Students who are interested in learning about how computers and software work may find that an associates in computer program is the best degree program to suit their needs. The online associate degree in programming is designed to teach students how to develop software and applications, manage data, and establish networks. In addition, students will also become familiar with the core computer concepts, like operating systems and e-email. As they take their major area course work, they should also become proficient in computer hardware maintenance and programming languages.
Why an Associate Degree?
An associate degree is a good way to learn the basics of programming without having to pay the high tuition rates of four-year programs. In addition, many provide hands-on experiences through internships and projects, which will make students into marketable employees. Some programs also double as transfer agrees, which gives students credits toward a bachelor’s degree in their major area of study. This is good for students who are hoping to boost their grade-point averages to gain access into bachelor’s degree programs.
Getting Into a Associate Degree Program
The requirements for associate degrees in programming will vary by the individual program. However, it is typical for future students to need the following:
- High school diploma or equivalent.
- Some IT or programming experience.
Inside a Programming Associate Degree Program
Many programming programs give students the opportunity to specialize in their field of choice. For instance, some may take course work over software development, while others may focus their students on mobile applications development. Regardless, students will take classes in computer information, application programming, advanced concepts, network technologies, and database applications. Many programs will also require students to learn business strategies and principles, as these may arise during their careers. Finally, students will also take general education classes in fields like math, science, and history, which will make them into well-rounded graduates.
Typically, an associate degree program lasts around two years. Those who take classes on a part-time basis will complete the program at a slower pace. As programming requires use of a computer, online students may find that taking the program online gives them an edge over their peers. All assignments will be submitted through an online portal, but exams may be taken at a local testing center. Typical projects include using programming languages to build software and learning the various parts of a computer.
What’s Next for Programming Associate Holders?
An associate degree is a good way to get started in programming, but a student’s education should not end there. Programming professionals who have a bachelor’s degree in the field can go on to become software developers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the position earns around $93,280 annually, depending upon experience and location. Job outlooks are good, with growth projected at 30% through 2020.
After earning a bachelor’s degree, students can go on to pursue master’s degree in a specific area of programming. This can help them advance into management positions or help them break into academia. Students also have the option of pursuing certifications in different software, which will make them into more marketable candidates for job positions.