In the modern economy, there are very few degrees and career paths that are likely to lead to steady, lucrative work. At the top of the list are Computer Science professionals. And where does professionalism begin? Through education. If you’re highly analytical and technically oriented, you’re a great fit for beginning a Computer Science program. You may also want to consider earning your degree online, which will allow you much more flexibility, and ability to meet your current work, life and family obligations. Taking classes online also often costs less than in person, allowing you to minimize your investment and maximize its return upon graduating Computer Scientists use technology to solve complex problems. Many of these programs feature classes in programming, systems, data, robotics, artificial intelligence, gaming, autonomous systems, computer vision and language design, math modeling, and much more. The schools on this list were chosen based on cost, academic prestige, national rankings, special features offered and more. Let’s get to it!
1) Davenport University
Davenport is a private, non-profit university with locations throughout Michigan and a thriving online division. It was founded in 1866. In 1910 it was on the verge of closing when a new teacher, Michael E. Davenport took the reins and transformed the school and its future. Davenport conveys Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s Degrees, diplomas, and post-grad certification programs in business, technology, health professions, and graduate studies. This programming is delivered through its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Health Professions, Technology and Business. Approximately 7,700 students attend Davenport. It has an acceptance rate of 78%, and a 12:1 student to faculty ratio.
Davenport offers an online B.S. in Computer Science. This program is aimed at building logical problem solving skills, working with others to solve problems and exploit opportunities, and communicate findings efficiently, among other outcomes. It comes in three specializations: Biometrics, Gaming and Simulation, and Computer Architecture and Algorithms. This program prepares students to work as Software Engineers, Mobile Developers, Computer Programmers, iOS Developers, Game Developers, App Developers, in Bioinformatics and more. Sample classes include Database Design, Artificial Intelligence, Discrete Structures, Security Foundations, Computer Vision, and much more.
- Average net price for students receiving some grant or scholarship aid in 2015-16: 7th ($16,742)
2) Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies
Central Methodist University or CMU is a private, liberal arts school headquartered in Fayette, Missouri. Fayette was the site of a famous battle in the Civil War in which 250 southern sympathizers (including outlaw Jesse James) ambushed between 30 to 50 Union soldiers, and were dramatically defeated. CMU was founded in 1854. It’s affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and conveys masters, bachelors, and associate degrees. CMU’s College of Graduate and Extended Studies offers online programming. It serves nearly 4,300 students, and offers an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
CMU offers a Bachelor’s in Computer Science bot on campus and online. It aims to build analytical, communication and problem-solving skills through investigating computer systems and their functions. Classes cover database technologies, programming languages, hardware, software and more. Students will sharpen their abilities through hands-on classes that cover networking, application programming, computing systems, databases and software packages through practical problem diagnosis and creative problem solving. This program prepares students to enter engaging, expanding and lucrative professional roles in a wide array of organizations.
- Average net price for students receiving some grant or scholarship aid in 2015-16: 1st ($11,224)
3) Baker College
Founded in 1911, this private, not-for-profit career college focuses on career developing degree programs. Beginning in Flint, Michigan, it expanded to 14 locations, 13 in Michigan and one in Pennsylvania. Baker offers certificates, associate, bachelor, master and doctoral degree programs in business, healthcare, human services, education, and technology. These categories include programs in: nursing, teaching, interior design, architecture, automotive service technology, and computer and Internet technologies. Baker has a right-to-try admissions policy, so anyone with a high school diploma or GED can attend. In 1996, Baker College began offering online education. By 2001, they had 4,000 students enrolled online. Baker College also has an extensive financial aid office to help students afford its education.
Baker’s Bachelor’s in Computer Science prepares students to become computer applications engineers, computer systems engineers, computer analysts, database administrators, and network system and data communication analysts. It comes in three concentrations: Database Technology, Mobile Applications, and Computer Programming. It takes into account the dramatic rise in mobile technology and cloud computing usage in its curriculum. Graduates will also be skilled in software development, Internet communications, and database administration. Major courses which include Computer Architecture, Visual (and advanced) BASIC, several programming languages, and Calculus I, II and III. Students will choose between a work experience project, or actual work experience. Baker’s required general education courses provide a lot of choices for students, who can opt between human relations and general psychology, or choose between classes like group dynamics and professional speaking.
- Average net price for students receiving some grant or scholarship aid in 2015-16: 4th ($12,554)
4) Rasmussen College
Rasmussen was founded in 1900. It’s a for-profit college that began as a business school. Rasmussen went on to expand to over 20 campuses across the country, and a robust online wing, which was founded in 2002, and has since graduated over 100,000 students. Rasmussen gives students access to more than 70 programs. Their programming is separated into seven schools: Health Sciences, Design, Business, Justice Studies, Education, Nursing, and Technology. Rasmussen is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the regional accreditor serving Minnesota. Over 13,500 students attend Rasmussen today. Rasmussen is committed to working with students to find a way to finance their education, whether through loans, scholarships, grants and credit transfers.
Rasmussen’s online Computer Science Bachelor’s program utilizes Apple, Microsoft and Amazon technology. Students will build mobile, analytics and cloud computing skills required for a number of positions within the sprawling Computer Science field. Students are given the choice between specializing in Apple iOS or Microsoft Universal Windows mobile application development. To continue the tradition of choice, Rasmussen offers Flex Choice, as a way for students to either accelerate, or set their education to their own pace. This course is entirely online, and graduates have gone on to careers at Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Department of Veterans Affairs, Verizon Wireless, Xerox and more powerful institutions and corporations.
- Average net price for students receiving some grant or scholarship aid in 2015-16: 8th ($17,264)
5) University of Massachusetts-Lowell
The University of Massachusetts Lowell is a public research university that serves nearly 18,000 students and offers a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It’s the second largest public university in the state behind UMass Amherst. UMass-Lowell offers 122 bachelor’s, 43 master’s and 36 doctoral degree programs, and is known for its degrees in engineering, criminal justice, education, music, science and technology. U.S. News & World Report ranked UMass Lowell at 152 among top-tier National Universities list in 2016. UMass Lowell is one of only six schools to rank higher on that list each year since 2010. It gained 27-spots in the past five years, second-fastest in the nation. USNR also ranked it 78th among top public universities and second in the state. Forbes rated UMass Lowell the 10th best value among all universities and colleges nationwide in 2013, and fourth in value among non-military academies.
UMass-Lowell’s Bachelor’s in Computer Science comes in three options: a general option, Data Science, and Bio-Cheminformatics (a fascinating field that combines computer science with molecular biology, biochemistry and medicine). It can also be combined with a minor in Robotics to give students a specialty in another coveted aspect of CS. This program features a Bachelor’s to Master’s program for students set on continuing their education after they complete undergrad. Students will earn a strong basis in software, hardware, mathematics and science that is indispensable from CS. This program is also known for its use of nationally respected Research Labs and connections to top regional and national tech companies.
- Average net price for students receiving some grant or scholarship aid in 2015-16: 9th ($18,348)
6) Lewis University
Lewis was founded in 1932, in Romeoville, Illinois. It’s a Roman Catholic university. It serves over 6,500 students through more than 80 undergraduate majors and 22 graduate programs. It also has a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Lewis began as an men’s only, aviation technology school, but quickly grew into co-ed school of science and technology. Recently it’s been recognized as a premier college and ranked in the midwest region by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. USNR ranked Lewis among its best Midwest master’s-level universities, most recently placing 58 out of a total of 144 institutions. The Princeton Review called Lewis one of the “Best Midwestern Colleges,” with Lewis making a premier list of 23 Illinois colleges and 158 Midwest institutions. In 2016-17 tuition was $30,050 no matter where students reside. 100% of Lewis students received financial aid.
- Average net price for students receiving some grant or scholarship aid in 2015-16: 12th ($20,232)
7) University of Illinois at Springfield
Founded in 1969, this public university has a student body of over 5,400 and a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It offers access to 27 undergraduate degree programs, 20 master’s degree programs, and a doctorate in Public Administration. It’s a regionally renowned school that has attained equal if not more acclaim for its online offerings. In the 2014 US News “Best Colleges” rankings, UIS ranked #8 in Top Public Schools (Midwest region) and #36 in Regional Universities (Midwest). Their online program has been opened since 1999, and frequently wins awards and distinctions. Since 2001, the Sloan Consortium has offered an award for “Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual in Online Learning.” In 2002, 2003 and 2006 UIS professors won that award. UIS also ranked 11th among online universities in the U.S. on Guide to Online Schools’ 2013 Online College Rankings.
UIS offers an online Computer Science Bachelor’s. The program gives students an entrance and exit assessments that evaluate the student and eventually the program itself. This program is geared towards offering a deep understanding of Computer Science topics ranking from data structures and algorithms to programming languages. This program promises to help students become proficient through up-to-date theory and practice in computer organization, science, operating systems that culminates in a software engineering capstone projects. Graduates of UIS’ Computer Science program have often gone on to earn graduate degrees in the rapidly expanding, competitive CS field. Career outcomes include research and practical roles in business, industry, government, and education.
- Average net price for students receiving some grant or scholarship aid in 2015-16: 3rd ($11,444)
8) Concordia University-Texas
Concordia Texas is private, liberal arts and sciences school based out of Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1926. It’s one of ten members of the Concordia University System. The system was created by the second largest Lutheran church body in America, the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS). It serves over 2,700 students, and offers a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Concordia offers students access to undergraduate, graduate continuing education, and licensure degrees, certificates, classes and programs. Much of its programming is offered through its affiliates, and of course through its wide reaching online campus. It was included on this list in part due to its accelerated course schedule. 92% of its 2013-14 students said they found a job after graduating Concordia.
Concordia’s online Computer Science Bachelor’s program can be completed through 8 week courses, and requires 128 credit hours. The program is structured towards analysis and problem solving. and design solutions using computer science techniques. Key skills like web design, user experience, object-oriented programming, security considerations, core web technologies are combined with database management, system design and distributed architecture to offer students a well rounded, comprehensive education in Computer Science. Concordia also promises that students will become proficient in project management, teamwork and communication. Career outcomes include software programming, web design, mobile application development, database design and many other positions.
- Average net price for students receiving some grant or scholarship aid in 2015-16: 13th ($21,343)
9) Trident University
Trident is a regionally accredited, private, for-profit, entirely online university. It was founded in 1998, and is headquartered in Cypress, California. Its student body consists of nearly 7,000 students, and has a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Trident offers 7 Bachelors, 9 Masters, and 4 Doctoral degrees in business, health sciences, education, and information systems. Trident is largely a military university. Its enrollment in 2014 was around 75% military members, and it was cited by Military Times as “Best for Vets,” as well as five times by Victory Media’s Military Friendly Schools. In 2016, Trident’s rating with the Better Business Bureau was A+, holding it in good standing among for-profit universities. It advocates the Trident Learning Model (TLM), which believes in case-based learning through critical thinking and problem solving.
Trident offers an entirely online Bachelor’s in Computer Science. The school is a member of Cyber Watch West, a government initiative to build up the cybersecurity workforce. Successful applicants will be offered a BSCS with an optional concentration in cybersecurity, in which they’ll learn to defend infrastructures and protect digital information. Coursework includes ethical hacking, network security, cryptography, and digital forensics. Students will prepare for careers in government, business, industry, and not for-profit organizations. In order to get there, Trident will give students the skills to design, implement, and evaluate programs and systems. Students will build out their analysis and communication skills with faculty who are renowned in the tech field. This program was designed to allow students to earn degrees while they work full time.
- Average net price for students receiving some grant or scholarship aid in 2015-16: 6th ($13,175)
10) Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs
CTU is a for-profit, primarily online university that was founded in 1965. Almost 92% of its over 25,500 students attend CTU online, and it has a 28:1 student to faculty ratio. It conveys degrees through colleges of Business & Management, Engineering & Computer Science, Health Sciences, Information Systems & Technology, Security Studies and Project Management. The school is mostly funded by the Department of Defense and GI Bill, which could lead graduates to careers in the national defense industry. In 2015, CTU was ranked 58th on the U.S. News & World Report list of Best Online Programs. CTU has been consistently recognized for its online bachelor’s degree programs. It placed 18th for master’s degrees in computer information technology and 22nd for master’s degrees for criminal justice in that year as well.
CTU offers several Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science. These include a General option, Software Engineering, Data Science, and Cybersecurity Engineering. Students tackle database systems, programming languages, mobile programming, problem solving, big data, analytics, operating systems, computer algorithms and much more through these programs. The large number of concentrations was essential to its inclusion on this list. There is also a much longer catalog of elective courses than in many comparable programs. This year, for the fourth year in a row, CTU’s online bachelor’s degree programs were ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report.
- Average net price for students receiving some grant or scholarship aid in 2015-16: 6th ($13,175)