Online Computer Diploma and Certificate Program Overviews

Find out about online computer diploma and certificate courses and in which training programs they're most commonly offered. Get course descriptions, program info and online requirements to make an informed decision.

Essential Information

Most computer diploma and certificate courses are found under broader categories such as computer science, information technology (IT), network administration, computer applications, database management, security administration and more. These online programs are available through many technical schools, vocational colleges, community colleges and universities.

Some programs emphasize specific vendor technologies, such as Cisco and Microsoft, while others are vendor neutral and discuss an array of computer-related topics. Online courses, which are generally taught via video conferencing and email, prepare candidates for industry certification tests.

Computer Diploma Programs

Admission requirements for most online computer diploma programs may include holding a high school diploma or its equivalency. Through some online computer diploma programs, students can choose a single specialty area, such as database management, web development or programming. Students can take up to 18 months to complete the required 54 credit-hour minimum for many online computer diploma programs on a full-time basis. Diplomas may be earned in programs such as information systems, computer applications, database management, and security administration.

Common Courses

Typically, computer diploma curriculum begins with a certain number of core information systems courses, including:

  • Computer Programming Design
  • Networking
  • Systems Modeling Theory
  • Computer Ethics

Computer Certificate Programs

As with diploma programs, online certificate programs often require students to possess a high school diploma or the equivalent. While many of these certificate programs are similar to the diploma programs mentioned above, others tend to train students on specific software programs or operating systems, such as Windows, UNIX and LINUX. The individual classes offered will depend on the specific certification program. Upon completion, students are generally eligible to sit for industry certification exams.

Common Courses

The following is an example of classes frequently taught in a Cisco certificate program:

  • Routing and Switching
  • Firewall Configuration
  • Networking Fundamentals

Online computer diploma and certificate programs train students in a plethora of computer-related topics that will expand their knowledge of information technology, computer applications, computer science and network administration. Successful students will be qualified to work in various areas of the field.

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