The options for education and the number of degrees available are as varied as the computer industry itself. There are degrees available at every major college and university today; there are many choices in online education as well. Students with some electronics or engineering background may find the continuing education options online to be a convenient option. Students who are beginning their post-secondary education pursuits have choices online as well, and a remarkable number options at traditional universities.
For purposes of illustration, we’ll explore a single school’s curriculum. One large public university offers bachelor’s degrees in computer science that focus on subdivided areas.
Computer science degrees are offered through the school’s department of engineering. One degree is in electrical and computer engineering. Each student must select one of four options as an area of specialty: those are electronics; communications networks and systems; computer systems; and general course of study. The electronics option explores integrated circuits, their manufacture and design and other macro and micro areas of electronics. The networking major is self explanatory. Computer systems is about the design of computers, operating, database and programming systems. General Studies allows the student who is uncertain about a career choice to obtain an overview with some study in each area of the engineering aspects.
There is a bachelor’s degree in computer science for students interested in all areas of the field. These include algorithms, artificial intelligence, computer graphics and database engineering. There is also a bachelor of arts degree with the same major requirements but different core courses that focus on such areas of study as the theory of computation; programming languages and algorithm construction.
This university also has a master’s and a PhD program in computer science. There are two options in the master’s program: one is designed for students who intend to complete their education with this degree and enter the industry. The other is for those who will be proceeding to the doctoral program. Options in the PhD program include a focus on communication, computation and statistics; there is also a specialization in nanotechnology.
Online choices tend to have titles that are a little more pragmatic. University of Phoenix Online has no degrees in computer science per se: they do, however, offer a number of related bachelor’s degrees. These include degrees in business specializing in e-business or information systems and a bachelor’s in information technology. They offer an MBA in technology management and a master’s in information systems.
Capella University has bachelor’s degrees in information technology; network technology; project management; and graphics and multimedia. Their master’s programs include network architecture, information security; information technology; and system design and programming. All of these are areas of computer science, designed to make the graduate employable in the chosen field of study.
Computer science programs at traditional universities tend to include a broader base of education and take longer to complete. The online computer science programs are designed to provide thorough knowledge of a specific area of expertise, can be taken by people holding down full time jobs and usually can be completed in a shorter period than a degree from a traditional school.