2022 Guide to Online ABET-Accredited Computer Science Degree Programs
Receive quality instruction from skilled computer science professionals to take the next step in this fast-paced career. If you’re considering a career in a computer science-related field, then explore ABET-accredited computer science programs online. See how you can receive basic or advanced instruction in a broad range of topics from an accredited institution.
What Is ABET Accreditation?
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) was founded in 1932 to regulate and accredit educational institutions in the United States. Originally called the Engineers’ Council for Professional Development, ABET seeks to inspire confidence in institutions and set standards for quality education and industry-leading knowledge. You can be confident that ABET-accredited online schools offer the technical preparation you need for a computer science career.
The Accreditation Process
According to ABET, the board currently accredits over 4,300 programs in 41 countries. The five-step process requires 18 months for programs to ensure they properly prepare graduates for the field. Here are the five steps for an ABET-accredited master’s or bachelor’s degree program:
- Readiness review
- Request for evaluation
- Self-study report
- On-site visit
- Due process and accreditation decision
Assessment of Degree Programs
A critical part of the accreditation process is assessment. Routine professional assessments show how institutions stay up-to-date on industry knowledge and continue to provide foundational principles in the program. Programs must show ongoing development and improvement to retain their ABET accreditation.
What Is an Online ABET-Accredited Computer Science Program?
ABET-accredited computer science programs offer you practical and theoretical knowledge of computers and computing. They cover the basic principles of engineering, mathematics, and algorithms, as well as more specific topics in the industry like artificial intelligence, coding, and hardware development. Explore the types of programs, common courses, and other features to see if this career decision is right for you.
Types of Computer Science Programs
You can study computer science through a range of online programs. Not only do you have hundreds of colleges and universities to choose from but there are also many different levels of study. Consider which of these best reflects your career goals and your current level of education:
- Bootcamp or short course
- Associate’s degree
- Bachelor’s degree
- Master’s degree
While a bootcamp, short course, or associate’s degree can give you hands-on training and practical skills in coding, information technology (IT) systems, or other areas of the field, ABET only accredits bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
An ABET-accredited bachelor’s degree offers entry-level education and practical experience in the field. An ABET-accredited master’s program typically requires you to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline.
Both program types are offered online, giving you a more flexible option. Most online degree programs offer flexible schedules. They also allow you to enroll without the costs of living on campus or commuting to classes.
Common Computer Science Courses
Computer science covers both theoretical and practical aspects of computers and computing processes. While the specific courses can vary depending on the program and degree level, you can expect to take one or more courses in some of the following topics:
- Data structures
- Web programming
- Comparative programming languages
- Machine learning
- Java concepts
- Artificial intelligence
- Game design
Entry Requirements for Online Degree Programs
To enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program, you must first complete an admissions application. The requirements can vary but ABET-accredited online schools may require one or more of the following:
- Strong academic records, such as a minimum GPA of 2.0 or 3.0.
- SAT or ACT scores that meet or exceed an established minimum.
- Admissions essay
- Admissions fee
- Demonstration of proficiency in English, math, science, or other topics.
Cost of an Online Computer Science Degree
Online degrees vary in cost depending on the institution, your academic achievement, and any scholarships or grants you may be eligible for. According to U.S. News and World Report, the average online bachelor’s degree costs range from $38,496 to $60,593.
The cost of a graduate degree can be slightly less. According to Petersons, these degrees average around $30,000 for public colleges and almost $40,000 for private institutions.
Computer Science Career Opportunities
A computer science degree is a versatile training opportunity for a wide range of careers. Step into a new role or prepare to take on more responsibilities in your existing position with a degree that prepares you for the following career options:
- Computer and information research scientist
- Software developer
- Database administrator
- Data scientist
- Information security analyst
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning engineer
Salaries for Computer Science Programs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers salary ranges and job outlooks for many careers related to computer science. If you study computer science online, you may qualify for a position as a software developer. These professionals earned median pay of $110,140 per year in 2020, according to BLS. The role is also expected to see an increase of 22% between 2020 and 2030.
Computer hardware engineers earned a 2021 median pay of $128,170, according to BLS. This position isn’t growing as fast as average, with only a 2% increase between 2020 and 2030 being projected.
Another example of a competitive computer science career option is an information security analyst. The number of these professionals is expected to increase by 33% between 2020 and 2030, which is significantly faster than the average job growth expectation. The median pay for these professionals in 2021 was $102,600.
ABET-Accredited Programs vs. Non-Accredited Programs
Not all computer science online programs are accredited. What sets an accredited program apart? While you may still receive a quality education from a non-accredited institution, ABET accreditation offers peace of mind that the courses you are taking are up to date and relevant to your career path.
What Are the Benefits of an ABET-Accredited Computer Science Program?
ABET-accredited computer science programs offer distinct benefits to other, non-accredited programs. As a student studying online at an institution that’s passed accreditation standards, you can enjoy the following benefits.
Achieve High Academic Standards
The accreditation process includes routine assessments to ensure academic standards are met. In most cases, ABET-accredited online schools offer you the same diploma as an on-campus program would, giving you confidence that your degree is a worthwhile investment and meets national and international standards.
Receive International Recognition
Because ABET accredits programs around the world, completing an accredited program can help you compete with a global workforce. Whether you work with an international company or international clients, this level of recognition can help you demonstrate your expertise in computer science.
Learn From Experienced Instructions
ABET-accredited master’s and bachelor’s programs are delivered by skilled instructors who know their field. Be confident that your computer science courses are being offered by approved professors with hands-on experience and relevant degrees in their field.
- ABET accreditation is offered for bachelor’s and master’s degree programs
- Programs typically can be completed in about one to four years as a full-time student
- Common courses include data structures, web programming, and artificial intelligence
- Individuals trained in computer science are in high demand
- Many computer-related careers are expected to grow significantly faster than the average job growth
- Common careers also come with competitive pay, benefits, and flexibility
- Many career paths allow remote work opportunities
- Programs typically cost around $30,000 to $60,000
- There are many scholarships available for this industry
- Advanced training bootcamps and other courses are affordable and flexible