With the advances in the Internet over the past years, some predicted that a ceiling has been reached in software development. However, this is not the case. According to the U.S News & World Report, Software Developer is the #1 Best Job in America! Software developers are the creative mind behind the devices and apps we use as a matter of course every day. With increased demand comes comfortable wages – the annual median pay for software developers was $93,350. In such a dynamic field of work with almost unlimited scope it is not surprising that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a much faster than average growth of 22% in job outlook over the next 10 years.
Many colleges offer degrees in software development, and being that this field is especially conducive to online study, we have compiled a list of schools that offer this degree 100% online. In addition, these schools have been shortlisted for their competitive tuition rates (according to information from U.S. Department of Education's College Navigator database) without compromising on their reputation and accreditations. Public schools' tuition has been calculated by averaging in-state and out-of-state rates. Whether you are a professional looking to advance your career or a motivated student on the fast track, these schools are sure to help you script your career program. Schools are presented here in ascending order of tuition, with the least expensive listed first.
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Cheap Online Software and Systems Engineering Degree Program Ranking
1. Western Governors University
Nationally ranked and accredited WGU offers a degree in Software Development covering courses in IT fundamentals, web development, systems operation, and data management as part of its comprehensive B.S.-I.T. program. Major industry certifications such as CompTIA+ and Oracle are included in the degree, as are credits for prior work experience, making it a much sought after and affordable program for working professionals. Tuition is charged at a semester flat rate rather than per course so diligence and motivation to finish early are not only encouraged but monetarily rewarded. Fast Company rated WGU as one of the Most Innovative companies, while CNN called it "a school without boundaries." 98% of employers are so satisfied with their WGU hires that they would do it again; will you be one of them?
2. Eastern Florida State College
Program and Software Development
EFSC offers a BAS (Bachelor of Applied Science) degree in Program & Software Development at its various FL campuses, online or in a blended form for maximum flexibility for its working students. Concentrations in network systems, software development and project management prepare graduates for careers in business and technical industries. The school's commitment to providing quality, affordable education is evident in a low tuition rate that has seen no increase in the last 3 years. Following its status change from a community to a state college, EFSC has also recently renewed its regional accreditation until 2024.
3. Bellevue University
Bellevue University, HLC and NCACS accredited, offers its B.S. in Software Development in 100% online or blended classroom formats. A technically sound curriculum that covers the fundamentals of Java, information security, object analysis, and data management aims to prepare students for dynamic careers such as System Analyst, IT Planning Specialist, Programmer, and Risk Analyst, among others. Career services such as internship placements and job fairs have resulted in graduate employment in prestigious companies like HP, USPS, Fedex, and more. Competitive tuition rates are further complemented by financial aid available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and work study options. Ranked 18th out of 1,000 by U.S. News in the "Best Online Bachelor's Degrees" category, Bellevue may be your ticket to success in this rapidly growing industry. Bellevue University also makes our list of Top 10 Cheap Online Corrections Management Degree Programs (Bachelor's) 2019.
4. University of Maryland University College
Software Development and Security
Tuition: $6,552/yr (In-state) $12,336/yr (Out-of-state)
A regionally accredited member of the University system of MD, UMUC offers an online bachelor's degree with a major in Software Development and Security that helps students prepare for or advance their career in programming and application security. A rigorous curriculum combines required courses in modern programming languages with practical electives. UMUC is the largest public university in the nation, ranked 2nd for the best online course options and 21st for the most flexible curriculums. Tuition rates are affordable; financial aid and several military/veteran benefits are available. The school's career services are sponsored by several employer sponsors — industry leaders like Radius Technology – who hold a strong interest in hiring UMUC graduates.
Colorado Tech offers a B.S.-I.T. degree with a specialization in Software Systems Engineering that prepares graduates for careers in information system management, security analysis, application development, and more. With an award-winning, proprietary education technology, Intellipath, which allows students to access courses on their smartphone app, and 24/7 tutoring services available for some courses, CTU tailors your education to suit your life as well as your learning goals.
Financial aid is available; motivated professional applicants can save 30% more by passing CTU's Fast Track program modules at no extra cost on their way to earning a quicker and more affordable degree. Current students rate their academic experience highly – always a worthy criterion for determining which school is right for you.
6. Herzing University
Tuition: $11,150/yr (on average)
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the "Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs" for the second year running, Herzing's Software Development degree offers two specialties: computer applications and computer systems. An impressive job placement rate of 75% ensures ample work opportunities in companies ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500s. Financing for students is available in the form of scholarships, grants, and low-interest loans, and for motivated students the university works to complete their studies in a shorter time frame for additional savings. Student testimonials acknowledge the university's commitment to quality education, as do the prize-winning alumni developers at the top of their chosen careers.
Tuition: $13,345/yr (on average)
Highly rated for its online courses by an overwhelming majority of its current students, AIU offers a Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT) with a concentration in Software Analysis and Development, which covers E-commerce development and software programming for mobile devices, among other topics. With help from AIU's Career Advantage Program (CAP), which includes a CareerBuilder partnership and networks with corporate partners, you will be well on your way to a gainful career in systems analysis and software development.
Financial aid opportunities abound: 93% of all applicants receive aid in the form of federal, institutional or state grants. Personal attention, adaptive, flexible content, and an HLC accreditation all point towards a school that takes its responsibility seriously.
8. Globe University
Software Application Development
Tuition: $14,040/yr (on average)
ACICS nationally accredited Globe University offers a bachelor's in Software Application Development – a degree whose intensive coursework provides fundamental hands-on training in industry-standard operation and application areas of software development. Being a newly developed program, it also encompasses up-to-the-minute instruction in modern technical languages such as C# and OpenGL, giving students an edge over those graduating from older degree programs. The school is committed to providing affordable education; it reduced its full-time tuition by 15% last year. In addition to its own grants, the school promises to match any outside scholarships a student may receive, along with military concessions and the option of accelerated programs. Its progressive policies help Globe to maintain a stellar student retention rate of 90%!
9. Strayer University
Information Systems – Software Engineering Management
Tuition: $15,495/yr (on average)
Nationally accredited and highly regarded in the professional community, Strayer University's BSIS (B.S. Information Systems) in Software Engineering Management equips students with a fundamental understanding of the applications and processes that make software work for a business. Core accounting and IT courses are supplemented by specialized software management/project design courses that you can pick and choose according to your own personal education plan. Besides the regular tuition reduction mediums, Strayer has introduced a new Graduate Fund that can cover up to $14,200 of your tuition through transfer credits. Strayer's leading industry corporate alliances enable it to offer highly customized programs and unique benefits for professionals already working in the industry but looking to climb the ladder of success to its zenith.
10. Arizona State University
Tuition: $9,861/yr (In-state) $23,654/yr (Out-of-state)
If an experiential learning program with project-driven, flexible education is what you're looking for, look no further than ASU's B.S.-Software Engineering. Students complete projects in every semester of the program, so much of the coursework in leadership, critical thinking, and management is learnt through hands-on activities. The university has a prominent social media presence, so online students are as much a part of a thriving community as campus graduates. Several financial aid options that do not require repayment are available, including work-study and hourly employment. U.S. News & World Report ranks ASU in the "top tier" of US universities, while Forbes considers it among America's best colleges. A quality education from Strayer has enabled 90% of recent graduates to find employment at leading companies such as Quicken Loans and Wells Fargo.
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About the Author:
Iris Stone got her start in the industry when she began working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates' careers. Check out her Google+ profile.