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I already have a bachelors in an entirely different field, but I am looking to start a career in programming. However, traveling into school would be very difficult for me at this point.

Are there any online programming degrees that are as valuable (in terms of getting a job) as those from a brick-and-mortar college?

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If you are already a relatively decent programmer, a lot of employers wont really care if you dont have a degree. You might also seek positions such as Tech Support in smaller companies that can lead to development positions. –  GrandmasterB Feb 2 '11 at 19:20

5 Answers 5

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Pick a well known brick-mortar school that also has an online program. In most cases these schools give the same degree to online and on-site students.

Then on your resume just list the name of the degree and school and don't mention the online part unless they ask.

It also may help to select a school that is close to where you live. It makes it more obvious if you pick one that is across the country.

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You should make sure that the school you choose is accredited by one of the major accreditation bodies, such as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. –  Robert Harvey Feb 2 '11 at 17:00
I would think that by picking a well known school you wouldn't have to worry so much about that. However, I think that advice applies no matter what your situation is while choosing a college. –  JohnFx Feb 2 '11 at 20:50
I would reinforce @Robert Harvey's comment by checking that the PROGRAM is accredited. Northeastern's Lowell Institute BS-CET program is not accredited the same as Northeastern's BS-CS program. As an aside, I hate that there are so many college accreditation standards in this country (US). –  Chris Kaminski Feb 4 '11 at 22:36

Open University offers Computing-related degrees. University of London offers a CIS degree, too.

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Is Open University considered an "accredited" institution in the same way as, say, Cambridge? –  Robert Harvey Feb 2 '11 at 16:59
@Robert Harvey "The Open University is also one of only two United Kingdom higher education institutions to gain accreditation in the United States of America by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an institutional accrediting agency, recognized by the United States Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation." Take a look: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_University –  Vitor Feb 2 '11 at 17:04
Excellent. –  Robert Harvey Feb 2 '11 at 17:07
Yes, read the wikipedia page. The Open University was founded by UK Royal Charter to have no (or minimal) admissions requirements, and is funded in large part by the UK Government. In other words, it was founded with a goal of making higher education accessable to all UK citizens, not with the goal of turning a profit. –  Ken Bloom Feb 2 '11 at 19:30
Having just checked, it appears that most of the Open University courses are not available to citizens in the USA. Postgraduate degrees yes, but not undergraduate degrees. –  Chris Kaminski Feb 4 '11 at 22:51

Choose a university having the same accreditation process as one of the big schools. If you do that, it won't matter whether the classes are taught online or not.

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I got my master's degree online through University of Southern California. You actually watch on video the same exact classes students are attending in person, and do the same assignments and exams. Their engineering graduate program consistently ranks in the top ten in the U.S. They are fairly expensive though, so I recommend finding an employer who does tuition reimbursement if you can.

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Heck, many of the online schools are pretty darn expensive too. Have you seen how much U of Phoenix charges these days? Yikes! –  JohnFx Feb 2 '11 at 20:51
Many schools offer postgraduate online programs. Hell, even MIT does. Very few offer 100% online undergraduate programs though, and many of those few are not accredited they same way - they're accredited through professional organizations akin to ITT Tech. –  Chris Kaminski Feb 4 '11 at 22:53

Online computer degrees from accredited colleges are accepted by employers, and perceived to have as much value as brick and mortar schools. I suggest you look at Stevens-Henager; it offers Bachelors degree in computer science with a programming emphasis. The college is accredited by the ACCSC and you can earn the degree in as little as 30 months.

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