Is an Online Degree in Computer Science Right for You?

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Computer science is the field of study concerned with anything to do with information access and computing. There are various training options for those who wish to work in computer science and wish to compete in this competitive field. You can also build your existing skills and qualifications in order to work in one of these fields, using your prior knowledge and experience to advance your career. Whether you are just starting out and thinking about training options or want to move your career in a different direction, an online degree in computer science could help you achieve this and much more.

What types of courses are there?

When it comes to working in computer science, it is not always essential to have further education and qualifications. However, in such an expansive and competitive industry, training and degrees can help your application stand out, as well as demonstrating to potential employers that you are passionate about the field and are always willing to learn more. You could undertake an undergraduate course in the area of computer science you are interested in or a more general one. This can prepare you to work in computer sciences or help you understand the role in which you may want to work. An online master’s in computer science can help you develop the existing personal and technical skills you will need to work in these areas, as well as introducing you to new ideas, software and theories that will make you a valuable team member.

With the online master’s degree, you will have the chance to deepen your existing knowledge, as well as learning the most recent techniques in areas such as cybersecurity, data analysis, machine learning, parallel programming and algorithm design. The degree can be completed in as little as 16 months, which allows you to advance your career while continuing with the rest of your life. During the degree you will learn how to use various types of software and hardware. You will also be taught how to combine theoretical principles with practical applications and graduate with real-world experiences.

What are the career outcomes?

When you work in the computer science industry, there are many different career outcomes that you may find yourself working in. A higher education usually increases the number of jobs available to you. These roles often come with increased salaries too, so many think of a master’s degree as an investment. Roles that computer science graduates may go on to work in include:

·         Software developer- this role encompasses two different jobs. The first is a systems software developer. In this role, you create the operations software that helps computers and other devices run. You could also work as an applications software developer, designing and producing the software that makes the devices useful. You may also be modifying, writing, documenting, testing or debugging software for clients, among many other tasks.

·         Computer systems analyst- this job involves analyzing, designing and implementing information systems, as well as helping clients. There are a variety of responsibilities, such as training clients, performing testing, installation and configuration. You may also be preparing cost analysis and benefits of certain systems, in order to help management decide which option is the most suitable.

·         Web developer- web developers are responsible for the way a website function. You will be concerned with the technical elements of the website, as well as the design and maintenance. Web developers work with clients, designing and maintaining the website that represents their online presence. This is incredibly important for the client and their business, as many people use the internet to search for businesses, services and products. This role is particularly good for people who enjoy working with clients and solving their problems. You will definitely need good communication skills to succeed in this role and be able to interpret for people who may not be tech savvy.

·         Computer and information systems manager- this role will combine your technical skills with managerial qualities. It involves overseeing the computer activities of companies and organizations, planning, coordinating and directing the computer activities of the company and analyzing their computing requirements in order to make system recommendations. You will also have to stay up to date with the latest technology and ideas in order to make sure that the company is always using the most advanced systems available to them.

The computer science fields are incredibly varied, and there are always new roles and ideas appearing as the technology is advanced. This means that you are more likely to find your dream role in an area and industry that you are passionate about. Online computer science courses and degrees can help you understand the different roles that may be available to you, and how to apply your knowledge and skills in order to be successful in these areas.

What skills do you need?

There are many different skills and qualities, both technical and personal, that make a great computer scientist, and you may already have many of them. Online courses can help you develop and hone these skills, and teach you the different ways in which they can be applied. A few of the traits include:

·         Problem solving- a large part of many computer science jobs involves solving problems systemically and logically. Problem solving skills are used in combination with both creativity and critical thinking, and they all come together to help you assess a situation and draw the most appropriate solution, which sometimes may not be the most obvious.

·         Creativity- when you come across an issue or problem, the best solution may not be the most immediately obvious, and you will have to be creative and flexible in order to think outside the box.

·         Critical thinking- this is the ability to objectively analyze and assess a situation in order to make a judgement on it. You will be using your wide range of skills and knowledge all the time, and will need to use your critical thinking skills in order to effectively and efficiently assess a situation and decide on the correct method and course of action to use.

These are just a couple of the important skills that you will need to succeed in a computer science role, and there are plenty of online courses and degrees that can help you learn these skills or advance them further.

Why should you study online?

Online courses are flexible and affordable study options for those who wish to boost their career or expand their knowledge. Computer science degrees can often be taught completely online, which means that you can make the course work around your schedule. If you are looking to change your career or continue on your computer science journey without disrupting the rest of your life, then studying online could be the best option for you.

Flexibility and pace

One of the main benefits of online courses is the flexibility they offer you. They are often designed to be studied alongside your job or other commitments, which means you donot have to drop everything else in order to work towards a career you really want. The ability to learn at your own pace can help you enjoy the course more and improve your overall learning experience. This self-paced style of learning will also give you the opportunity to become a more independent learner, which is very valuable in an industry that is always updating and developing.

Further education

Furthering your education has many benefits, in both the personal and professional sense. It can help job applications stand out, shows a deeper level of knowledge and passion for the subject and can make you eligible for higher level job roles. You will also have the chance to access resources that you may not be able to outside of an educational setting, as well as access plenty of opportunities that may only be available for students. The online course itself will also help you develop important skills that can help you thrive in the workplace. These are known as soft skills and they are a set of personal, non-technical skills, such as problem-solving, time management and communication, all of which you may be constantly using when studying your online course.

Cost

Studying can also be very expensive and may seem unnecessary if you already have a degree or a job. However, as well as the benefits of further education, an online course can often reduce or remove some of the costs that come with being a student, such as travel, accommodation and tuition. Studying an online course means you do not need to relocate and so can work from your own home each day – there is no need to commute or rent term-time accommodation. You can also have the option to continue working and earning money alongside your studies.

If you are considering working in computer science or would like to move you career into this area, then studying an online degree in this field has numerous benefits and could be the perfect career move for you.

 

 

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