Computer science distance learning options accommodate the needs of busy professionals with full-time jobs. There are several types of distance learning programs available, and each requires varying levels of class attendance. Many computer science distance learning programs are offered entirely online, while teleconference programs require you to attend ground class meetings that are televised at various locations. Some professors record the teleconference meetings and then make them available for students to listen to online. Hybrid programs require students to attend a mix of both scheduled campus meetings and online classes. Furthermore, some degree programs are offered entirely on campus, but allow students to access supplemental materials online.
Pros & Cons of Distance Learning for Computer Science
Computer science distance learning programs have their pros and cons. One of the biggest benefits of pursuing an online computer science program is that it saves a lot of time, since you do not have to commute to campus. Moreover, because you can study when it’s most convenient for you, you can continue working while earning your degree. Online degree programs are well-suited to the computer science field, since they require you to utilize computers and software to complete your coursework.
Although computer science distance learning offers many advantages, it also has its drawbacks. It can be isolating to study computer science at home, because there is little to no face-to-face interaction with professors and other students. You also have limited access to networking opportunities that could assist you in finding work after graduation. Additionally, earning your computer degree online requires a significant amount of self-motivation and discipline, because it is up to you alone to make sure that you keep up-to-date with your classes and complete assignments in a timely fashion.
What You Learn in a Computer Science Distance Learning Program
Online computer science degree programs generally require you to take core computer science courses in addition to general education courses in science and the humanities. When you pursue a computer science degree, you’ll learn about the theoretical and mathematical foundations of computing. Courses you may be required to take in your degree program include the following:
- Programming Principles
- Linear Algebra
- Operating Systems
- Theory of Computation
- Data Structures
- Computer Architecture
- Logic & Computation
A day in the life of students engaged in distance learning for computer science is typically shaped by their offline lives. Distance learning students often work full-time and/or have children to take care of, but they may log into their online classrooms a few times a day to stay in touch with classmates and check the status of projects and assignments. Distance learning students typically complete assignments and interact with classmates at night. Tasks that students may have to complete include answering discussion questions on a message board, participating in a group project, writing a term paper, reading course materials or viewing video lectures.
A degree in computer science gives you access to a wide range of career paths with rewarding salaries and promising job prospects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of software developers is expected to grow by 30% through 2020, while computer network and computer systems administrator positions will increase by 28% and those for computer systems analysts will increase by 22%. Get one step closer to launching your IT career by exploring your computer science distance learning options now!