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New online degree in computer science a gateway to exciting career opportunities

OSU Ecampus program provides clear path to high-paying jobs

Oregon State University today unveiled one of the nation’s first online postbaccalaureate programs in computer science, creating a short pathway to new career opportunities in virtually any industry for millions of students, professionals and unemployed workers worldwide.

OSU student using a laptopThe program, delivered online through OSU Ecampus, provides students with knowledge and skills in programming fundamentals, software engineering, mobile and web development, user interfaces and computer systems and networking.

Those who already hold a bachelor’s degree – a B.A. or B.S. – from an accredited institution can add to their existing skill set and enhance their job prospects by earning a computer science degree online from OSU in as little as one year.

And once the program is complete, OSU educators say the opportunities are seemingly endless.

“The need for expertise in computer science has now become so pervasive that these skills can be paired with almost any other type of college degree, and it actually amplifies the value of both of them,” said Terri Fiez, head of OSU’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

“And as our economy is recovering, there is an explosion of companies who are coming here looking for employees. This program will create workers who are able to fill those high-paying jobs.”

The average annual salary for people in computer science-related fields ranges from $60,000 to $90,000, according to OSU.

No previous computer science experience is required to enroll in the program, which begins with OSU’s summer term on June 25.

It is possible for students to earn their computer science degree in 12 months, but the one-year track is intense and requires full-time status as an online student. Students may also opt to finish the program in two, three or four years.

Fiez expects students who add a second degree in computer science to see their value on the job market skyrocket. Merging a degree in psychology with a new computer science degree could lead to a career in user interface design. Or biology and computer science could be paired to forge a career in bioinformatics and medical information systems.

The combinations leading to new job opportunities are limitless, and the nation’s computing industry is in dire need of people who are capable of doing the work.

“There’s this perception that all the computer science jobs were outsourced or sent offshore, but the reality is, computing skills are needed in every industry, and computer science jobs are readily available throughout the U.S.,” Fiez said.

The coursework is designed for active learning and aims to engage students while equipping them with industry-relevant computing skills that will hold value well into the future.

“We have 15 classes that we’re developing, and we picked the best, most qualified person – the faculty member who is an expert in that subject – to create each course,” Fiez said. “It’s a very innovative program and delivery method, and the fact that students can complete the program from anywhere in the world is revolutionary.”

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