5 Reasons to Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Computing

UW Extended Campus December 14, 2020
Graduation cap on top of keyboard

Information technology (IT) and computer science professionals that make up the computing field play integral roles in businesses. They work hard managing networks and databases, developing websites, programming employee systems, and ensuring that confidential materials stay secure. The job outlook is also positive for computing professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and IT occupations are projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations, resulting in more than 667,000 new jobs.

Ready to break into the field or advance your skill set? Here are five reasons to consider earning your bachelor’s degree in computing.

Headshot of Lori Plate
Lori Plate, Advisory Board member of UW Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing

1. If you want to secure a position in this growing field, research shows you’ll need a bachelor’s degree to stay competitive. Have goals of becoming a computer programmer, software developer, or information security analyst? According to the same BLS report, these computing occupations, among others, require at least a bachelor’s degree to secure an entry-level position. Besides requiring it, a bachelor’s degree will also increase your marketability as a candidate. 

“As a hiring manager, I’m looking for individuals that want to continue learning. I like to see candidates identify something they’re interested in, and find a way to learn more about it and better themselves,” said Lori Plate, Vice President and CIO at Johnsonville Sausage and Advisory Board member of the 100 percent online UW Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing. 

2. A bachelor’s degree increases earning potential. The BLS found that education leads to higher wages and lower unemployment. Specifically, the median usual weekly wage for those with bachelor’s degrees is $1,334, while the wage is around $963 for those with an associate degree and $899 for those with some college but no degree. This finding in combination with the positive job outlook shows that earning a bachelor’s degree will pay off over time.

A graph showing how median weekly earnings increase with education level.

Headshot of Carl Schweitzer
Carl Schweitzer, Advisory Board member of UW Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing

3. Gain essential skills in technology and business. As a student, you’ll learn several programming languages and software development techniques, along with how to recognize and address security issues and manage data. You’ll also learn essential soft skills, including communication, ethics, and problem solving. According to Indeed, soft skills are important to employers because they indicate longevity, measure teamwork and communication abilities, and show potential for leadership.

“Those that can identify how the tech they are building impacts the business [will find] greater success,” adds Carl Schweitzer, Senior Software Development Engineer at Microsoft and UW Applied Computing Advisory Board member.

4. When enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program, students have access to a wide variety of support from instructors, advisors, and peers. Students build meaningful relationships that not only lead to success in the program, but also future career success as well.

5. A bachelor’s degree gives you the opportunity to pursue graduate school. While you may not be sure if graduate school is in your future, it’s possible your dream job may require a master’s degree or you might find as the computing field becomes dense with competition, graduate education is a viable path to career advancement. Bottom line, you don’t have to decide on graduate school now, but by earning your bachelor’s degree in computing, you’re preparing yourself for the possibility. Not to mention you’ll complete valuable coursework in your bachelor’s program that is required for admission to many master’s level degrees such as data science, cybersecurity, and IT management. While a bachelor’s degree in computing will get your foot in the door, earning a master’s degree can open the doors to higher salaries and leadership opportunities.

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What’s Next? Find a Bachelor’s Degree in Computing That’s Right for You

When choosing a bachelor’s degree program, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and interests. Some programs are more general, focusing on all aspects of computing, while others dive deeper into specific topics. Programs also vary in their format. Some are offered completely online, while others meet in classrooms.

The 100 percent online UW Applied Computing bachelor’s degree sets students up for success in virtually any industry. The degree program includes coursework in IT, computer science and business, giving students a breadth of computing knowledge. As a student in this flexible program, you’ll learn the hard and soft skills that employers are looking for, and graduate with a highly-respected University of Wisconsin degree.

The online learning format gives you the flexibility to earn your degree while also managing professional and personal responsibilities. Recent Applied Computing graduate Noah Borkowski found the online degree program played a critical role in achieving his career goals. Noah started his first full-time job while earning his degree online in a field he is passionate about. 

Samantha Thompson, a recent UW Applied Computing graduate, says: “My coach was extremely helpful in getting all of my enrollment paperwork filled out, and some of the applied computing faculty have even checked in with me to say I was doing a good job in courses. That has been really encouraging.” Even though the program is online, students are still fully supported. Student success coaches, advisers, and faculty members are available to help students in any capacity. 

Interested in learning more about the online University of Wisconsin Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing degree? Reach out to an enrollment adviser by calling 1-877-895-3278 or emailing

Programs: Applied Computing