Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs

Professionals armed with a master’s degree in computer science are poised for career advancement in a growing industry with diverse opportunities. Graduates can find employment in many niche markets including: mobile application development, big data analytics, healthcare IT, video game design and software architecture and development.

Employers seek computer science experts skilled in a number of areas, including: artificial intelligence, algorithm development, data mining and security. And from software development to security analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts this field will continue to grow at a rate upwards of 20% for most job sectors.

With a high demand for qualified and skilled computer science professionals, taking education to the next level is a wise move for those in this industry. And while bachelor’s degree holders will have a solid foundation in computer science, they simply won’t have the same in-depth knowledge or specialized skills a candidate with a master’s degree possesses. An online master’s provides an affordable and flexible graduate option that also allows professionals to continue working while pursuing their degrees.

General and specialized studies offer a broad range of opportunities. To help narrow your search, we provide the following top 25 online master’s in computer science programs.

Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlanta225 North Ave
Atlanta, GA 30332-0530
(404) 894-2000

One of the nation's leading public universities, Georgia Tech was founded in 1885 to help the South rebuild during Reconstruction. Originally a mechanical engineering school, the Atlanta-based institution has grown to become a comprehensive research university specializing in the STEM disciplines. More than 21,500 technology students are enrolled in the institute's six schools and colleges, with just under 10,000 of them pursuing graduate degrees. Dozens of Georgia Tech's programs are ranked nationally, including the school's online master's in computer science.

Georgia Tech partnered with Udacity and AT&T to create one of the country's most unique computer science graduate programs. The 30-credit online master of science in computer science was the first to follow the "massive online" format (MOOC), which has become popular for free, open-source, web-based education. While Georgia Tech is not gratis, it is relatively inexpensive. The format allows for more interaction between students, peers, and faculty than traditional online platforms, and it fosters mentoring. Participants can specialize in four fields: computational perception and robotics; interactive intelligence; computing systems; and machine learning. The degree requires a bachelor's, preferably in computer science, with a 3.0 GPA or better.

2University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUniversity Park
Los Angeles, CA 90089
(213) 740-2311

Located in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is an educational giant, with 21 schools and colleges. The public, four-year, research university is the single largest employer in LA, with an economic impact of more than $8 billion annually. Of the 44,000 students enrolled, 7,300 attend online and more than 25,000 are in graduate programs. From the arts to the sciences, USC is a national leader.

USC has 88 online degrees, and all of them are graduate and professional programs. The online computer science master's degree has five areas of specialization. Students can take the school of engineering's traditional 30-credit master of science in computer science. The curriculum offers a broad overview of computer systems, languages, designs, and applications. Students can also enroll in a more specialized track such as: computer security; data science; multimedia and creative technologies; software engineering; or scientists and engineers. Most classes have real-time and asynchronous components and involve peer-to-peer connections with both fellow online learners and on-campus students.

3University of Minnesota - Twin CitiesMinneapolis$$$$$100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213
(612) 625-5000

The U of M is a public land-grant university where students actively participate in major research alongside their professors. Based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, with campuses three miles apart, the school has a student population of 30,000. About half of the students are in graduate programs. Part of the prestigious Association of American Universities, U of M is often referred to as a "Public Ivy." The school's master's in computer science online prepares students for careers in programming, technology companies, systems engineering, and big business.

The master of computer science program follows a 31-credit curriculum and is delivered by the university's UNITE Distributed Learning Office. Coursework includes synchronous events and asynchronous lessons. Classes include subjects such as: modern cryptography; animation and planning in games; and computational aspects of matrix theory. UNITE faculty coordinate proctored exams for students in remote locations. U of M Online offers resources to online students on its site that includes technology support, advising, digital tutorials, and free training courseware.

4Illinois Institute of TechnologyChicago3300 S Federal St
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 567-3000

Founded in 1890, the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) is one of the country's leading research institutions. The Chicago-based school has a history of innovation. It is associated with advancements like skyscraper architecture, cellphones, barcodes, and recording technology. IIT offers cutting-edge online programming and more traditional degree programs.

IIT was one of the first schools to pioneer technology-based distance learning, using television to deliver programs as far back as the 1970s. Today, IIT Online offers dozens of degrees entirely through the web, including two master's in computer science. The 30-credit master of computer science program explores the concepts, systems, and practical application of computers in the modern world. Students can specialize in 11 different areas including: business, database systems, and software engineering. Participants can elect to complete a major project or additional coursework. The other degree track is a master of science in computer science, designed for students who want to continue on to a PhD program or a career in research and development. IIT Online offers a full range of support services to virtual students.

5University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaign$$$$$601 E John Street
Champaign, IL 61820-5711
(217) 333-1000

Referred to as "Illinois", the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is known for far-reaching research, top-tier educational opportunities, and its status as one of the founders of the Big Ten. More than 44,000 attend, pursuing 150 degree programs at the baccalaureate, graduate, and post-graduate levels. At the forefront of web-based learning – the university offered one of the oldest off-site programs as far back as 1948 – Illinois now hosts Illinois Online, where students select from over 75 degree programs.

In the 32-credit professional master's in computer science, distance learners receive the same lectures and assignments as their on-campus counterparts. The non-thesis program is composed of coursework only. A specialized data science concentration is an option. The degree takes three to five years to complete.

6Stevens Institute of TechnologyHobokenCastle Point On Hudson
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5991
(201) 216-5000

One of the country's oldest technology schools, Stevens sits across the river from Manhattan in Hoboken, New Jersey. Since its founding in 1870, the institute has built a national reputation for innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and community service. The 3,600 graduate students outnumber the school's undergraduates in the institution's four schools. With a student to faculty ratio of 10:1, all learners enjoy a close relationship to the faculty. Stevens' online arm, the WebCampus, offers 18 degree programs, including an online master's in computer science.

The computer science masters at Stevens' school of engineering and science takes a broad look at the nature of computer technology. It covers operating systems, languages, applications, systems, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. At least 21 of the 30-credits required for graduation must come from computer science courses. The degree is customizable with electives; possible focus areas might be: cloud computing, data mining, gaming, security, web applications, mobile computing, and software development. Students interested in computer science might also appreciate some of Stevens' other online master's offerings: computer engineering, information systems, networking, information and data engineering, enterprise and cloud computing, and software engineering.

7University of Illinois at SpringfieldSpringfield$$$$$One University Plaza
Springfield, IL 62703-5407
(217) 206-6600

The University of Illinois system (UIS) boasts small classes and close relationships between students and faculty. Located near Lake Springfield, about 200 miles southwest of Chicago, the school offers a variety of programs that include 31 bachelor's degrees, 20 master's degrees, and one doctoral program. The student population of about 5,000 is split roughly in half between undergraduates and graduates students. More than 1,600 are enrolled in UIS' online programs, and criminal science is the most popular graduate program.

The 8 course, 32-credit curriculum of UIS' online master's in computer science emphasizes software. Students delve deep into the design, function, use, and management of software applications through classes like discrete structures, systems programming languages, and data structures and algorithms. Other topics in the computer science master's degree program include security and information assurance. Classes are cohort based. Applicants with a baccalaureate background in computing are preferred; the GRE is not required. UIS publishes a newsletter twice annually to keep its web-based students up-to-date, and it hosts a brunch for online students at graduation.

8Southern Methodist UniversityDallas6425 Boaz St
Dallas, TX 75275-0221
(214) 768-2000

As its name suggests, Dallas-based Southern Methodist University was founded in 1911 by the Methodist Church. A private research institution, the school is now non-sectarian in its academics and promotes independent and creative thinking. One of the country's most powerful academic supercomputers is used for research at the university.

SMU's online computer science master's takes an interdisciplinary approach and features a great deal of networking, collaboration with peers, and face time with professors. In the master of science in data science program students attend live classes delivered through the web. They also participate in study groups and social networking. Periodic on campus "immersions," meetings with faculty, guest speakers, and classmates, are required. A wide array of support services is available to online students, from tech support and platform help to advising and library access.

9University of Hawaii at ManoaHonolulu$$$$$2500 Campus Road, Hawaii Hall
Honolulu, HI 96822-2217
(808) 956-8111

The University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH) is located three miles from downtown Honolulu. UH was founded in 1907 as Hawaii's land-, sea-, and space-grant institution, and it's become known as a research leader in oceanography, astronomy, genetics, and tropical agriculture. About a third of the school's 18,000 students come from outside the state, and they represent 126 different countries, giving the school an international feel. UH created its distance learning program to extend educational opportunities to students in remote areas of the Hawaiian Islands, and it now serves learners all around the globe.

The university's online master's in computer science is aimed at students who are interested in a high-level position at a tech company or want to earn a PhD in the subject. The 31-credit master of science in computer science program focuses on software, its construction, uses, and maintenance. Students can select between the thesis or capstone track. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, a 3.0 GPA, and three consecutive semesters in a programming language. They also must have passed the GRE and completed a year-long course in calculus. UH offers a wealth of services to online learners, including IT support, library access, and proctoring help.

10Nova Southeastern UniversityFort Lauderdale$$$$$3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300

Established in 1964, Nova opened its doors in Fort Lauderdale as a technology school with revolutionary ideas about learning. The private, non-profit school is a research institution with 24,000 students studying in centers across Florida, the U.S., and around the world. Nova is a national leader in online learning.

The 36-credit curriculum of Nova's master of science in computer science program gives participants a solid foundation in the basics of computer programming and usage and encourages critical thinking and problem solving. Classes explore algorithms, operating systems, languages, and software engineering. Six areas of concentration allow students to tailor their degree to their field of interest. They include: theory, computer systems, software engineering, data science, real-world computing, and a security specialization recognized by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. Nova's online platform puts a premium on interaction and collaboration and it features many real-time components.

11The University of Tennessee - KnoxvilleKnoxville$$$$$527 Andy Holt Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-1000

One of the oldest public universities in the country, the University of Tennessee was founded two years before Tennessee even entered the Union. Set on 600 acres in the city of Knoxville, it's the flagship of the public university system in the Volunteer State and its biggest institution. More than 6,000 of Tennessee's 28,000 students are pursuing graduate and professional degrees. The school's virtual campus, Vols Online, offers over a dozen master's programs, including a master's in computer science online.

The Master of Science in Information Science is a 36-credit program that explores the use, dissemination, collection, and role of information in modern America. It uses the Internet to connect remote learners to on-campus classrooms with many classes running in real time, using the school's Zoom application, which allows students anywhere to participate in lectures, discussions, and seminars. The program kicks off and ends in Knoxville, with a mandatory 1-day orientation and a final exam or thesis defense. Admission requires a baccalaureate degree and preferably a GPA of 3.25 or better. UT is transitioning from the Blackboard platform to Canvas.

12New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUniversity Heights
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 596-3000

Located in Newark's University Heights neighborhood, New Jersey Institute of Technology is one of the nation's top public polytechnic universities, and it's been on a growth spurt since 2005, doubling the size of its campus. Known for innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in STEM-related business, NJIT is home to 11,400 students, pursuing 128 undergrad and graduate degrees, in six schools and colleges. Online education has been a priority at the school – NJIT has long been a "computing intensive" place – and it now offers a baker's dozen graduate degrees, including an online master's in computer science.

NJIT's College of Computer Science has a national reputation for excellence. Its Master of Science in Computer Science degree was designed to allow working computer professionals to advance their careers while remaining on the job. The 30-credit program focuses on critical reasoning, algorithms, and programming and has three specialization tracks: Generalist; Networking; and Databases and Data Mining. Coursework is delivered over five, fourteen-week semesters. The GRE and GMAT are not required for admission. Online information sessions are hosted several times a month.

13University of Massachusetts - LowellLowell$$$$$1 University Ave
Lowell, MA 01854-5104
(978) 934-4000

UMass Lowell sits astride the Merrimac River about thirty miles northwest of Boston. The university's reputation has been on the rise for the past decade, and it's grown into a major northeast regional research institution. The school is now ranked 13th in the nation for intellectual property created. Its 19,000 students make it the second-largest public university in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts behind UMass. UMass Lowell has put a lot of work into its online arm, making its virtual campus into a national leader. The university now offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees online.

The Department of Computer Science's Master of Information Technology degree is a ten-course program centered around networking. Linux, Apple, and Windows operating systems are all explored, and classes are all taught by experienced, full-time faculty or adjunct faculty working in the disciplines they teach. The curriculum includes security analysis, mobile computing, routing, cloud computing, and system administration. Tech support is offered 24/7, and students can "test drive" a course on UMass Lowell's site.

14La Salle UniversityPhiladelphia$$$$$1900 W Olney Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19141-1199
(215) 951-1000

A private Catholic institution affiliated with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, La Salle was named after the patron saint of teaching. The school is a comprehensive, coeducational university with 60 programs from the associate's to the doctoral level. The student body numbers around 5,600, with 1,700 enrolled in graduate and professional studies, and the student to faculty ratio is a tight 12:1. Most classes are kept under 20. LaSalle has eight fully online graduate degree programs, including a master's in computer science online.

The three goals of the Master of Science in Computer Information Science are to ready students for project management, problem solving, and solution implementation. Classes are offered in accelerated, eight-week sessions, twice a semester, and delivered in a collaborative, real-time, synchronous manner, emphasizing group work. Students are expected to be attending classes full time. Requirements for graduation include a capstone project and residencies for tests and presentations. LaSalle also offers a cybersecurity master's. Accreditation is through the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges.

15University of West GeorgiaCarrollton$$$$$1601 Maple St
Carrollton, GA 30118-0001
(678) 839-5000

A public school of 13,000 located 45 miles west of Atlanta, the University of West Georgia got its start in 1906 as the Fourth District Agricultural and Mechanical School. These days, the Carrollton-based institution is a comprehensive research university and a growing regional power in the Southeast with 86 programs in 7 colleges and schools. Grad students account for 2,000 in the student population, enrolled in 9 graduate programs.

UWG has a wealth of degree options available on its virtual campus. The two-year, 36-credit Master of Science with a Major in Applied Computer Science is unusual among online master's in computer science programs in that it's aimed at professionals holding any undergraduate degree. Delivered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats, the program offers a broad overview of all aspects of the discipline, from programming and languages to databases and networking. Student must complete two projects, usually team oriented and emphasizing real-world skills. No credits can be transferred in. A cyber-learning readiness assessment is available at UWG online.

16Hofstra University
, NY
() -

Hofstra began operation in 1935 as an offshoot of New York University. Twenty-five miles east of New York City, the school became its own entity two years later. It's now the largest private college on Long Island, with 12,000 students, about 25 percent of whom are in graduate and professional studies. Hofstra offers 320 different programs, split in half between undergrad and graduate. Known for its schools of law and medicine, the university also has a strong computer science department at the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science, home of the Big Data Lab.

The online computer science master's at Hofstra aims to both ready students for careers in computing and prepare those interested in further study. Participants in the 30-credit Master of Science in Computer Science program develop a broad base of knowledge in algorithms, programming, and operating systems, and can specialize in two areas: web engineering and networking and security. Students can also use electives to create their own area of concentration with their faculty advisor, and the teachers have wide-ranging expertise, including cloud computing, data mining, artificial intelligence, computer vision, neuroscience, security, and languages. A capstone project or thesis is required to graduate. Hofstra online graduate programming has won national recognition.

17University of BridgeportBridgeport$$$$$126 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604-5620
(203) 576-4000

A private four-year school on Long Island Sound in Bridgeport, Connecticut, "UB" is one of the country's most diverse schools. Students hail from 45 states and 80 countries, and the university has one of the highest percentages of graduates who participated in the English as a Second Language Program. The student population of 5,500 is divided almost in half by undergrads and graduate students, pursuing degrees in more than 125 academic fields. Founded in 1927, UB has many venerable Victorian homes on campus that used to be owned by circus showman P.T. Barnum and his family.

UB offered its first online master's degree course in 1997 and has been refining ever since. The school's online computer science master's is a 34-credit program that was designed to allow students to earn their degree taking two classes at a time, for two years, while maintaining their professional careers. Required courses for the Master of Science in Computer Science degree include object oriented programming using C++, operating systems, analysis of algorithms, and data and computer communication, among others. Students must take the engineering colloquium series of seminars and complete a master's project. Coursework is delivered asynchronously for maximum flexibility. A raft of services for online students is available at UB's online page.

18East Carolina UniversityGreenville$$$$$East 5th Street
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
(252) 328-6131

The third-largest university in a state known for big schools, East Carolina is a public research institution in Greenville, North Carolina. Established in 1907 as a teacher's college, ECU is now a comprehensive university, offering 88 bachelor's, 72 master's, and 5 doctoral programs, along with an array of professional certification options. Of the 29,000 students enrolled, 5,500 are in graduate studies. The school has become known as a frontrunner in online education, with over 90 degree programs available through the web. These include several options of interest to anyone looking for an online master's in computer science.

ECU's traditional Master of Science in Computer Science program is for students preparing for careers in the private sector or continuing on in academia. The 30-credit curriculum explores all facets of the discipline – programming languages, OS, applications, computer architecture, and engineering – and encourages problem solving and critical thinking skills. ECU also hosts master's programs in software engineering and network technologies in its virtual classrooms. The networking degree has several possible specialties, including web technology, info security, digital communications, and network management.

19James Madison UniversityHarrisonburg$$$$$800 South Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
(540) 568-6211

Founded in 1908 as a women's teacher's college, James Madison is a public, coed, research university set in the Shenandoah Valley city of Harrisonburg. Considered one of the top public institutions in the South, JMU provides access to 124 degree programs, from the bachelor's to doctoral level, to a student body of more than 21,000. The Virginia school is largely an undergrad, residential place, and grad students number less than 2,000. But the universities 46 master's programs are recognized for excellence – JMU's online master's in computer science, for example, has been lauded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.

JMU's Master of Science in Information Security is one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind in the country, offered every year since its inception in 1997. Aimed at working professionals, the 33-credit cohort-based curriculum takes a highly technical approach to cybersecurity. Applicants should have a background in computer science and be comfortable with C++ programming, computer architecture, data structures, and discrete math. There are no residency requirements. Online students at JMU have access to career planning, the Communication Resource Center, the Counseling Center, peer-assisted tutoring, the Writing Center, and more.

20The University of West FloridaPensacola$$$$$11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514-5750
(850) 474-2000

From its campus on a nature preserve in Pensacola, Florida, the University of West Florida is a public, space-grant, research institution that has quietly become a leader in online education. Part of the State University System of Florida, UWF hosts more than 600 courses in its virtual classrooms and has over 50 degrees that can be earned entirely in cyberspace. The school is home to 13,000 students, 3,000 of them pursuing graduate studies, and more than half (7,600) take at least one online course. Roughly a third of students do all their learning virtually. Out-of-state residents enrolled in web-delivered programs are granted a waiver that makes their tuition costs only slightly more than in-state costs.

UWF's Online Campus programs are designed specifically for non-traditional and adult learners. The school's online master's in computer science offers three distinctly different pathways – Computer Science, Database Systems, and Software Engineering. All are specialized versions of the Masters of Science in Computer Science program and follow 30-credit curriculums. They require an undergrad degree, preferably in computing, the GRE, and letters of recommendation. The computer science concentration explores the theoretic underpinning of computing and can be specialized further with focus areas in cybersecurity and data analytics. All courses in the degree are delivered synchronously.

21Colorado State UniversityFort Collins$$$$$102 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523-0100
(970) 491-1101

Fort Collins is the flagship campus of the Colorado State University system. With 30,000 students, it's by far the largest, dwarfing CSU Pueblo's 5,000, and it's generally called simply Colorado State. A comprehensive, land-grant, research university, the school offers 77 graduate, 72 undergrad, and 44 doctoral degrees. CSU's virtual Global Campus hosts 21 more, including an online computer science master's.

CSU's has been offering a distance computer science master's for more than 30 years and has it down to a . . . science. The 35-credit Master of Computer Science program is the same as the one offered on-campus, providing students with an extensive background in software engineering, parallel computing, networking, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. Students can use electives to tailor the degree to their interests and often get involved in cutting-edge research. Up to three courses can be taken before being admitted to the program and still count toward the degree requirements. CSU also has a master's in computer information systems.

22Drexel UniversityPhiladelphia$$$$$3141 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 895-2000

With three campuses in Philadelphia and one online, serving more than 26,000 students, Drexel is among the nation's biggest private universities. A comprehensive research institution, with over 200 degree programs from the bachelor's to doctoral level, the school has been a longtime champion of experiential learning and web-based education. (It's also one of the top ten employers in Philly.) Drexel Online is now home to more than 5,100 students, and it has several online computer science master's programs.

The Master of Science in Computer Science is the most traditional, a 45-credit curriculum that teaches students the basic precepts of the field – and how to use them to solve real-world problems. Students can select electives from related fields, like electrical engineering, and information science, and opt for thesis or non-thesis tracks to customize their education. Other master's possibilities from Drexel Online are: cybersecurity, software engineering, information systems, library and information science, and health informatics. Drexel's "Digital Dragons," have access to ‘round-the-clock tech help, the W.W. Hagerty Library, the Writing Center, and the Steinbright Career Center.

23Old Dominion UniversityNorfolk$$$$$5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-3000

"ODU" was founded in 1930 as a Norfolk, Virginia-based extension of the College of William and Mary. Today, it's a massive research institution with four extended campus centers of its own, and it's one of the country's foremost purveyors of online degrees. The student population numbers around 24,000, and about 4,500 are doing graduate work, enrolled in over 150 degree programs from the baccalaureate to doctoral level. Despite the university's size, students maintain a close relationship with faculty – the ratio is 19:1. About a third of students attend class in cyberspace, and more than 13,500 students have graduated remotely.

Old Dominion has more than 30 years of experience delivering degrees over distance. The school's master's in computer science online is a 34-credit program that has won plaudits for both excellence and affordability. The curriculum of the Master of Science in Computer Science degree provides a rigorous grounding in cybersecurity, bioinformatics, networking, and computational foundations. Students can elect to pursue a coursework-only track or do a master's project or thesis. Classes are delivered in an asynchronous format and follow the university's semester schedule.

24University of IdahoMoscow875 Perimeter Drive
Moscow, ID 83844-2282
(888) 884-3246

Located in the city of Moscow, the University of Idaho is the oldest public university in Idaho, founded in 1889. The state's land-grant, research institution, the "U of I" is consistently ranked among the nation's best universities. With additional campuses in Boise, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, and Twin Falls – and a thriving campus online – the school serves a student body of 11,000 students. Across the decades, the home of the Vandals has become recognized for its green campus, outdoor recreation, community service, and affordability.

The university's Department of Distance and Extended Education's Master's of Science in Computer Science is a 30-credit degree program exploring the practical and theoretical role of computing in science, business, academia, and society at large. Students can opt for a thesis or non-thesis track. Coursework consists of on-campus lectures recorded in high definition. Exams are done local to the student with approved proctors. A handbook covering Engineering Outreach programs can be downloaded at Idaho's site. An undergraduate degree in computing is not a prerequisite but it is preferred. The GRE is required, and applicants should have an undergrad GPA of 3.0.

25National UniversityLa Jolla$$$$$11255 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037-1011
(800) 628-8648

A private institution based in La Jolla, California, National University has been expanding since its founding in 1971, and it's now one of the largest nonprofit universities in California. Part of the National University System, NU has 28 locations around country, and a continually growing virtual campus. Its six schools and colleges offer 120 degree programs. Ninety of them can be earned entirely through the web, including an array of online master's in computer science.

The Master of Science in Computer Science and Information Systems itself is a generalist degree, giving students a thorough understanding of computer dynamics, software production, programming, databases, and cloud computing. Once the core courses are met, participants can select from three specializations – database engineering, advanced computing, and software engineering. The curriculum culminates in two master projects, where students use their newly acquired skills to solve real-world problems for real-world clients. Other master's level computer degree programs at NU include: cybersecurity and information assurance and management information systems. Online programs at use the Blackboard platform and are available 24/7.

Career Outlook

A master’s degree in computer science demonstrates to employers a high-level of knowledge, perseverance and ability. At this level, professionals are well-trained in their craft and posses in-depth understanding of the theory and applications necessary to produce high-quality work in a number of computer languages. With the proper education, candidates holding a master’s in comp sci. are considered highly hireable in a nearly countless number of sectors, be they in healthcare, education, the corporate sector or with an ambitious startup, to name only a few.

The following is a sample of potential career destinations for those with an online Master of Computer Science degree. Shown are median salaries and predicted job growth for 2012-2022.

  • Software Developer
    2012 Median Pay: $93,350
    Job Outlook: 23%
  • Computer Programmer
    2012 Median Pay: $74,280
    Job Outlook: 8%
  • Security Analyst
    2012 Median Pay: $86,170
    Job Outlook: 37%
  • Web Developer
    2012 Median Pay: $62,500
    Job Outlook: 20%
  • Computer Information and Systems Manager
    2012 Median Pay: $120,950
    Job Outlook: 15%

Keys To Online Success

Embrace the technology. No degree could be more appropriate to obtain online than one in computer science. Coursework is completed using the very technology students are learning to develop. Even if your specialization seems far removed from any tools used for your studies, soak up as much as possible. Utilize any tools available. Learn from them. Improve upon them. Don’t miss the unique opportunity to apply the very methods you are using for learning to further the career for which they prepare you.

Go deep. Online programs typically allow flexibility in studies due to scheduling, affordability and a wide-range of electives. Through careful selection of coursework, students can gain a broad knowledge-base and in-depth skill in a specialized area. Depending on career goals, both can be profitable. A wide foundation will make you well-equipped for many projects and jobs, and a deep understanding of one facet of the industry can place you in high demand for that sector.

Next Steps

Stay trendy. Don’t grow stagnant after completing your master’s degree. This industry is fast-paced and extremely dynamic. Never stop training on new technology and developments. Even if your current employer does not require you to employ certain languages or areas of expertise while working, you should make a concerted effort in your own time to keep your skills sharp.

Network. Especially if you plan to do any freelance work, connections are essential. Join professional networking, user or meet-up groups. Use LinkedIn to meet your fellow professionals. Find out who’s excelling and make a connection online or have coffee. Future opportunities for projects, employment or finding potential employees for your own company hinge on these connections.