According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over half a million new jobs will be added in the computer and information technology field through 2026, which makes computer science degrees a very useful degree to hold.
While a Computer Science degree is challenging, it’s certainly not impossible, and with University of the People’s accredited online program, it’s possible to earn your degree in small classes of 25 and under, with no tuition fees, and tailored support throughout the length of your education.
When considering where to earn your degree, there are many variables to look at, from financial costs to geographic location, to name a few. With University of the People, many of the burdens that college can create are alleviated, while others don’t even exist because the degree is fully online.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this program could be the right fit for you.
Some colleges require lengthy and pricey application processes to be considered for admission, but at UoPeople, there are only two main requirements.
With proof that you completed high school (with submission of your diploma) and are proficient in English (demonstrated through a test if need be), you can apply to the program and even transfer credits from institutions where you completed relevant coursework. If you are a refugee who is unable to share a high school diploma, you can take the Ability to Benefit test to surpass the first requirement (see more information here).
Accessibility is a huge tenet of the program because we believe that education is a natural right for everyone — and there should be no reason, whether financial or geographical, as to why that right should be denied.
Coursework and Program Goals
To obtain a bachelor’s degree in computer science, there are both general education courses, as well as major requirements. The curriculum starts with 11 general education classes, including College Algebra, Programming 1, Programming 2, and Software Engineering 1, to name a few. Along with additional electives outside the field of study, there are three main goals of the program, namely:
1. Provide students with the background knowledge and understanding of computer systems
- Be able to code, program and test solutions
- Understand the design and usage of databases
- Describe and use the structures of hardware and software
2. Develop the technical knowledge and skills to tackle practical problems within computing systems in various ways
- Build conceptual models and physical computers
- Develop creative solutions between hardware and software to solve problems
3. Enhance critical thinking in computer security, ethics, and privacy
- Acknowledge and understand the complex relationship between computers and society
- Recognize the ethical concerns regarding data privacy and security and be able to develop solutions for safety
If a bachelor’s degree isn’t what you’re looking for, the University of the People also offers the option of an associate degree. With less requirements than the bachelor’s degree, the associate is built on a liberal arts foundation and teaches the mathematical and scientific principles behind computer science.
It’s useful for those looking for foundational knowledge, who may consider obtaining a bachelor’s degree down the line, but first want to get their feet wet in the world of computer science with a lower level of commitment.
High Quality of Education
Regardless of where you access the online courses from, the quality of the education is the same because the academic leadership team are from some of the most recognizable and revered universities around the world, including New York University, University of California, Berkeley, Stanford, Oxford, and more.
At University of the People, the diversity of the staff and their expertise provides all students with the best access to knowledge and opens up opportunities to expand their professional and academic network globally.
Combined with the impressive lineup of educators, the program is comprehensive and practical. The coursework is structured to give a deep insight and understanding into the world of computer science, but also develops the practical knowledge to apply what is learned in real-world scenarios.
If a graduate degree is the ultimate goal, the Bachelor’s of Science degree positions students to continue learning as they’ll have the foundation of knowing programming languages and understanding database management. With this knowledge and experience under your belt, graduates from our bachelor’s in computer science program are well equipped to take their studies to the next level with a master’s degree.
1. Intimate and Focused:
While the classes are 100% online, the setting of them is intimate and focused. The classes are usually around 30 students or less, so instructors can really focus on each individual student’s needs.
2. Unique Learning Experience
The setup provides for a unique learning experience that combines peer-based collaborative learning with advanced information technologies and the internet to create a sustainable and accessible learning environment.
3. Students from all over the world
Another interesting feature is that students join the program from all over the world, so there is a diversity that better positions students to connect with people they may otherwise never meet because of geographical barriers.
4. Peer to Peer learning
With students from all over the globe, the pedagogical model is taken to the next level. The theory behind the pedagogical model is that studying within communities is more motivating and challenging than reading alone or listening to online lectures. The peer-learning methodology, with course instructor facilitation, stimulates students and offers them a powerful platform to learn from one another. This opens new doors to understanding cultures and undoubtedly introduces various perspectives that prepares students to work in any environment.
5. Class discussions
Within the online study communities, students share resources, exchange ideas, discuss weekly topics, submit assignments, and take exams. The curriculum is supported by course instructors who participate in class discussions and oversee all courses.
6. Weekly Testing
Even though the program is entirely online, the expectations of the students to demonstrate mastery of the coursework is still high. On average, students will need to dedicate 15-20 hours per week per course. Some course requirements include: weekly readings, participation, peer assessment tasks, discussion forum responses, learning journal activities, and written assignments. Like traditional institutions, there are also quizzes throughout the course and a final exam or project at the end of the term.
Affordability and Convenience
Since the program is online, there are no overhead costs for buildings and books, which are big reasons why the university is able to be tuition free. Along with volunteers, scholarships, and the usage of the best technology, the costs you do pay become minimal — especially when compared with traditional colleges.
So, what are you expected to pay?
The expected cost of the entire bachelor’s degree is just about $4,060, and for an associates degree is $2,060. These costs come from the non-refundable application fee of $60 an assessment fees of $100 each. Each exam payment is not required until the time of the test, but can also be subsidized or fully covered with the aid of scholarships. The application fee can also be waived for those unable to afford it.
Along with the relatively low cost of the program, the convenience and flexibility is priceless. With just an internet connection, you can access the program online from anywhere, at any time. Student Emmanuel Frimpong-Williams from Ghana shares his story of how affordability was always the one factor holding him back from earning his Computer Science degree. After earning his degree in Computer Science from UoPeople, he had the following to say, “World class education that challenges you to be among the best at virtually no fee at all! You can’t ask for more!”
With the exception of the exams, it’s also possible to do the entire program on a mobile device. You can log in and choose when to study based around your own schedule. Unlike a typical institution where classes are only offered at specific times of day and your attendance is expected, you can continue to work and/or raise a family while earning your degree.
Skills You’ll Learn
The program is designed to teach the practical skills to work in the computer science field and understand both the hardware and software implications and possibilities of technology. However, with an online degree from UoPeople, you’ll also develop skills that are useful in life overall, as well as within the workplace.
Some of these noteworthy skills are:
1. Time management:
With flexibility comes the responsibility of devising your schedule to fit in classes, studying, and exams. While balancing work, a social life, and maybe even a family, the design of the program will strengthen your time management skills.
2. Problem solving:
Along with the nature of the coursework, the peer-to-peer learning setup will open new ways of looking at problems and devising solutions. With team and individual learning, students develop problem-solving skills that are applicable in the workplace and life.
All degrees are challenging, but with assistance and motivation, success is achievable. Upon graduating with a degree in computer science from the University of the People, you’ll have one more reason to know why persevering through challenges is always worth it!
Opportunities and Career Development
Starting with the curriculum setup, the program is strategically designed to prepare students for careers in computer science. The world-class instructors and academic partners bring their real-world experience to the coursework. At the same time, the Career Services Center is available to our students to help focus on career planning, which includes resume writing, interviewing, and job searching skills.
With the international nature of the program, students will network with people from over 200 countries and territories, which opens the door to global opportunities. The University’s powerful partners, like Google, Microsoft, and HP, make for another reason why the degree is so practical.
Additionally, students can partake in internships while studying because of the program’s flexibility. This allows for networking to begin during study and connections to be made that can last a lifetime and open up doors to careers upon graduation.
At UoPeople, you’re never alone on your education journey. Each student is provided with a personal Program Advisor that is by their side throughout the length of study to offer individualized support, course selection assistance, and encouragement throughout their studies.
Combined with the small class size and tailored support on behalf of the educators, students will know exactly where to look for any help they may need or questions they may have.
The Many Reasons Why
It goes without saying that earning a computer science degree is useful, especially as the world progresses technologically and continuously relies on computer systems to enhance business, communication, and connection.
While there are many options to earn your degree at any institution around the world, the University of the People’s unique setup offers students flexibility while also providing for structured, individualized, and focused learning. The one-of-a-kind experience is dramatically less of a financial burden than most traditional institutions because of its online nature, making accessibility and affordability a major benefit. And, it’s easy to get started! With the click of a button, you can apply and be on you way to enrollment. Throughout the process, a dedicated advisor will be by your side to assist with any questions you may have.
To top it all off, you can earn your degree on your own time. Moreover, the degree is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission and universally recognized and well-respected. The open door policy to students from around the world makes for a culturally-enriching and unique experience for our community of online learners.