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AAS in Information Technology: Degree Overview

Learn the details of an associate's degree program in information technology. Check the coursework students may complete and review some career choices and continuing education options for graduates.

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Essential Information

An Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology (IT) program is designed to provide instruction in the development and implementation of different types of computer technology and applications. Students learn how computers combine with communication technologies to make information technology. The program combines hands-on training with computer software with lectures and labs. This program can be completed in 2 years and doesn't usually have education prerequisites.

Course Topics

The curriculum for IT programs includes theory and hands-on training. Students become familiar with using computer software and electronic devices. Individuals interested in careers in IT must also possess problem-solving skills, as well as good oral and written communication skills. They discover how to design, install and maintain computer networks and related software. Upon graduation, participants may be qualified to work with industries, business, education and government organizations in a variety of capacities. The following courses, or variations of them, are usually required in an IT degree program:

  • Microsoft networking
  • AC/DC for electronics
  • Computer forensics
  • Web page design
  • Software design
  • Database fundamentals

Popular Career Choices

Information technology is a large field involving the storage and transmission of information through various channels, including network systems, the Internet and computer databases. Therefore, it's also a field that offers graduates a wide range of career options or industries in which to work. Some popular career options include:

  • Computer systems administrator
  • Network administrator
  • Database administrator
  • Computer security specialist
  • Network engineer
  • Web application developer

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), information security analysts can expect a 37% increase in employment opportunities over the 2012-2022 period, while web developers are projected to see an increase of 20%. Network and computer systems administrators may see a 12% growth in opportunities, and database administrators are likely to experience a 15% expansion in job availability over that same decade, based on data from the BLS.

As reported by the BLS, web developers were paid a median salary of $62,500 in 2012, and information security analysts earned a median of $86,170 at that time. The median salary for network and computer systems administrators in 2012 was $72,560, and database administrators were paid a median salary of $77,080 that year, as indicated by the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

Students in the AAS program can choose to transfer to 4-year colleges or universities and pursue bachelor's or master's degrees in computer science, computer engineering or a related field. Management positions typically require at least a bachelor's degree. Certification is a way to demonstrate knowledge and skill in a field or specialty. Many IT or computer specialists obtain certifications through certify agencies. Software and product vendors also offer certification when their products are being used.

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