The 10 Best Online Master’s of Computer Applications Graduate Schools in 2023

computer applications degree

Want to take your expertise in a diverse range of computer applications to greater heights? An online Master’s of Computer Applications degree can help you advance your career in the field. Earning a graduate degree in Computer Applications is an excellent way to prepare yourself for top-level professions in the IT or computer science field.

Are you ready for that job promotion? Of course, you are! To accomplish your career goals, a Master’s degree in the field of Computer Applications may be necessary. To learn while maintaining your current job, you can earn your degree online; although some on-campus attendance may be necessary.

Master of Computer Applications - FACT

A Good Investment…

Online Master’s of Computer Applications students will need to complete required core courses and electives, focusing on the implementation of software projects and the development of computer applications. With competencies that focus on programming languages, master’s degree holders in this field qualify for top-management or executive-level positions in the field of computer and technology.

Completing an online Master of Computer Applications is an excellent academic investment, enabling you to enhance your skills in mathematical analysis, computer programming, computer science, and information technology.

Many Computer Applications graduate students pursue Software Engineering as a popular area of study that deals with the methods, tools, principles, and theories for defining, developing, analyzing, or designing software applications.

Need a Promotion?

If you hold an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, IT, Software Engineering, or a related discipline, the next step is to earn your master’s! By choosing an online Master of Computer Applications program, you can boost your credentials for professional advancement or career change.

The numerous graduate schools make finding the right Computer Applications program quite a challenge. We’re here to make things easier and help you get started with your graduate journey! We list the Best Online Master’s of Computer Applications Graduate Schools, highlighting all the essential information to help you discover the perfect match for your academic and professional goals.

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We’d like to emphasize that, because online graduate programs featuring Computer Applications isn’t very common in the United States, we feature the 10 equivalent or related degree program that share its academic objectives.

Producing valuable and sought-after graduates with advanced skills, The Best Online Master’s of Computer Applications Graduate Schools or their equivalent was picked following an evaluation of their outstanding features.

In a nutshell, the graduate programs stand out from the rest of the Computer Application online graduate programs in the country, owing to these characteristics:

  • Delivered fully online or hybrid format to ensure that adult learners are able to fit graduate study around their schedule,
  • A comprehensive Master’s of Computer Applications coursework that equips students with the most suitable technical know-how and skills for career shifts or professional advancement,
  • Impart the industry’s most up-to-date principles, theories, and techniques in the area of Computer Applications,
  • Feature the most well-qualified teaching staff with an extensive background in Computer Applications,
  • Utilize top-rated online learning platforms that present a comprehensive array of virtual learning tools for adult learners,
  • Actively provide student assistance through financial aid for eligible students, and career services for all learners,
  • Acknowledged by accrediting bodies that promote the highest academic standards for online master’s degree programs.
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Best Online Master’s of Computer Applications Grad Schools

Boston University

: 1010 Commonwealth Avenue, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02215
: 617 353 6000

Boston University

Online Master of Science in Software Development

Boston University is one of the largest schools in Massachusetts, with more than 34,000 students from 50 US states and 130+ countries worldwide! It is home to more than 10,000 faculty and staff, the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences, and 17 schools and colleges. BU has been synonymous with internationally recognized alumni and faculty, academic innovation, and pioneering research for almost two centuries.

  • Students pursuing Boston University’s online Master of Science in Software Development program can graduate within 16 to 24 months,
  • The university offers comprehensive financial support to students pursuing a graduate program in software development,
  • The 32-credit hour MS in Software Development consists of 20-credit hour core courses and 12-credit hour electives,
  • Matriculation requirements include a completed online application, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, resume/CV, and college transcripts,
  • Although a baccalaureate degree in computer science or any related field isn’t mandatory, the department will determine if a student will complete the Introduction To Software Development prerequisite.

Standout Features of Boston University’s Online Master of Science in Software Development Program:

Boston University’s Master of Science (MS) in Software Development ranked #8 among the Best Online Master’s in Computer IT Programs, according to the US News & World Report. It is one of the few software development graduate programs offered in the US! Students will participate in an exclusive learning environment with small course sections in their learning materials.

The university also highlights real-world projects and case studies to ensure students learn comprehensive, practical experiences with the latest technologies.

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Martin Luther King Jr. choose Boston University as a venue where he could sharpen his message of equality and justice. In 2019, BU was ranked #40 in the national universities according to the US News & World Report.

Maryville University

: 650 Maryville University Drive, St. Louis, MO 63141
: 888 266 0574

Maryville University

Online Master of Science in Software Development

In 1872, Maryville University was established by the Religious of the Sacred Heart as a private academy for underprivileged youths and young women. A year later, four young women were granted their respective degrees from the Maryville campus.

Today, the university is one of the nationally recognized institutions of higher learning for innovative and comprehensive education. Maryville University derives its regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. 

  • Maryville University’s Master of Science in Software Development program can be completed 100% online within 12 months of full-time learning.
  • The graduate program in Software Development offers three start dates per year, specifically in Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters.
  • Students will complete four coding classes, five management courses, and one capstone.
  • The program doesn’t require students to have previous professional experience in the business.
  • Students must submit a personal statement, completed online application, official transcripts, and a baccalaureate degree to enroll. No application fee and no GMAT/GRE are required.

Standout Features of Maryville University’s Online Master of Science in Software Development Program:

The Maryville University – online Master of Science in Software Development program is offered through the John E. Simon School of Business, recognized as an Apple Distinguished School in 2021.

Students will receive a broad-based curriculum in software development and design integrated with comprehensive parallel studies of more specialized and complex applications.

The 100% online graduate program will help students develop their preferred functionality to take advantage of the emerging fields of computer science and IT.

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Maryville University partners with top corporations like Edward Jones and Boeing to develop various degree programs for professions that aren’t known yet. It is one of the universities in the country that doesn’t require application fees and entrance examinations for admission. Maryville is considered the 2nd fastest-growing private university in the United States.

Pace University

: One Pace Plaza, New York, NY 10038
: 212 346 1200

Pace University

Online Master of Science (MS) in Software Development and Engineering

In 1906, Pace University started as a one-room accounting school. Today, the university offers a wide selection of living and learning experiences. It offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across six colleges and schools. Pace University currently enrolls 13,000+ diverse students, including non-traditional, international, first-generation, and on-campus students. 

  • Pace University’s online Master of Science in Software Development and Engineering degree features a 36-credit hour program that can be accomplished in just 12 months as a full-time learner or two years as a part-time student.
  • The graduate program is offered through the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.
  • The curriculum comprises three major sections: managing team resources, software management, evolution, and software and system design.
  • A total of 36 graduate-level credits will be required for degree completion.
  • The application process will require submitting an online application, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement.

Standout Features of Pace University’s Online Master of Science in Software Development and Engineering Program:

Pace University’s online Master of Science in Software Development and Engineering is a STEM-designated program with a curriculum that combines mathematics, engineering, technology, and science to strengthen students’ expertise and proficiencies. The curriculum aligns with the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge and prepares students for the IEEE certification.

Pace University’s Seidenberg School is the only IEEE Registered Education Provider on the east side of the US. The university is officially eligible to prepare graduates for the Professional Software Developer Certification and the Associate Software Developer Certification.

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Pace University is home to 50+ cutting-edge clinics, laboratories, institutes, and centers that serve as training grounds for future leaders. Some state-of-the-art facilities include NYC Design Factory, the Center for Community Action and Research, Cybersecurity Education and Research Lab, and the Environmental Policy Clinic.

Each facility, experience, and program is boosted by the prime location of Pace University in the heart of the metropolitan New York campus.

Dominican University

: 7900 West Division Street, River Forest, IL 60305
: 708 366 2490

Dominican University

Online Master of Science in Software Development

Dominican University is a private, non-profit university established in 1901. It is highly recognized for its relationship-centered and values-based learning environment, affordability, and educational rigor. The former St. Clara College in Wisconsin has nestled in a 37-acre scenic main campus in suburban River Forest minutes away from downtown Chicago.

Dominican University has convenient access to the city’s shopping, entertainment, arts, career opportunities, and internship facilities with its prime location.

  • Students enrolled in Dominican University’s online Master of Science in Software Development program must have 30 to 36 credit hours for completion.
  • The graduate degree in Software Development can be earned within three semesters or 18 months.
  • The university offers students the option to specialize in one area of concentration, namely Software Design, Database Management, Mobile Applications Development, or Web Development.
  • Depending on the students’ previous educational background, they can either complete two 3-credit foundation courses or be waived by the department.
  • To apply, students must have an online application, official transcripts, and a bachelor’s degree.

Standout Features of Dominican University’s Online Master of Science in Software Development Program:

The Dominican University Master of Science in Software Development program allows students to enroll in stackable certificates in three specialties: Database Management, Mobile Applications Development, and Web Development. The stackable certificates can be credited towards the full graduate program if students decide to continue further.

The university will offer students the option to finance their software development graduate program, including graduate assistantships, campus employment, student loans, and scholarships. Students develop their individualized study plans with the help of an academic advisor.

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Dominican University ranked 10th as one of the Best Universities in the Midwest, according to the US News & World Report. The university also emerges as the #1 Best Value School in the Chicago area.

Distinguished as one of the universities to enroll and grant degrees to economically disadvantaged learners, Dominican University also receives the #1 ranking in the Social Mobility list of colleges and universities.

Southern New Hampshire University

: 2500 North River Road, Manchester, NH 03106
: 888 387 0861

Southern New Hampshire University

Online Master’s in Information Technology – Software Application Development

Southern New Hampshire University, a non-profit, private institution with 3,000+ on-campus students and more than 135,000 online students, is one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Since 1932, SNHU has transformed from a school of secretarial science and accounting into a university offering more than 200 STEM, social sciences, liberal arts, education, and business programs. SNHU garners accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.

  • SNHU offers an online Master’s in Information Technology degree with a concentration in Software Application Development.
  • Students will only submit undergraduate transcripts, a recent CV/resume, and a completed online application with a simplified enrollment process. No GMAT/GRE is required.
  • Students should finish a minimum of 36 credit hours to complete the program.
  • A 3-credit STEM Graduate Experiential Learning is also available should students wish to participate, providing them with relevant hands-on experience in a specific area of expertise.
  • Depending on students’ schedules, they can earn their online Master’s in IT – Software Application Development degree in as few as 15 months.

Standout Features of Southern New Hampshire University’s Online Master’s in Information Technology – Software Application Development Program:

The online Learning Consortium recognized Southern New Hampshire University itself as 2017’s Digital Learning Innovator. Students can learn with 100% flexibility according to their schedule with no fixed class meeting sessions. SNHU also received a $1M grant from Google to discover soft skills evaluation for high-need youth. Students can enjoy access to a powerful network of 200,000+ staff, alumni, and colleagues that can support them until they complete their degrees.

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Southern New Hampshire University is named 2020’s Most Innovative University in the North by the US News & World Report. It is one of the country’s Best Regional Universities from the same publication.

The United States Distance Learning Association also awarded SNHU with the 21st Century Distance Learning Award for Excellence in Online Technology. Since its foundation, the Chronicle of Higher Education names SNHU as a “Great College To Work For” every year.

Southern Methodist University

: 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas TX 75205
: 214 768 2000

Southern Methodist University

Online Master of Science in Software Engineering

Southern Methodist University is a comprehensive, private university developed by its United Methodist tradition and its partnership with the Dallas Metroplex. Founded by the United Methodist Church, the university is non-sectarian in its instruction and remains steadfast in its commitment to the values of open inquiry and academic freedom.

With very few program offerings in its 1915 initiation, SMU currently offers 100+ undergraduate and graduate degrees in over 90 programs in five schools.

  • SMU’s Online Master of Science in Software Engineering program is offered through the Lyle School of Engineering.
  • The 30-credit hour graduate program consists of 12 credit hours of core required courses and 18 credit hours of elective courses.
  • Thesis and Non-Thesis options are offered, depending on the students’ preferences.
  • Students can demonstrate their competence in one out of six core areas of computer science, namely Computer Architecture, Programming Languages, Data Structures and Algorithms, Database Management Systems, Operating Systems and Concurrency, or Networks and Distributed Systems.
  • Students must have a baccalaureate degree in computer science, math, engineering, or one of the quantitative sciences to enroll.

Standout Features of Southern Methodist University’s Online Master of Science in Software Engineering Program:

SMU’s online Master of Science in Software Engineering program is integrated with courses aligned with the Software Engineering Institute, specifically developed by the Department of Defense to help develop a stable foundation for the rapidly emerging field of software engineering.

Given that it is a graduate program catering to working professionals, SMU’s graduate program in software engineering is open to part-time and full-time learners.

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Southern Methodist University is within the Top 20% of the Best National Universities in the country according to the US News & World Report’s 2020 Best Colleges. According to Forbes, in 2019, SMU also garnered recognition as the #2 school in Dallas among the best venues for careers and business.

Dedicated to accessibility and affordability, the majority of undergraduates at SMU receive some financial assistance.

Washington State University

: Stadium Way & NE. Wilson St., Pullman, WA 99164-0001
: 509 335 3564

Washington State University

Online Master’s Degree in Software Engineering

Since 1890, Washington State University continues to advocate an education that spurs action. By doing initiatives, in-depth laboratories, internships, fieldwork, and research opportunities, the process of learning.

With official accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, it offers 86 minors, 95 undergraduate programs, 100+ in-major concentrations, and almost 150 professional and graduate degree programs.

  • WSU’s online Master’s Degree in Software Engineering program is offered through the WSU Global Campus.
  • The 30-semester credit online MSSE program consists of 9-credit core courses, 9-credit advanced courses, 6-credit professional courses, and 6-credit elective courses.
  • For enrollment in the graduate program, applicants must have an undergraduate degree in computer science or any related discipline or professional experience as a software engineer or computer scientist.
  • Admission requirements include official copies of transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a letter of intent, a completed online application, and a $75 application fee.
  • Without a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, or Computer Science, applicants must take additional prerequisites before completing advanced software engineering courses.

Standout Features of Washington State University’s Online Master’s Degree in Software Engineering Program:

The WSU School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science is vital in preparing graduates at all aspects for technological productivity. WSU’s Master’s Degree in Software Engineering program is one of the few programs of its kind in the US. The 100% online graduate program offers a holistic approach and in-depth curriculum, allowing students to master one or more sub-areas of software engineering.

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Out of over 4,300 private and public institutions, Washington State University is one of just 115 universities and colleges in the US recognized among doctoral schools with the highest research activity in the Carnegie Classification.

Considered a catalyst of economic growth, WSU’s activities boost the state’s economy by $3.7B per year. WSU scholars also create jobs when they introduce their innovations to the market.

Franklin University

: 201 S. Grant Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215
: 877 341 6300

Franklin University

Online Master of Science in Computer Science

Franklin University is an accredited, non-profit institution of higher learning dedicated to working adults for more than a century. From a massive list of student support services to convenient, online degrees, Franklin University offers diverse degree options for adult learners. With an average age of 34, the online programs provide work-life balance with services and classes best fit for busy professionals.

Designed to meet their unique demands, Franklin University features an adult-centered learning environment that allows students to choose where they want and how to learn.

  • Franklin University’s online Master of Science in Computer Science program is a 100% customizable program, allowing students to tailor their graduate degree according to their interests.
  • With a 20-month completion program, students can easily complete their MSCS program online.
  • Enrolling students aren’t required to submit their GRE/GMAT scores. Instead, they will only submit their official transcripts, resume, and completed application.
  • The program will allow students to choose a specific area of concentration, namely Data Analytics, Cybersecurity, or Software Systems, for their Major Elective requirements.
  • Thirty-six credit hours are required in the online MS in Computer Science degree.

Standout Features of Franklin University’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science Program:

Franklin University has a diverse selection of micro-credential programs, a short, skill-centered distinction that allows students to demonstrate their proficiencies and competencies in a specific area. These programs can also be integrated into the online Master of Science in Computer Science program.

Franklin’s transfer-friendly graduate program in Computer Science is regularly evaluated by an advisory board represented by prestigious organizations in the industry. 

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With Global Partnerships, Franklin University has trusted partners in 12 countries and a network of 135+ schools in the US. The university has made an American college program more convenient and accessible to international and overseas learners. Franklin offers graduate and undergraduate college degree programs in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Colorado Technical University

: 4435 N. Chestnut St., Colorado Springs, CO 80907
: 855 230 0555

Colorado Technical University

Online Master of Science in Computer Science – Software Engineering

Since Colorado Technical University’s establishment has helped thousands of on-campus and online students reach their professional and academic goals. CTU has also established itself as a frontrunner in online and hybrid learning. In 2009, the university’s Virtual Campus was recognized as “Best of the Best” in Academia and Education by the Computerworld Honors program.

  • The CTU Online Master of Science in Computer Science – Software Engineering program features mobile-friendly classes with a 5.5 week-long duration.
  • The rigorous online program will require the successful completion of 48 credits for students to earn their graduate degrees.
  • To enroll, students must have prior knowledge in all core software engineering or computer science disciplines. Otherwise, they must complete two MSCS foundation courses.
  • Depending on their schedule and need, students can choose from nine start dates per year to enroll in the graduate program.

Standout Features of Colorado Technical University’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science – Software Engineering Program:

The CTU – online Master of Science in Computer Science programs have been recognized by the US News & World Report as a leading online Master’s in Computer Information Technology Programs for the seventh year in a row. Students can easily manage their studies with their tablet or smartphone anytime, anywhere through CTU Mobile.

In 2018, the university received a WCET Outstanding Work Award for its CTU Mobile app, affirming CTU’s goal to offer easy access to education through innovative technology.

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Colorado Technical University is recognized as one of the Best Online Programs for Veterans for the seventh succeeding year, according to the US News & World Report. In 2015, the National University Technology Network awarded Colorado Technical University the Distance Education Innovation Award.

The accolade distinguishes the university’s innovative learning platform, Intellipath® which provides MBA students with an adaptive and state-of-the-art personalized study plan.

Penn State World Campus

: 128 Outreach Building, University Park, PA 16802
: 800 252 3592

Pennsylvania State University

Online Master of Software Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University has its very own Penn State World Campus that first opened in 1998. Through the online learning initiative, students will receive the same type of degree as their on-campus counterparts. Both Penn State World Campus and The Pennsylvania State University receive their regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  • Penn State’s online Master of Software Engineering program is a cohort-based online program that mimics the remote workplace setting often found in the real-world or international marketplace.
  • Students need 36 credit hours to earn their graduate degree in Software Engineering at Penn State.
  • The 36-credit program comprises 12 courses that must be completed in succeeding 7-week terms over 24 months.
  • As a final requirement, students must accomplish a software project to apply everything they’ve learned throughout the program.
  • To apply, students must already have a baccalaureate degree in information science, computer science, mathematics, physics, or engineering. Students from other areas of study with extensive professional experience may be considered.

Standout Features of The Pennsylvania State University’s Online Master of Software Engineering Program:

Penn State’s online Master of Software Engineering program offers a holistic curriculum integrated with new information relevant to real-world scenarios. Students will progress through the graduate program with others in the cohort. They will gain valuable experience in networking, collaborating, and interfacing with faculty and colleagues while completing projects remotely.

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According to The Wall Street Journal, the Pennsylvania State University is the #1 institution in the US for training and educating the most well-rounded and best-prepared graduates who are easily hired after graduation.

According to the survey by WSJ, Penn State is one of the big state schools, along with Texas A&M University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where companies prefer recruiting new hires due to their emphasis on practical learning relevant skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

An online Master of Computer Applications degree is a post-graduate program that can be completed with an undergraduate in mathematics, physics, IT, engineering, or any related program. Unlike in India, a graduate program in Computer Applications may not be available in the United States; however, students can enroll in a related program. Some of the more common programs related to Computer Applications include:

  • Online Master of Software Engineering,
  • Online Master of Computer Science,
  • Online Master of Information Technology,
  • Online Master of Science in Software Development.

Regardless of what your degree is called, the online Master of Computer Applications program primarily focuses on application or software development. These graduate programs emphasize the use of programming languages and related tools for computer application development.

Typically, an online Master of Computer Applications degree takes two to three years. The program encompasses the core topics of database administration/management, system design, software application development, computer networks, and software development life cycles.

If you have completed an online Master of Computer Applications or any related degree, you will be prepared to pursue numerous career pathways. Computer and Information Technology jobs will surge by as much as 13% between 2020 and 2030! As of May 2021, the average yearly income for these occupations was $97,430, higher than the US’ average annual salary of $45,760.

Here are some of the popular career opportunities for graduates with an online Master of Computer Applications:

Computer Programmer

Computer Programmers write, implement, and test codes that enable computer programs and applications to work. These professionals will utilize various programming languages and perform testing for bugs to ensure quality and efficient performance once they go live in production.

Additional responsibilities include enhancing and fixing existing applications to ensure smooth and more effective processes.

Database Administrator

Many companies and businesses nowadays utilize a significant amount of data in different ways. They use data to find effective solutions to complex issues, develop new products, and evaluate potential business opportunities. Databased Administrators are the primary go-to of every organization for big data utilization.

These professionals will ensure that a company’s data is confidential and secure. They are also responsible for backing up and storing data in safe locations. Database Administrators also make sure that every organization’s data is accessible and organized so team members can utilize them in different methods.

Software Developer

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Software Developers create software applications and computer programs that people use daily for work, school, and personal endeavors. Responsibilities include assessing the requirements of their clients or organizations and developing computer applications that will align with their needs and preferences.

These professionals work within teams to plan, design, implement, test, and deploy applications, or they can handle everything by themselves.

Every graduate school has its distinct format and curriculum for its online Master of Computer Application program. Many of these graduate programs will focus on the maintenance, configuration, processes, development, design, planning, and assessment of computer applications or software.

Some programs will also provide students with the opportunity to choose a particular specialization in a field, including software design, software quality assurance, or software application development. Other schools will require a capstone or thesis project. Some of the common courses integrated into the curriculum of an online Master of Computer Applications include:

  • Computer Science
  • Computer System Architecture
  • Networking Systems
  • Software Development
  • System Engineering

Since computer applications are essentially technologically driven, it is possible and convenient to complete your graduate program online. In most programs, students will only require a dedicated computer and access to a stable internet connection. Like other online graduate programs, course materials can be accessed anytime, anywhere through the school’s learning management platform.

Students can also access numerous online student support services, such as e-libraries and career development services. Online libraries will provide students with downloadable content, allowing students to save expenses on purchasing textbooks.

Projects, assignments, and other deliverables will be uploaded on the learning platform. Given that no in-person requirements are completed, an online Master of Computer Applications program is ideal for adult students with busy schedules.

A comprehensive understanding of different computer applications will benefit any profession within the IT industry and elsewhere. An online Master of Computer Applications degree will help you become proficient in the many different roles within the technology sector.

The skills you acquire by studying a diverse range of computer applications and software engineering qualify you for employment in almost all sectors. Some industries include security, stock exchange, government sectors, e-commerce, banking and finance, and healthcare.

Remember that, because computers are essential to all types of businesses, there will always be a demand for tech-savvy professionals.

Key Takeaways

  • For a top-notch position in IT, most often a Master’s degree in Computer Applications is a must-have!
  • Online degree programs make it convenient. Distance learning provides busy students a way to earn their degrees from the comfort of their home… at a time that fits their lifestyle.

Additional Information:

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Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor