Online Bachelor's degree in Computer Programming

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Sources

Sources:

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  • Limestone College, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science | Programming, on the Internet at https://www.limestone.edu/academics/science/computer/programming (accessed on June 2019)
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  • Baker College, Undergraduate Studies - Bachelor of Science, Computer Science - Concentration in Computer Programming, on the Internet at https://www.baker.edu/academics/undergraduate-studies/college-of-engineering-and-information-technology/computer-science-concentration-in-computer-programming (accessed on June 10, 2019)
  • Baker College, Online Learning, on the Internet at https://www.baker.edu/academics/resources/online-learning (accessed on June 10, 2019)
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  • Southwestern College Professional Studies, Bachelor's, Computer Programming, on the Internet at https://ps.sckans.edu/degrees-and-certificates/bachelors/computer-programming/ (accessed on June 10, 2019)
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  • Colorado Technical University, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology - Software Application Programming, on the Internet at https://www.coloradotech.edu/degrees/bachelors/it/software-application-programming (accessed on June 10, 2019)
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  • Southwestern College, 2019-2020 Academic Catalog, on the Internet at https://www.sckans.edu/student-services/registrars-office/course-catalogs/ (accessed on June 10, 2019)
  • Southwestern College Professional Studies, Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming Information Brochure, on the Internet at https://ps.sckans.edu/content/upload/files/bachelor_computer_programming_08_28_2018_v3-1.pdf (accessed on June 10, 2019)
  • Southwestern College Professional Studies, Transfer Credits and Training, on the Internet at https://ps.sckans.edu/admissions/transfer-credits-and-training/ (accessed on June 10, 2019)
  • Southwestern College Professional Studies, Online Learning, on the Internet at https://ps.sckans.edu/online-learning/ (accessed on June 10, 2019)
  • Southwestern College Professional Studies, Southwestern College Deets Library, on the Internet at https://ps.sckans.edu/admissions/student-resources/southwestern-college-deets-library/ (accessed on June 10, 2019)
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  • Southwestern College Professional Studies, Career Services, on the Internet at https://ps.sckans.edu/admissions/student-resources/career-services/ (accessed on June 10, 2019)
  • Southwestern College Professional Studies, Southwestern College Online Writing Center, on the Internet at https://ps.sckans.edu/admissions/student-resources/online-writing-center/ (accessed on June 10, 2019)
  • Southwestern College Professional Studies, Financial Resources, on the Internet at https://ps.sckans.edu/financial-aid/financial-resources (accessed on June 10, 2019)
  • Southwestern College Professional Studies, Scholarships & Grants, on the Internet at https://ps.sckans.edu/financial-aid/scholarships-grants (accessed on June 10, 2019)
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The industries that need computer programmers are boundless, which means you may be able to pursue a career in the field that interests you the most -- so if you're really into cars then you may be able to make your career programming for and developing software for the auto industry. An online bachelor's in computer programming can help you develop the technical and soft skills you need to help you succeed.

You can earn an online computer programming degree at the associate, master's and doctoral levels. However, the best online computer programming degree in terms of job prospects is a bachelor's degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Earning your bachelor's in computer programming online can suit individuals who want the same quality of instruction provided by a traditional brick-and-mortar institution but need the flexibility of an online program due to work, family or other commitments. Online programs often suit those who already have a job, are changing careers, or have family commitments.

Online Bachelor's Degree Program in Computer Programming

Prerequisites:

High school diploma or equivalent

Typical Duration:

Up to four years of full-time study

No. of online colleges offering this program:

25

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See Methodology
Ranking Seal
There are a number of online computer programming degree programs out there and choosing the one that suits your needs the best can be an intensely personal decision to make. However, certain factors such as tuition, career services, student-to-faculty ratios and financial aid options can be of common importance to most students. Our methodology, using data from the BLS and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), includes these factors and more.

This list presents you with an unbiased look at the featured online colleges for computer programming degrees. We've also included information on the quality of the program based on participation with NC-SARA or whether they are certified for online program quality.

We have here our methodology as well.

1
Limestone College, Gaffney, SC-
Admission Rate
50%
Graduation Rate
43%
No. of Online Programs
20
Tuition Fees
$24,900
Program Offered:
Online Bachelor's in Computer Science with Programming concentration. The program intends to provide students with a firm grounding in key information technology areas such as programming, systems administration, security and architecture. The program has been designed to challenge students to think creatively and devise unique solutions to various programming problems -- skills that can be valuable in solving business challenges using software systems.
Flexibility:
  • Fully online program; also available in a hybrid format
  • Courses are offered in eight-week terms with six terms per year
  • Students may be required to contact their online instructor once a week
Quality Factors:
  • Limestone College is a SARA-approved institution
  • It is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Credit Hours:
  • A minimum of 123 credit hours
  • Transfer credits may be accepted up to 90 semester hour credits from previously attended regionally accredited institutions
Differentiators:
  • Students may have the option of completing a capstone course where they may need to plan, research and develop a large-scale project based on the concentration
  • Students may also earn credits through testing and examination, for military courses and for other training programs
  • Access to catalogs, databases, writing resources, interlibrary loan services and research guidance from librarians
  • The college assigns an advisor to each student to help with planning and achieving academic goals
  • Live, one-on-one tutorial sessions from the Limestone College Online Writing Lab (LC OWL) for help in writing assignments
Type of Institute:

Private, not-for-profit

Scholarships Offered:

Students who qualify may apply for scholarships such as the Lois Daniels Horton Endowed Scholarship Fund. Please visit the school website for more information.

2
Baker College, Flint, MI-
Admission Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
13%
No. of Online Programs
38
Tuition Fees
$9,360
Program Offered:
Online Bachelor's in Computer Science - Concentration in Computer Programming. The program is designed to prepare students for employment and for higher degree such as a master's in information systems
Flexibility:
  • Fully online program
  • Courses start in fall, spring and summer
  • Courses are not self-paced; classes begin and end on specific dates and assignments are given deadlines
Quality Factors:
  • Baker College is a SARA-approved institution
  • It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • It is an approved institution of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact
  • In 2016, Baker College received the Online Learning Consortium Quality Scorecard Exemplary Endorsement in recognition of the outstanding quality of its online learning programs
Credit Hours:
  • 120 hours
  • Transfer credits may be accepted from previously attended regionally accredited institutions in courses where the student has acquired a grade of C (2.0) or better
Differentiators:
  • Examples of concentration courses included are computer architecture, report builder analytics and python programming
  • Students may be awarded credits for proficiency testing and examination, professional certification and experiential credits for proven skills gained through employment, volunteer, community service, professional organizations, training or military experiences
  • Extensive online library resources are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week
  • Several student services such as tutoring, career guidance and a variety of online resources may be available
Type of Institute:

Private, not-for-profit

Scholarships Offered:

Various scholarships based on academic performance, special interests or specific career objectives are available for students who quality. Please visit the school website for more information.

3
Southwestern College, Winfield, KS-
Admission Rate
97%
Graduation Rate
41%
No. of Online Programs
43
Tuition Fees
$28,600
Program Offered:
Online Bachelor's in Computer Programming Technology. The program addresses the complete dynamic software development life cycle -- including developing initial algorithms, pseudo-code, graphical user interfaces, documenting code, coding and testing, and maintaining designed applications. The aim is to help students gain expertise in designing and developing applications utilizing object-oriented, web and database technologies.
Flexibility:
  • Fully online programs
  • Courses offered in six-week sessions that begin eight times a year
Quality Factors:
  • Southwestern College is accredited the Higher Learning Commission
Credit Hours:
  • A minimum of 124 credit hours
  • A maximum of 64 transfer credits may be accepted from previously attended regionally accredited institutions in courses where the student has acquired a grade of C or better
Differentiators:
  • Students may also be required to complete a capstone course involving two projects to apply and asses the skills gained during the program
  • Access to digital databases with full-text articles, e-books, interlibrary loan resources and research assistance from the Deets Library
  • Online students may consult with academic success coaches for guidance related to the academic program
  • Access to one-on-one web-based consultations as well as online resources and guidance in writing skills
  • Access to a variety of online career planning and development resources
Type of Institute:

Private, not-for-profit

Scholarships Offered:

Scholarships such as the Pathable Scholarship and Student Scholarship Award may be available for students who qualify. To view the complete list, please visit the school website.

Computer Programmers
Average Salary
$108,080
Projected Job Openings
85,500
Projected Job Growth
31%
Computer programmers are typically responsible for writing and testing code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. These professionals work closely with software developers, and in some businesses their duties overlap. In this situation, programmers can do work that is typical of developers, such as designing programs. They usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related subject; however, some employers may hire workers who have other degrees or experience in specific programming languages. Keeping up to date with the newest programming tools can improve job prospects for those interested to pursue this career. According to the BLS, states with the highest employment level in this occupation are California (employment: 29,740; annual mean wage: $97,470), Texas (employment: 20,960; annual mean wage: $91,970), and New York (employment: 15,380; annual mean wage: $91,250).
Software Developers, Applications
Average Salary
$114,000
Projected Job Openings
32,700
Projected Job Growth
11%
Software developers typically manage the entire development process for a software program. They usually start with asking about the customer plans, and identifying the core functionality that they need. Then, software developers determine user requirements that are unrelated to the functions of the software, design the program and give instructions to programmers, who write computer code and test it. To pursue the career of software development, candidates usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. According to the BLS, jobs in this field are projected to grow 24 percent by 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Software developers may be needed to respond to an increased demand for computer software. California (employment: 148,550; annual mean wage: $127,950), Texas (employment: 71,260; annual mean wage: $108,760) and Washington (employment: 53,860; annual mean wage: $131,790) are the states with the highest employment level for this occupation, as stated by the BLS.
Software Developers, Systems Software
Average Salary
$0
Projected Job Openings
0
Projected Job Growth
0%
Software developers in systems software typically research, design, develop, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing applications. They also set operational specifications, formulate and analyze software requirements. Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills. The BLS reports 24 percent projected job growth in this occupation by 2026. The three states with the highest employment level in this occupation include California (employment: 88,910; annual mean wage: $131,700), Texas (employment: 28,720; annual mean wage: $110,740), and Virginia (employment: 27,800; annual mean wage: $119,860).
Source: 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

As you can see from the table above, what you can do with a computer programming degree includes a number of different occupations. Broadly speaking though, computer programmers work closely with software developers to write and test the code needed for a computer program to carry out needed tasks. In smaller businesses, the two roles may overlap. Depending on their field of expertise, computer programmers may write programs in different programming languages like C++ or Java, test completed programs for bugs and fix them or update and expand the scope of existing programs.

Step 1: Needed prerequisites:

According to the College Board, it helps to be a good communicator as you may have to describe highly technical concepts in simple terms to people who are not computer savvy. A big benefit of earning your computer programming degree online can be that potential employers see your ability to work independently, be self-motivated enough to earn a degree while managing other commitments in your life.

Step 2: Education / work experience required:

The BLS reports that most computer programmers have a bachelor's degree in programming although some individuals may enter the field through related degrees like computer science or experience in using a particular programming language. It can be important to gain work experience as well, through internships for example, before entering the field as employers prefer hiring candidates with some experience under their belts.

What certifications do I need to be a computer programmer?

Although computer programmers usually do not require licenses, employers may prefer hiring candidates with professional certifications in specific aspects of the field. Some companies may require their employees to be certified in specific products or languages they use.

Some online bachelor's degree programs in computer programming may prepare you for examinations for vendor-specific or programming language certifications.

Before investing in an expensive professional certification though, it can be important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will this certification qualify me for a better job or help me earn more?
  • Does this certification align with my career goals?

Some certifications may require you to have a certain amount of work experience before you are eligible to sit for the examination. Certifications usually need to be renewed periodically through continuing education classes and/ or reexamination.

These are just a few of the certifications you can earn:

Financial aid and scholarships can help students cross financial barriers toward earning a computer programming degree. Scholarships and grants may be offered by colleges, private foundations, and even companies with a vested interest in churning out more computer programmers. Some scholarships to help you get started in your search are:

The industries that pay the highest are not necessarily the ones with the largest employment numbers. Nonresidential building construction companies pay the most followed by companies involved in securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities.

Washington, the home of Microsoft and Amazon, is the top state for software developers with the highest wages. For those interested in pursuing a career in software development, the table below gives in-depth information about the various states, metropolitan areas and salary figures from the BLS.

By States
By Metropolitan
StateEmploymentAnual Mean Wage
Washington53,860$131,790
California148,550$127,950
New York52,640$116,830
Virginia38,110$113,690
Texas71,260$108,760
New Jersey46,930$107,640
North Carolina30,580$103,280
Illinois30,500$96,610
Florida38,160$95,610
Ohio35,100$95,090
MetropolitanEmploymentAnual Mean Wage
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA42,460$144,050
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA50,940$133,590
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA50,440$131,720
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV33,530$117,450
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA78,380$117,010
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA29,890$114,900
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX34,260$111,010
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH29,270$110,240
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA27,030$106,450
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI26,860$97,780

Advanced degrees may help you move into higher-level roles like software design or development. You may also be able to enter research and academia should you decide you want to advance your career with a doctoral degree.

Graduate degrees in the field usually fall under the computer science banner and can take up to two years to complete. Doctoral degrees, which may take up to seven years, may allow you to work on large projects in high-level management roles or teach university courses.

Gaining experience using different languages may also allow you to climb the career ladder and advance to more responsible positions including managing entire teams and project.

Fact: The Encyclopedia Britannica suggests that the computer world has more than 2,000 programming languages that are in use today, with some being used more commonly than others.

Sources
Methodology:

To be included in our rankings for the top colleges for online degrees in business administration by degree level all colleges had to meet the following 4 requirements:

    1. Offer a bachelor's degree in that subject, either in an online or hybrid format
    2. Have at least 1% of students attending some form of distance education
    3. Have awarded at least one bachelor's degree in that subject in 2016-17
    4. Have reported data for all 19 ranking variables for bachelor's and 11 ranking variables for master's (listed below)

We then ranked 115 colleges and universities in the United States that fit our criteria, using 2016-17 data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the weights specified. We then scored the final list of colleges by degree level on a 100-point scale using these specific data points:

      1. Bachelor's Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
      2. Ratio of undergraduate students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
      3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
      4. Retention rate
      5. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
      6. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students
      7. Student-to-faculty ratio
      8. Variety of Programs, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered via distance education at any level
      9. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
      10. The availability of any tuition plans: Payment
      11. The availability of any tuition plans: Guaranteed
      12. The availability of any tuition plans: Prepaid
      13. The availability of any tuition plans: Other
      14. Services: Academic/Career
      15. Placement for Completers
      16. Credit offerings: Dual
      17. Credit offerings: Life
      18. Credit offerings: AP
      19. Credit offerings: Military
Sources:
      Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
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