At Computer Science Zone we pride ourselves on quality independent rankings created with the demographics that are most likely to take online degrees: continuing learners, busy professionals or parents, or students looking for more flexibility and affordability than traditional degree programs (brick and mortar) can typically grant. While our methodology changes from ranking to ranking to highlight the most important aspects of each unique degree type, we typically try to focus on affordability and flexibility as much as academic prestige.
Typical Ranking Methodology:
- Time-until-degree (1/4): the estimated time-until-degree for the fastest possible route through a program.
- Number of specializations (1/4): the number of specializations, emphases, or customizable tracks in a program.
- Affordability (1/4): the estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour for a program (if out-of-state is applicable).
- Academic Reputation (1/4): the academic reputation, as established by average class size, range of support services, admittance rate, and other factors.
Computer science is the scientific study of computers and their uses, including software, programming languages, information systems, information technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Computer scientists, programmers, IT workers, data scientists, and web developers are all highly compensated, in high demand, and can excel in nearly every industry. Computer science is also one of the best degrees for those wishing to forge their own path or create a business of their own.
Information Technology is the field of study that is defined by a clear dedication to the practical applications of computers in a work environment. The most popular careers in IT are software/app development, computer systems analytics, information security analytics, and computer user support specialty. The IT degree offers students a unique opportunity to both work with technology and serve people in tech support, which is also one the highest in-demand markets in IT. Besides being a lucrative, in-demand, and ever-evolving career path, some students may find it advantageous to note that IT programs are generally less math-heavy than computer science or computer information systems programs.
Graduates with degrees in CIS have a number of career options, including C-suite job titles like Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), both of which tend to earn salaries well above the $100,000 mark. That’s in addition to high-demand jobs like IT Director and IT Security personnel, who tend to earn salaries in the upper quartile of the $100,000 mark, making a B.S. in Computer Information Systems one of the most highly desired degrees in the entire United States.
While there are a continually growing number of ways to get your programming chops up to date online (moocs, tutors, forums, other learning platforms), sometimes you just need a good old fashioned degree. Sometimes it just takes all the support, the time, effort, and late nights going through school to get to your goals. But not everyone can attend traditional classes. Luckily, there are a growing number of online bachelor’s degrees in computer science, information technology, and information management systems. There are also tons of specializations and certificates, with some of the most promising being in cyber security as well as mobile development.
Particularly at the masters level, degrees in IT can provide comfortable paychecks. Information security analysts, network architects, and database administrators (all positions for which a masters in information technology would be a good fit), can all easily earn over $85,000 a year. If you find yourself thinking about how to solve complex business problems with the use of technology, or are already in the field and want to climb up the ranks of your organization, masters in IT degrees can be a great fit. Check out our ranking below!
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer and Information Technology employment is expected to grow 12 percent through 2024, or about a half-million jobs, much faster than the national average. Predictably enough, there’s also big money in the IT field: the median annual wage was $81,430 in May 2015, which is nearly $50,000 higher than average. For Information Systems Managers, the news is even better, with 15% employment growth through 2024 and a median pay of $131,600 per year.