job Outlook (2019-2029)

15%

Computer Science Jobs for Bachelor's Degree-Holders

Graduates with an online bachelor's degree in computer science enjoy diverse career opportunities. The following list outlines common careers for graduates:

  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Computer engineer
  • Computer programmer
  • Computer scientist
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Database developer
  • Information assurance officer
  • Information security analyst
  • Information systems manager
  • IT security analyst
  • Mobile applications developer
  • Network administrator
  • Network architect
  • Network engineer
  • Network systems administrator
  • Simulation expert
  • Software developer
  • Software project manager
  • Systems analyst
  • Systems integrator
  • Systems software developer
  • System test engineer

Other Computer Science Careers

Additional computer science careers can be found in fields like:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computer and information systems management
  • Computer information security
  • Computer networking
  • Computer programming
  • Computer systems analysis
  • Database administration
  • Database development
  • Networks administration
  • Robotics
  • Software development and engineering
  • System design, administration, and analysis
  • Training and project management
  • Video game programming and digital arts
  • Web and application programming
  • Web development

The Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Programs

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Rank School Location Apply More Information
4

Regis University 

Denver, CO Apply Now

About this school

Since launching one of the earliest online programs, Regis has grown its online learning system to include more than 70 undergraduate programs. In its 120-credit, online computer science degree, learners take courses in data networks, advanced UNIX, and systems security.

Regis students can complete the entire program online and asynchronously, unless they choose an internship, which may require in-person participation. Classes take place in eight-week sessions, and enrollees can choose from six start dates. Degree-seekers with graduate aspirations can enroll in an accelerated program to earn both a bachelor's and master's in cs online.

Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
47%
Online Enrollment
63%
5

University of Illinois at Springfield 

Springfield, IL Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1969, UIS offers more than 50 online programs. Its 120-credit, online bachelor of computer science degree includes emphasis options in systems security and software engineering, each with seven required courses and a capstone.

UIS online classes take place during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Though most classes run asynchronously, some courses use synchronous sessions. For admission, applicants need a 2.0 GPA, along with Java programming and mathematics experience.

Graduation Rate
51%
Percent Receiving Loans
46%
Online Enrollment
68%
6

Central Methodist University 

Fayette, MO Apply Now

About this school

CMU was founded in 1854 and now enrolls more than 4,000 students annually, including students in online classes. The school offers online computer science degrees through both bachelor of arts and bachelor of science programs. Enrollees complete 120 credits in courses like computer architecture and data structures and algorithms.

The CMU program allows learners to take asynchronous courses every 8-16 weeks. For admission, applicants need a minimum GPA of 2.5, along with SAT scores over 1050 or ACT scores over 21.

Percent Receiving Loans
26%
Online Enrollment
55%
7

Saint Leo University 

Saint Leo, FL Apply Now

About this school

Saint Leo is one of the oldest Catholic universities in Florida. It offers more than 25 undergraduate programs for online learners, including its online bachelor's degree in computer science. In this 120-credit program, training includes systems administration, programming languages, and network theory.

Online programs at Saint Leo offer five start dates, and most classes run asynchronously in eight-week terms, though some run in 16-week sessions. While enrollees can complete their degrees entirely online, Saint Leo also offers two computer labs and an information assurance lab on campus for computer science learners to use.

Graduation Rate
45%
Percent Receiving Loans
55%
Online Enrollment
74%
8

Lewis University 

Romeoville, IL Apply Now

About this school

Since its founding in 1932, Lewis has developed into a leader in distance education, offering more than 15 online programs. Its accelerated, online computer science degree comprises 128 credits and provides training in computer organization and legal and ethical issues in computing. Enrollees also complete a capstone sequence to gain practical experience.

Computer science students can choose from concentrations in gaming, artificial intelligence, mobile computer, and secure and systems programming. Online classes at Lewis run asynchronously through eight-week terms, though the odd synchronous session or proctored exam may also appear.

Graduation Rate
64%
Percent Receiving Loans
61%
Online Enrollment
41%
9

National University 

San Diego, CA Apply Now

About this school

Striving for accessibility since its inception in 1971, NU introduced online programs in 1999 and now offers more than 45 degrees for online learners. The 180-quarter-unit online computer science degree includes courses in database design, digital logic design, and discrete structures.

NU offers monthly start dates, and classes run asynchronously through four-week sessions. Students can also join a transition program to fast-track their route to a master's-level education in computer science. For direct entry, applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Graduation Rate
36%
Percent Receiving Loans
36%
Online Enrollment
61%
10

Baker College 

Flint, MI Apply Now

About this school

Baker has led in online learning since 1994 and now offers nearly 20 online bachelor's degrees. Its 120-credit, online computer science degree includes courses in emerging programming languages and computer architecture. The program also has practicum requirements, including a year-long project and a 150-hour internship.

Online students at Baker have six start dates to choose from each year, with classes running asynchronously through eight-week sessions. Enrollees typically complete their training within four years and can continue into the computer science graduate program if they wish.

Graduation Rate
19%
Percent Receiving Loans
65%
Online Enrollment
58%
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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Science badge

Online Computer Science Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Computer Science a BS or BA?

Most schools offer a BS in computer science, though some schools offer the degree as a BA. A BS tends to focus more on technical skill, while a BA includes general liberal arts coursework.

What Is Required for a Degree in Computer Science?

While earning a bachelor's in computer science, students complete a mix of general education and computer science courses.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Computer Science Degree Online?

An online bachelor's in computer science degree generally takes four years of full-time study to complete, though some programs offer accelerated timelines. Students who have associate degrees can typically graduate in two years.

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