The curriculum of an applied technology program will vary based on the specialized field a student chooses. However, all such programs will provide a firm foundation in subjects such as communications, computer technology and business administration. Associate programs are best suited for those looking to enter a certain trade field while bachelor's programs help those already established in a particular field to advance in their career.
To be admitted into an associate's program, students generally need a high school diploma or GED. For a bachelor's degree, an associate's degree is often required for admission.
Associate's Degree in Applied Technology
Associate's degree programs tailor the curriculum to the specific career goals of the student, generally as an apprentice, technician or craftsman. Some of the specialties available include automotive technology, business management, welding technology, fire science technology, computer-aided drafting (CAD) technology and computer information systems (CIS). Many programs include an apprenticeship before completion.
The coursework in these programs depends largely on the specialty chosen. General education class choices include topics in:
- Management principles and accounting
- English composition
- Psychology and sociology
Bachelor of Applied Technology
Bachelor's degree programs in applied technology are typically designed for those who already possess an associate's degree in their field or another specialty. Students gain advanced skills in specialties such as public administration, entrepreneurship, management or marketing for supervisory or management roles. The program gives students a broad understanding of the facets of management operations.
A variety of specialty studies are offered in applied technology programs. In addition to classroom lectures, students may complete seminars, real-world simulations and internships. Some topics covered include:
- Public service administration
- Computer information technology or technology management
- Business administration and management
- Banking principles and regulation
- Electronic commerce (e-commerce)
Popular Career Options
Bachelor's degree programs give graduates the advanced theoretical knowledge and management experience for supervisory roles. Some positions include:
- Human resource manager
- Technology manager
- Purchasing manager
- Project manager
- Inventory, resource and supply chain manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Depending on the concentration chosen, graduates of these programs have an array of career choices in construction, manufacturing, business and maintenance positions. Some include:
- Maintenance mechanic
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earning an associate's degree in computer-aided drafting could lead to work as a mechanical drafter. The BLS notes that these professionals earned median annual wages of $ $55,550 as of 2018, and the number of job opportunities in the drafting field is projected to show little or no change from between 2018 and 2028. This rate of growth is much less than average compared to other career sectors.
Continuing Education Information
Depending on the field of choice, some colleges offer continuing education for graduates of applied technology degree programs. Students can continue their education or keep up-to-date with new technologies in their trade by taking courses in electronics, plumbing, maintenance, CAD and other associated topics.
Some colleges also offer custom-designed training for employers and employees by analyzing the business need, and then developing a training program suited for the company and its employees.
Depending on a student's specific interests, goals, and skills, there is likely a program that will prepare them for a career in the field of applied technology. Associate degrees provide the training necessary for entry level and trade careers whereas bachelor's programs can aid in career advancement.