BS in Computer Science: The Definitive Guide & Top Schools

With the rapid growth of technology, Computer Science has become an increasingly sought-after skill in today’s job market.

A Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science provides students with the technical knowledge and skills necessary to become successful Computer Scientists.

Completion of this coursework can open doors to a variety of high-paying jobs in a wide range of industries, making it an ideal choice for those looking to start a lasting profession in technology.

Are you considering pursuing a Bachelor’s in Computer Science?

If so, read on to learn more about the curriculum, costs, career outlook, and much more.

What Will I Learn in a Computer Science Program?

To earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, you will be required to complete at least 120 credits.

The curriculum covers a variety of topics that will prepare you for your new career.

The subjects covered include everything from the fundamentals of computer science and programming to the basics of mathematics and calculus and professional communication.

Many programs offer the opportunity to specialize in one specific area of Computer Science, including software engineering, computer and network security, and computer forensics.

While the names and specifics vary from one program to the next, your core classes will include:

  • Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Programming Languages
  • Operating Systems
  • Computer Architecture and Organization
  • Computer Networks
  • Database Systems
  • Software Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Security
  • Computer Simulation and Modeling
  • Web Design and Development
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Calculus
  • Linear Algebra
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Electronics

Most Computer Science programs include a required internship or cooperative experience, in which you will gain hands-on experience in the field.

This internship provides the opportunity to develop real-world skills and build a professional network.

Some programs also include a research project or thesis.

How to Choose a Good Program

It is important for you to be selective when choosing the right Computer Science program.

The program you choose will determine the quality of the education you receive, the opportunities available to you after graduation, and the career path you eventually pursue.

With the right program, you stand to gain a comprehensive education in computer science, with access to research opportunities, internships, and connections to industry professionals.

The following tips will help you select the program that best fits your personal and professional needs:

  1. Research the different programs available. Make sure to read up on the curriculum of each program, the location, the length of time, and the cost of the program.
  2. Consider what type of learning style you prefer. Do you learn best in a physical classroom, online, or in a hybrid environment?
  3. Consider the type of courses and concentrations offered by the program. Consider which courses are most relevant to your career goals.
  4. Look into the faculty and staff of the program. Check to see if they have the qualifications and experience to provide quality education.
  5. Consider the cost of the program. Research the tuition rates, fees, and additional costs associated with the program.
  6. Research the job prospects of graduates from the program. Check to see if graduates are able to find gainful employment after graduating.
  7. Consider the availability of financial aid. Check to see if the program offers any scholarships, grants, or other forms of financial aid to help with the cost of the program.
  8. Check the accreditation of the program. Make sure that the program is properly accredited by ABET.
  9. Talk to someone who has already graduated from the program. Ask them about their experience in the program, their job prospects, and any other advice they can provide.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Bachelor’s in Computer Science?

The time it takes to earn a Bachelor’s in Computer Science varies depending on several factors.

For most students, it takes four years of full-time study to earn a Bachelor’s in Computer Science.

However, the exact time frame can be impacted by the type of institution, your academic history, and your course load.

The type of program, such as a traditional on-campus program versus an online program, can influence the amount of time it takes to complete the degree.

In most cases, credits for courses you have already taken for your undergraduate degree can be transferred and applied to your Computer Science degree.

Work with the admissions representative from your new school to determine which credits are transferable.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Bachelor’s in Computer Science?

The cost of a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science can vary significantly depending on the school and program chosen, whether the school is online or in-person, and whether the student is an in-state or out-of-state resident.

In-state tuition at a public college or university is typically much less expensive than going out-of-state or paying for private school education.

For example, the average tuition cost for an in-state student at a public college or university pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science is around $13,300.

On average, out-of-state tuition at a public college or university for a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science is around $46,497.

Private college or university tuition for a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science is typically between $14,312  and $53,450.

These numbers vary drastically from private to public programs and whether you choose an in-state or out-of-state university.

Generally, online tuition is cheaper than in-person tuition, but some schools may have higher tuition rates for online programs.

On average, the total tuition cost for earning a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science online is around $36,000.

Currently, the least expensive online program is $15,501 and the most expensive is $100,480.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor’s in Computer Science?

Earning a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science opens up a whole host of career opportunities.

You can pursue a career in a variety of fields, including:

Software Developer

A software developer is a computer programmer who designs, builds, and tests software applications.

They are responsible for creating the code that makes up programs, applications, and websites.

They may also be involved in the maintenance of existing software and the development of new software applications.

The career outlook for software developers is very good.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment in the software development industry is projected to grow 25% through 2028.

The growing demand for computer software in a variety of industries and the increasing complexity of software applications are the primary drivers of this growth.

The potential earnings for software developers vary widely depending on experience, location, and industry.

The median annual wage for software developers in 2020 was $107,510.

The top 10% earned more than $166,960 and the bottom 10% earned less than $63,490.

Systems Analyst

A systems analyst is a professional who is responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining computer systems and their related infrastructure.

They must be able to analyze existing systems and create new systems that meet the needs of the organization.

Systems analysts ensure that all systems are running efficiently, are secure, and are compliant with industry standards and regulations.

The career outlook for a systems analyst is very positive.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected employment growth for computer systems analysts will increase by 11.5% through 2029.

The demand for systems analysts is expected to remain high due to the increasing complexity of systems and technology.

The potential earnings for a systems analyst vary depending on the type of organization and its geographic location.

The average salary of a systems analyst in the United States is $80,757 per year.

However, annual earnings can range from $73,052 and $89,598, depending on experience and other factors.

Database Administrator

A Database Administrator (DBA) is responsible for the day-to-day management of an organization’s databases.

This includes ensuring the accuracy, security, and accessibility of data, as well as troubleshooting any issues or queries that may arise.

DBAs are also responsible for developing and implementing database security protocols, as well as managing the backup and recovery of data.

The career outlook for Database Administrators is positive.

As businesses increasingly rely on data-driven decision-making, the need for qualified DBAs will continue to grow.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, the demand for Database Administrators is expected to grow by 9% between 2019 and 2029.

Potential earnings for Database Administrators vary depending on experience and location.

The median salary for DBAs in the United States is around $76,760.

However, experienced DBAs can earn significantly more, with some earning over $110,000 per year.

Additional career opportunities include:

  • Web developer
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning engineer
  • Business analyst
  • User interface designer
  • Information technology specialist
  • Chief information security officer
  • Cloud computing engineer
  • Computer science professor
  • Computer scientist or computer science researcher
  • Data scientist
  • Product Manager
  • Engineering manager
  • Full-stack developer
  • Information security analyst
  • Mobile application designer or developer
  • Network architect
  • Research and development (R&D) scientist
  • Software engineer
  • Software quality assurance manager
  • Software Tester

Should I Get a Bachelor’s in Computer Science?

Pursuing a degree in Computer Science can pave the path toward a rewarding and lucrative career.

With the ever-growing demand for technology and the increased reliance on computer systems, the job outlook for computer science is extremely favorable.

Employment in this industry is projected to grow 11% from 2019 to 2029.

The median annual salary in 2022 was $97,430, more than double the median wage for all occupations (which was $45,760).

With a degree in computer science, you can enjoy a high salary, job security, and a variety of career paths to choose from.