Associate of Applied Science programs in computer applications cover technical knowledge as well as customer service, business applications, communication and workplace skills. Many of these programs also offer internship opportunities and hands-on training in computer labs. These programs generally can be finished in two years. A high school diploma or the equivalent is generally required for admission.
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AAS Degree in Computer Applications
Computer applications associate degree programs typically require 61-62 semester hours of coursework. Courses commonly cover the basics of Microsoft Word programs, web applications and Internet technology. Students also learn to troubleshoot hardware and software issues, analyze data, complete basic programming tasks and develop solutions to correct problems.
Students are also usually required to take general education coursework as well as study course topics within the program, which could include:
- Internet programming
- Introduction to operating systems
- Information systems
- Internet technology
- Word processing
Popular Career Options
Because nearly every industry uses computers in some capacity, graduates can be qualified for employment in a wide variety of fields. Any business that requires administrative professionals who also have a working knowledge of computer applications might seek graduates from this program. Possible job titles could include:
- Data entry operator
- Administrative assistant
- Word processing specialize
- Office manager
- Systems technician
- Computer support specialist
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, secretaries and administrative assistants were projected to see a 3% job growth from 2014 to 2024, while computer support specialists should see 12% growth that decade. The median annual salary for secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical and executive, was $33,910 in May 2015. The median annual wage for computer support specialists was $48,620 that same year.
Continuing Education Information
As computer and Internet technologies continue to grow and change, graduates can keep up with the latest trends by participating in computer applications certificate programs. Graduates might also be interested in expanding their knowledge by enrolling in certificate programs in computer networking, software development or information technology.
Those interested in advanced degrees and career opportunities in the information technology field can apply to bachelor's degree programs in computer science. However, administrative professionals with an understanding of computer applications can also enroll in bachelor's degree programs in business administration or similar fields to become managers or supervisors.
By earning an AAS in Computer Applications, students get a general education while also building the basic business and technology skills they need for entry-level jobs or to continue their studies at the bachelor's degree level.