University of Illinois Launches New Specialization on Coursera to Increase Access to Online Master of Computer Science Degree

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University of Illinois Launches New Specialization on Coursera to Increase Access to Online Master of Computer Science Degree

By Dil Sidhu, Chief Content Officer at Coursera

Although computing roles are among the highest-paying jobs today, historically just under three percent of college graduates have earned a computer science (CS) degree. That has translated into a shallow talent pool for an industry that is projected to add more than half a million jobs by 2026. It also means that even experienced programmers who’ve learned on the job may not have the right CS background to pursue advanced CS degrees and enhance their careers.  

To help address this gap, we’re excited to announce Accelerated Computer Science Fundamentals, a new Specialization from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that teaches fundamental computer science algorithms and data structures. The Specialization can also help prospective students improve their application for admission to the University of Illinois’ Online Master of Computer Science (MCS) or MCS in Data Science (MCS-DS) — top-quality degree programs designed to help students pursue some of the most sought-after careers in computer science and data science.

“We’re seeing strong demand for the Online MCS and MCS-DS from prospective students who want to apply computer and data science to their discipline,” said Professor John Hart, Director of Online and Professional Programs for Illinois Computer Science. “However, these students may lack key prerequisites that are required for success in our top-five CS graduate program.” 

Developed by CS Professor Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider, the three-course Specialization helps prospective applicants of the Online MCS and MCS-DS prepare for the Online MCS Entrance Exam. Upon successful completion of the exam, they will have proven that they have the necessary abilities in object-oriented programming, algorithms, and data structures to be prepared for advanced study in graduate-level CS coursework at the University of Illinois, enhancing their application for admission. Read about Illinois Computer Science’s admissions requirements.

Launched in 2016, the Online MCS and MCS-DS degrees are not only high quality, but flexible and affordable: tuition costs $21,440 for a complete 32 credit hour degree that is available entirely online through Coursera. The University of Illinois is home to one of the top computer science programs in the world, and this new Specialization marks an innovative advancement in giving even more students around the world the opportunity to participate in such a highly ranked program. 

The new Accelerated Computer Science Fundamentals Specialization is available now. To learn more about the Online Master of Computer Science (MCS) or MCS in Data Science (MCS-DS) go to coursera.org/degrees