Online Computer Science DegreeEditor's note: Updated June 2019

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.

Adult learners who are going back to school often have anxiety about taking college courses, and worry about whether they can be successful in their degree program. If you’re getting ready to start your 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. Your Bachelor of Science in Computer Science will require 120 credit hours for graduation.

Each Grantham class is three or four credit hours. If you have college credits already, you may be able to transfer them to Grantham to reduce the number of courses you need to complete, getting you to graduation faster. Classes start monthly and each class only takes a few weeks to finish. 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 classes will be online, you won’t be working alone. An important part of the learning process is interacting with your teachers, and participating in discussion with your classmates. For Grantham students, 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 any technology industry, you will need more than just technical skills.Your Grantham degree will also include 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 will be there to support you the entire way.

Just because your classes are all online, does not mean you are alone while you work to complete 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 to meet 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.

5. A degree in computer science will set you up for success.

The computer science industry is growing quickly. Computer and information technology jobs are expected to grow 13% between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than the average growth in other occupations. That rate of growth means adding over half a million jobs before 2026. Not only is the industry growing rapidly, but it also pays much more than average. The median salary for people in computer and information technology jobs was over $85,000 as of May 2018, which is more than twice the median annual income for all other jobs ($38,640).

Hopefully now you have a better idea of what to expect for when you begin your computer science degree at Grantham University. If you have more questions or if you want to get started today, you can contact us to find out your next steps to success.