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Today’s Top Programs: Master’s in Cloud Computing Online

Author: Brenda Barron

Editor: Mikalee Byerman

Explore today’s best graduate-level cloud computing programs and discover how they can help you kick-start a successful computer science career.

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A person in a white shirt and ID badge holds a tablet while standing in a dimly lit server room with reflective glass panels and green indicator lights on servers. The individual looks focused and the reflection is visible on the glass panels.

Are you up for a challenge? Cloud computing is certainly no easy job, but for computer science professionals who love tackling complex, high-level technology, it can offer a challenging and rewarding career.

But before all that, you need to get a good education: one option is a master’s in cloud computing online. Online studies offer you the opportunity to grow your career in IT without compromising on the quality of your education.

Specializing in cloud computing can open many doors for you, as the industry is rapidly growing, and businesses rely on cloud infrastructure more than ever. But you may not be sure of what’s in store. How much does it cost to earn your master’s in cloud computing online? How do online studies work? And which programs are best?

If these are the questions running through your mind, you’re in the right place. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know, from a few select schools to consider to your career prospects once you graduate.

An Inside Look: Online Cloud Computing Master’s Programs

Ready to explore programs designed to help you earn your master’s in cloud computing online? At the following spotlight schools, you’ll learn high-level concepts, gain hands-on experience, and discover how to apply your newfound knowledge in the real world.

The following programs offer some of the most comprehensive cloud computing online programs you can find. Read on for details about each that can help you choose the best school for you.

University of Maryland Global Campus

If you’re looking for a program that offers hands-on experience via extensive lab work, the Master of Science in Cloud Computing Systems offered by the University of Maryland Global Campus is exactly what you need.

Through 36 credits at an affordable price of $480-659 per credit, you’ll touch on topics like network engineering, cloud infrastructure, and management, culminating in a final capstone project.

This degree is designed to prepare you for a leadership role in the cloud computing industry. You’ll have the chance to network with classmates and professional faculty.

You’ll also be able to select some hybrid courses if you want to study partially online and partially on campus. You have full control over your education with this program.

Program Highlights

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: 18+ months
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Career Services: Yes
  • Academic Counseling: Yes

Capella University

Logo of Capella University featuring a stylized red shield with a large "C" and the name "Capella University" in green next to it, promoting Online Clinical Psychology Master’s Degrees.

In Capella University’s fully online Master of Science in Information Technology, Enterprise Networks and Cloud Computing, you’ll learn how to manage and migrate an enterprise-scale network, deal with high-level cybersecurity threats, and work efficiently in the cloud. You’ll also learn how to apply this knowledge with hands-on, real-world experience; in fact, your final applied IT project will ensure you’re ready to tackle a career in cloud computing.

Through 48 credits covering cloud architecture, deployment, network analysis, and plenty more, you’ll gain the advanced skills necessary to succeed in IT. Tuition is $715 per credit, and Capella University offers scholarships and financial aid to help you fund your studies.

Program Highlights

  • Credits: 48
  • Length: Varies
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Career Services: Yes
  • Academic Counseling: Yes

George Washington University

In this program offered at George Washington University, you can earn your Master of Engineering in Cloud Computing Management through both synchronous and asynchronous coursework.

If you’re searching for a program more tailored toward engineering career aspirations, this is a great example. You’ll go in depth into cloud architecture, cybersecurity, data management, and everything else you’ll need to become an engineer with a specialization in cloud computing.

The program also focuses on teaching leadership skills to fill the talent gap for skilled, knowledgeable managers and leaders in this field.

To apply, students need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a GPA of 2.7 or higher. Tuition for this 30-credit program is $1,200 per credit hour.

Program Highlights

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: Varies
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Career Services: Yes
  • Academic Counseling: Yes

What Classes Will I Take in an Online Cloud Computing Master’s Program?

Cloud computing is a high-level program, and you’ll find a range of topics to cover through your coursework. From the basics of cloud architecture to big data, you have a lot to learn to gain comprehensive knowledge of cloud computing in the real world. Below are examples of classes you may encounter, though each program will vary depending on the specializations offered.

Cloud Architecture

There’s no better place to start than the foundation, and that’s what a cloud architecture course aims to provide.

Delving into the foundational principles of designing and implementing cloud-based solutions, you’ll explore various cloud deployment models, such as public, private, and hybrid clouds, and learn how to architect scalable, resilient, and secure cloud infrastructures.

Hands-on learning is a major part of these classes, so expect to work directly with and build your own cloud services.

Security in Cloud Computing

Where there is tech, there is malware, breaches, and hacks — and cloud computing is no exception. This vital class focuses on understanding the unique security challenges present in cloud environments, equipping you with the knowledge you’ll need to mitigate them.

Authentication mechanisms, data encryption, access control, compliance standards, and threat detection strategies are some of the topics covered. Mastering these, you’ll be prepared to deal with data breaches, malware, and any other cybersecurity threats you may face.

Big Data Management

Big data is a big part of cloud computing, so IT programs frequently include coursework specific to this topic. In this course, you’ll learn to manage large volumes of complex data in the cloud, storing it effectively while extracting valuable insights.

Many cloud computing professionals even specialize in big data, opening up new career opportunities.

What Fields Can Cloud Computing Majors Specialize In?

While pursuing your master’s in cloud computing online, you may have the opportunity to specialize. Taking on a specific focus may make you more attractive to employers who value specialized skills over general knowledge. Below, find examples of three such specializations, which are just a few of the many found in the IT world.

Cloud Engineering

Many students who pursue an online master’s degree in computer engineering choose to specialize in cloud engineering applications. The University of Maryland offers this specialization through its Master of Engineering in Cloud Engineering, where you’ll focus specifically on the technical aspects of designing, building, and maintaining cloud infrastructure.

Graduates of this specialization have the knowledge to implement scalable and resilient cloud solutions for businesses in various industries and are well-prepared for roles as cloud architects or DevOps engineers.

Cloud Security

Cybersecurity is a hot topic in any tech field, and specializing in it can translate to a lucrative and fulfilling career. Cloud security focuses on protecting cloud systems from various cyberthreats and vulnerabilities. Arkansas State University’s MS in Applied Digital Technology — Cloud Computing and Cybersecurity is a great program focused on cloud security.

Cloud Administration

Do you prefer overseeing and managing enterprise cloud systems rather than building them yourself? Many IT students — including those that come from master’s degree programs in data analytics — may be interested in a cloud administration specialization. This puts the balance of delicate cloud systems in your hands, where you’ll oversee the day-to-day management of cloud infrastructure. National University offers an MS in Information Technology, Cloud and Networking Infrastructure Management for those looking to enter the field.

How Much Does an Online Cloud Computing Master’s Cost?

Earning your master’s in cloud computing online doesn’t have to be a financial burden. Costs will vary, but here’s an overview of programs to give you an idea of the range of tuition price tags you can expect.

School Program No. of Credits Est. Tuition
University of Maryland Global Campus MS in Cloud Computing Systems

36

$17,280-$23,724

Capella University MS in Information Technology

48

$34,320

George Washington University Master of Engineering in Cloud Computing Management

30

$36,000

Tuition and Financial Aid for Cloud Computing Students

Finding affordable computer science programs can be a difficult task, but there are plenty of resources for prospective students — including scholarships designed specifically for computer science or data science students. Each school may also have its own scholarships, grants, and work-study programs, so check with your university before you apply.

What Can You do with a Cloud Computing Masters?

Cloud computing is a promising industry, and a master’s degree in it can open up a world of exciting career opportunities in the computer science and information technology fields. We’ve chosen a few popular career titles to spotlight below, including data about salary expectations and potential for growth. Use these to give you an idea of the range of opportunities available to you in your future cloud computing career.

Computer Systems Engineer/Architect

Computer engineers and architects play a pivotal role in cloud computing. Designing robust cloud infrastructure is your primary job, as well as managing the overall systems and network.

While a master’s degree is not required for this general role, it can grant you the knowledge to work with high-level cloud technology and a bargaining chip for a higher salary. Common employers include tech companies, financial institutions, and healthcare organizations.

Career Outlook: Computer Systems Engineer/Architect

Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile Projected Growth
(2022-32)
Top Industry
$104,920 $174,300 9% or higher Professional, Scientific, and
Technical Services

Median Annual Pay
$104,920
90th Percentile
$174,300
Projected Growth (2022-32)
9% or higher
Top Industry
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

Source: O*Net OnLine, 2023

Information Security Analyst

As an information security analyst, your job is to safeguard your systems from cyberthreats. That means monitoring for security breaches, conducting risk assessments, and developing new security protocols to patch vulnerabilities. A keen attention to detail, analytical mindset, and deep knowledge of cybersecurity will serve you well in the information systems field.

Career Outlook: Information Security Analyst

Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile Projected Growth
(2022-32)
Top Industry
$120,360 $182,370 9% or higher Professional, Scientific, and
Technical Services

Median Annual Pay
$120,360
90th Percentile
$182,370
Projected Growth (2022-32)
9% or higher
Top Industry
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

Source: O*Net OnLine, 2023

Information Security Engineer

Information security engineers focus on the development of security measures in a cloud system; this is different from overseeing and safeguarding the system as a whole, which falls more in line with the role of an information security analyst.

Like many jobs in IT, you may not need a master’s degree to get a job in this role; however, achieving higher education can help you stand out in industries like cybersecurity and cloud computing.

Career Outlook: Information Security Engineer

Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile Projected Growth
(2022-32)
Top Industry
$104,920 $174,300 9% or higher Professional, Scientific, and
Technical Services

Median Annual Pay
$104,920
90th Percentile
$174,300
Projected Growth (2022-32)
9% or higher
Top Industry
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

Source: O*Net OnLine, 2023

Network and Computer Systems Administrator

Do you want to be at the forefront of cloud computing advancements? Complex technological challenges are ahead of you, but this career can be a rewarding one. You’ll explore and innovate in the field of cloud computing, publishing your findings in academic journals. This is a great career choice if you’re passionate and academically inclined.

Career Outlook: Computer & Information Research Scientist

Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile Projected Growth
(2022-32)
Top Industry
$95,360 $148,710 9% or higher Professional, Scientific, and
Technical Services

Median Annual Pay
$95,360
90th Percentile
$148,710
Projected Growth (2022-32)
9% or higher
Top Industry
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

Source: O*Net OnLine, 2023

Cloud Computing Degree FAQs

What are the admissions requirements for an online master’s in cloud computing?

Admission into a cloud computing master’s program will vary depending on the institution you choose. However, a few common requirements may include:

  • Relevant bachelor’s degree – Admission to a master’s program usually requires a bachelor’s degree, sometimes in a related field like computer science, information technology, or engineering.
  • Minimum GPA – A GPA of 2.5-3.0 or higher may be required.
  • Work experience – Some master’s degrees in cloud computing may require you to have professional work experience in a tech field.

How long does it take to earn an online master’s degree in cloud computing?

How long your studies in cloud computing will take depends on many factors. Generally, you can expect to complete your studies in one to three years as a full-time student – faster on accelerated paths, and slower if you’re a part-time student.

Is there a benefit to earning a master’s degree in cloud computing online instead of in person?

Opting for a master’s in cloud computing online offers several advantages, chiefly flexibility and convenience. You can often study from anywhere at any time, making it easier to balance education with work, family, and hobbies.

While an on-campus education has its own benefits, online programs still allow for a quality education and networking.

Do I need to learn coding or computer programming to study cloud computing?

Computer coding is extremely important for a cloud computing career, but you may not need to know a programming language going in. Your program may teach the basics of any necessary programming languages as part of its curriculum. Keep in mind that there are many programming languages, and you will not be expected to know all of them — only those that are relevant to your career path. But the more you know or learn as part of your curriculum, the more diverse your choices may be in the IT field.

Will I be accepted into a cloud computing master’s program without a computer science (CS) or related undergrad?

If you want to pursue a cloud computing master’s and are researching programs that don’t require a CS undergraduate degree, you have options. Some programs simply require a bachelor’s degree of any kind, and relevant work experience or personal projects in tech can go a long way. However, some programs are very specific in terms of their considerations for program admission, so carefully review requirements as you’re narrowing your list.