How Long Does It Take To Get A Computer Science Degree?

A computer science degree is a great way to start a career in the tech industry. But with so many different programs and schools to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you and just how long will it take? And what are the alternatives?

Computer science degrees can be earned in a variety of different time lengths, depending on your needs and interests. The shortest would be 12 months and the longest 5 years.

What is computer science?

Computer science is the study of computer systems and their applications. It covers a broad range of topics, including software development, programming, computer security, and network administration. If you enjoy thinking about complex problems and how to create elegant solutions to them then you will feel right at home in this area.

Why should you get a computer science degree

Computer science is an excellent choice for those interested in a career in the computer industry. Graduates will find themselves in high demand by employers all over the world. Technology is a rapidly growing field, with new applications and technologies being developed all the time. You will have the skills to make fun apps like Instagram and Tinder whilst also be able to work on large an complex business problems for the worlds largest and most impactful companies. The choice on where to go really is yours!

How long does it take to get a computer science degree?

In order to get a computer science degree, you'll need to have a strong foundation in math and science. Most degrees will require you to carry out coursework in programming languages such as Java, C++ and even primarily web technologies like JavaScript and Python. Given this they can take a long time to complete, typically four years, though some programs can be completed in as little as two years or even one if it's a masters following on from a technical undergraduate degree.

Degree programs typically include a mix of coursework in theory and practice. In the first few years, you'll take courses that cover the basics of computer programming, software development, and computer systems. In the later years, you'll have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of computer science, such as computer security or network administration.

Tips on how to choose the right computer science degree program

1. Consider your interests: When choosing a computer science degree program, it's important to consider your interests and what you want to get out of the program. Do you want to focus on software development, or are you interested in computer and network security? Or perhaps is the hardware aspect that really interests you so an electronics component would be crucial. Make sure the program you choose offers courses that align with your interests.

2. Consider your career goals: What do you want to do after you graduate? If you're not sure, that's okay! Many graduates find careers in fields outside of computer science. But if you have a specific career in mind, such as iOS app developer or cyber security analyst, make sure the program you choose will help you achieve your goals.

3. Consider the time commitment: Computer science degrees typically take four years to complete, and can cost a large amount of money. Make sure you are able to financially support yourself for that length of time.

4. Do your research: When choosing a computer science degree program, it's important to do your research and choose a program that's right for you, speak to the schools that interest you and ask lots of questions. Find course alumni on LinkedIn and ask if they would recommend the course and school.

Computer science degree alternatives

If you're not sure a degree is right for you, or if you don't have the time to commit to a full four-year degree, there are a number of alternatives available.

Shorter degree programmes

One option is to get a computer science degree in a shorter time frame. Many schools offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as two years. Another option is to get a complete on online. Online degrees offer the same coursework as traditional on site degrees, but with the flexibility of being able to study from anywhere in the world.

Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps are a great alternative to computer science degrees for students who want to learn how to code and become software developers. Bootcamps offer an immersive, accelerated learning experience that can teach you everything you need to know in just a few months. Coding bootcamps are also a great option if you're not sure if is is the right field for you. Many bootcamps offer job placement assistance and can help you transition a successful career as well.

Self taught

There are a number of different ways to learn computer science without getting a degree. One option is to teach yourself using YouTube videos, online courses such as, or course platforms like Zero To Mastery or Udemy. These resources can be a great way to learn the basics of the subject and software development.


A computer science degree can be earned in as little as 12 months, or up to five years depending on the program you choose. There are also a number of alternatives available if you're not sure if computer science is right for you, or if you don't have the time to commit to a full four-year degree. Whichever route you choose, make sure you do your research to find the best option for your needs!

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