There are several well established and accredited online colleges that offer master’s degrees in computer science. Much like an MBA, the master’s in computer science (or one of its related fields) tickets the graduate for a leadership role, and the master’s programs that you will find online reflect that.
A bachelor’s degree in computer science – or in any other major – provides the liberal arts underpinning that is an essential part of higher education. It is at this level that you will find the course requirements in English composition and literature, in history in the sciences and in the arts.
Undergraduate programs usually include some sort of mathematics requirement, usually finessed by non-science oriented students with a statistics class. In computer science you will probably need polished mathematical skills at the leadership level as well as the operational. It would be wise to look at the mathematics employed in some of the courses for a master’s in computer science while you are still pursuing your bachelor’s, so that you will be prepared. If you are coming to a master’s program some years after completing your bachelor’s in information technology, a refresher course or two in math may be in order.
Capella University has an online program for a master’s in science (MS) in Information Technology, Network Architecture and Design Specialization. These are the core courses:
- Technical Communications Master’s
- Enterprise System and Application Development
- Overview of Enterprise Applications
- Project Management for Technology Professionals
- System Development Theory and Practice
- System Usability Analysis and Design
- Enterprise Application Testing
- Quality Assurance
- Business Foundations
You must choose five of these specialization courses:
- Network Technology
- Enterprise System Security
- Client Server Architecture and Design
- Network Enterprise Architecture and Design
- Advanced Network Technology-Routing
- Advanced Network Technology-Switching
- Advanced Network Technology-Remote Access
- Advanced Network Technology-Troubleshooting
- Ethical and Legal Considerations in Information Technology
- Special Topics in Technology
The title and the curriculum of Capella’s program reflect the purpose of the degree. It provides core courses in management-level applications of computer technology, and then provides specialization options that can take the graduate in a number of directions. That is the type of pragmatism you will find in online master’s programs in computer science.
Both University of Phoenix Online and Kaplan University have MBA programs with specialization in information technology. Both are heavily business-oriented schools.
Kennedy- Western University has a master’s program in Computer Science with a fairly demanding curriculum focusing on programming and computer function:
- Programming Languages
- Computer Science Theory
- Systems Architecture
- Operating Systems I
- Relational Databases
- Analysis of Algorithms
- Object-Oriented Design
- Compiler Design
- Software Engineering
- Artificial Intelligence
- Data Communications Expert
- Systems Development
- Human Computer Interface Design
- The Thesis Proposal
- The Thesis (9 Units)
This course of study comes complete with master’s thesis. Despite the fact that it is distance learning, many online courses provide extensive communication with the faculty that are teaching their courses. Clearly, a thesis proposal and critique is not going to be much different than an on-campus experience. Note also the number of classes in this program that will no doubt require algebra, and perhaps some calculus as well. An online master’s in computer science is the real thing, requiring real effort, and gaining the graduate real payoff.