You can choose the best computer science distance learning program by considering the following things: the type of accreditation that the school holds, the cost of tuition, the type of student services offered, the quality of customer service provided and the reputation of the school for training students in the field of computer science. It generally is also a good idea to find out beforehand how often the school updates its curriculum, because technological advances are seen much more often in this field than almost any other. The use of outdated curricula in computer science distance learning degree programs will be to your disadvantage whether you are studying for self-improvement or to begin a career in the field. Consider all of the methods that the programs allows you for the delivery of homework, contacting your professors, taking quizzes and exams and interacting with other students. Another important thing to keep in mind is that if the exams, particularly mid-term and final exams, are not proctored, your degree might not be recognized.
Computer science distance learning degree programs are offered by colleges, universities and distance learning schools in many countries. Tuition costs can vary greatly and might force the selection for you. When tuition costs are not a major consideration, however, you might want to focus on the student services and support provided, such as resumé writing and job placement. Enrollment into the computer science distance learning degree programs of some institutions comes with the perks of the free use of software, student discounts for the purchase of costly software, storage space on the school network for maintaining your electronic files and homework or a free universal serial bus (USB) drive. You should carefully read the description of the computer science distance learning degree program provided by the school and review the coursework to make sure that you will be studying the exact subjects you will need to learn.
For example, coursework for a degree in web development should not substitute learning how to code in extensible hypertext mark-up language (XHTML) with learning to use a web design software program. It is a good idea to speak with someone at the school more than once before making a final decision to enroll in a computer science distance learning program. If you have trouble contacting departments such as admissions, the registrar's office, billing and, of course, the computer science department before you even enroll, you can expect to have problems getting customer service after you have become a student. Some programs, though they are delivered from a distance, require students to attend classes at specified times on specified days. Others give you the freedom to study on your own schedule. You should consider your daily obligations and your personality in order to make a good decision.
If you do not consider yourself to be a disciplined individual, you might want to select a computer science distance learning program that requires you to attend virtual classes according to a set schedule, just like you would do if you were attending in person. Work and family obligations, however, might conflict with your school schedule, in which case you could select from the programs that permit you to study at your own pace. Many people have also found it helpful to do a little research on the school by using the Internet to discover the compliments and complaints that have been reported by current and former computer science students.