Have you ever jumped out of your chair when someone walked up behind you suddenly? Once you see who it is, you calm down quickly, but your initial reaction of fear and surprise is because the person’s presence was unknown and unexpected. Many people are afraid of what they don’t know (like what to expect from an online computer science degree program), but knowledge and understanding can help calm those fears, just as knowing who walked up behind you gets rid of the fear from your initial reaction.
Adult learners going back to school often have anxiety about taking college courses or whether they can be successful in their degree program. If you’re getting ready to start an online computer science degree, we’ve got the low-down on what to expect so that you aren’t taken by surprise when you begin your classes.
1. The Computer Science Bachelor’s Degree requires 126 credit hours.
Each class is 3 or 4 credit hours, so that’s a total of 38 classes that you will need to complete successfully to earn the degree. If you have college credits already, you might be able to transfer them to Grantham to reduce the number of courses you need to graduate. Classes start weekly and it usually takes about 8 weeks to finish a class. This gives you the flexibility to work at a pace that will meet the demands of your life outside school, and it allows you to finish the degree faster than you typically would at a traditional college campus.
2. You will need to login to your classes regularly.
Even though your class is online, you won’t be working completely alone. An important part of the learning process is interacting with your teachers and participating in discussion with your classmates. For an online computer science degree, this interaction and discussion takes place online instead of in the classroom, so even if you finish all your assignments early, you’ll still need to check into your class regularly to be successful.
3. An Online Computer Science Degree isn’t all computer classes.
To be successful in the computer science industry, you need more than just technical skills. You will also take classes in communication, government and life science. One of the greatest challenges some IT professionals face in their jobs is effectively communicating the problems and appropriate solutions to others in the company. Having a solid foundation in general education classes will ultimately help you get ahead in your career.
In addition to general education and computer-specific classes, you’ll take a lot of science and math classes. The computer and technology industry is constantly changing, so knowing how to navigate the specific programming and technology issues that are currently out there will only get you so far. You also need to understand the theory and fundamentals behind computer technology so that you can continue to learn and adapt as technology changes.
4. Faculty and staff are there to support you the entire way.
Just because your classes are all online, does not mean you are alone while you work to get your degree. As soon as you enroll at Grantham, you will be assigned a student advisor who will work with you to make sure you stay on track for meeting your education goals. The Teaching and Learning Center is also available to help you develop the skills you need to be successful in online education. This is where you can go to get tutoring help for specific classes, if you need it. And of course, when it comes time to graduate with your online computer science degree, Grantham has career services to help you find the job that is right for you.
The computer science industry is growing quickly. Computer and information technology jobs are expected to grow 12% between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than the average growth in other jobs. That rate of growth means adding nearly half a million jobs before 2024. Not only is the industry growing rapidly, but it also pays much better than other industries. The median salary for people in computer and information technology jobs is $81,430, which is more than twice as much as the median annual income for all other jobs ($36,200).
Hopefully now you have a better idea of what to expect if you want to get your computer science degree from Grantham University. If you have more questions or if you want to get started today, you can contact us to find out what the next steps are.