AAS in Computer Programming: Degree Overview

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs in computer programming prepare students for work in the information technology (IT) field through instruction in software and computer programming.

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Essential Information

In addition to learning programming skills, students in AAS programs develop analytical, technical and troubleshooting skills. They also learn to use business applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets and database software. Graduates can pursue various manufacturer-specific certifications in this field. In order to apply, students must hold a high school diploma or the equivalent and complete courses in word processing and spreadsheets.

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Associate's Degree in Applied Science in Computer Programming

Courses are designed to help students become familiar with computer hardware and software. In addition to programming courses, students need a certain number of math credits. Though course names may vary, required courses generally cover the following topics:

  • Web programming
  • Java programming
  • C++ programming
  • Systems analysis
  • Financial accounting
  • Computer systems and business applications

Popular Career Options

Graduates of computer programming associate's degree programs are prepared for work in many areas of computer science and information technology. Some possible career choices include:

  • Computer programmer
  • Software engineer
  • Systems analyst
  • Application developer
  • PC specialist
  • Microcomputer application specialist

Employment Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of computer programmers is anticipated to decline by 8% during the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). Computer support specialists should see a 12% increase during the same time period. Based on 2015 data from the BLS, programmers earned a median annual salary of $79,530, and support specialists earned $51,470.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates may choose to advance their education because many employers prefer to hire individuals with bachelor's degrees. Some programming positions require completion of a bachelor's degree in computer programming, computer science or a related field.

In addition to earning the degree, many programmers become certified to demonstrate their knowledge and commitment to their area of expertise. Many software and product vendors offer certification when companies use their products. Microsoft offers various certification programs for individuals interested in using their products.

After earning an AAS in Computer Programming, graduates have the computer skills they need for certain entry-level IT jobs, such as application developer and systems analyst. They are also ready to enroll in bachelor's degree programs that can prepare them for more advanced careers.

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