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Associate of Computer Applications: Degree Overview

Associate's programs in computer applications are designed to prepare students to operate and work with computer programs and applications for business purposes.

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Essential Information

In associate's degree programs in computer applications, students gain a solid knowledge of computer operating systems and computer business software. They also acquire the analytical and problem-solving skills required for work in the field.

Applicants interested in an associate's degree in computer applications are required to have a high school diploma or the GED equivalent for admission. Many programs offer flexible scheduling for the convenience of student. Some courses may be offered through distance learning.


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Associate's Degree in Computer Applications

This program could consist of up to 64 credit hours of coursework. Courses prepare students to work with the computer applications and programs used in typical business environments. They are designed to develop students' keyboarding, word processing, computer and business database skills in order to help them become proficient in all areas of computer applications. Course topics may include:

  • Desktop publishing
  • Microsoft database applications
  • Computer information applications
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Visual software development
  • Microcomputer applications

Popular Career Options

Graduates of computer applications associate's degree programs have the skills necessary to gain entry-level work in many positions that demand computer competencies, including:

  • Computer programmer
  • Applications developer
  • Programmer analyst
  • Web programmer
  • Computer programmer analyst

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected an 8% decline in the employment of computer programmers between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). Based on BLS estimates from 2015, these computer professionals earned a median annual salary of $79,530.

Continuing Education Information

Individuals who complete computer applications programs are prepared for immediate work in a variety of industries; they're also prepared for further postsecondary study. Individuals interested in becoming computer software engineers or network engineers may transfer to 4-year colleges and pursue bachelor's degrees in computer-related fields.

Professional certifications - a demonstration of knowledge and proficiency - can be obtained through computer program vendors or certifying agencies. Additionally, many training programs have courses in the curriculum that prepare students for certification exams. Some examples may include CompTIA A+, C+ and MOUS (Microsoft Office User Specialist).

Through associate's degree programs in computer applications, students build the fundamental technical skills they need to start working in the field or to further their education with a bachelor's degree or certification.

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