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UPenn's online master's in computer science costs a third of an in-person degree and can land you a job in the rapidly growing tech field

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 14 Jan 2021

<bi-shortcode id="disclaimer" class="mceNonEditable" data-type="insiderpicks"></bi-shortcode><p><a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink'id=EHFxW6yx8Uo&amp;mid=40328&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.coursera.org%2Fdegrees%2Fmcit-penn%23" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/5bb66b2992b3694e7026dff7-816/upenn%20mcit%20computer%20science.jpg" border="0" alt="upenn mcit computer science" data-mce-source="Penn Engineering/Facebook"></a></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><ul class="summary-list"><li>With the help of UPenn's online <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink'id=EHFxW6yx8Uo&amp;mid=40328&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.coursera.org%2Fdegrees%2Fmcit-penn%23" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow">Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) program</a>, students with no prior experience can enter the lucrative and growing field of computer science.</li><li>The 10-course, online version of the on-campus graduate-level program takes 16-40 months to complete and costs about $26,000 (one-third of the on-campus cost).</li><li>The deadline to apply for the fall 2021 semester is May 1, 2021 (early deadline: March 1).</li><li><a href="https://newsletter.businessinsider.com/join/4np/insider-picks" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sign up for Insider Reviews' weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals</a></li></ul><div></div><p>With its wide-ranging application to nearly every industry, a major in computer science is more valued and in-demand than ever. <a href="https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/50-highest-paying-college-majors/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">According to Glassdoor</a>, it was the highest-paying college major in 2018, with median base salaries starting at $70,000.</p><p>People who didn't take any computer science courses during undergrad can feel like they're behind if they're interested in entering the field. However, <strong>an online master's degree offered by UPenn and e-learning platform <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink'id=EHFxW6yx8Uo&amp;mid=40328&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.coursera.org%2F" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow">Coursera</a></strong> intends to break the financial and institutional barriers of gaining a graduate-level education in computer science.</p><p>The <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink'id=EHFxW6yx8Uo&amp;mid=40328&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.coursera.org%2Fdegrees%2Fmcit-penn%23" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow">Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT)</a> is one of the only online graduate-level degree programs of its kind: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/free-online-courses-from-the-best-colleges-2018-4" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Ivy League caliber</a> and designed for students with a non-computer science background. <strong>It's the same degree that on-campus students earn, but through more affordable and flexible means, </strong>and the final diploma doesn't indicate that it was earned online.</p><p>The MCIT program is made up of 10 coursessix required courses, including Introduction to Software Development; Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science; and Introduction to Computer Systems, and four electives in topics such as machine learning and data science. <strong>Depending on your pace, it can take 16 to 40 months to complete.</strong></p><p>Alumni from this program have been able to combine this computer science education with their existing backgrounds to develop more well-rounded skill sets. 2016 alum Theresa Breiner, for example, earned a BA in Linguistics. After graduating from the on-campus MCIT program, during which she gained a broad understanding of computer science and took linguistics-related electives, she landed a role as a software engineer on Google's Speech &amp; Keyboard team. <strong>Other alumni have gone on to earn positions at Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Oracle.</strong></p><p>Chris Murphy, an associate professor in Penn Engineering's Department of Computer and Information Science says, "Not only is computing permeating our everyday lives, but there's so much potential for it to help solve some of the world's major problems and have significant social impact. This program will allow people from all backgrounds to participate in that."</p><p>The cost and flexible structure of an online program are also big draws. The total cost of tuition (plus fees) is $26,360, <strong>which is about a third of the cost of the on-campus degree</strong>. You can also continue to work a full-time job while attending the MCIT program part-time.</p><p>To apply, you'll need a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, a resume, and TOEFL scores (if applicable). You don't need to submit a GRE score, though the school says that they will be taken into consideration if submitted (and can boost your application).</p><p>The program begins in the fall of 2021, and the application is now open through May 1, 2021 (early applications are due March 1).</p><div></div><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/university-of-pennsylvania-online-masters-degree-computer-science-coursera#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p>
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