Associate in Computer Science: Applied Computer Science Degree Overview

Associate of Science (AS) and Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs in applied computer science or applied computer studies can lead to entry-level positions or further education.

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Essential Information

In these two-year programs, students learn computer and software-related topics. Programs in applied computer studies focus more on concrete mathematics, as opposed to the largely theoretical basis of the mathematics training in general computer science programs. Some programs offer specializations in areas such as bioinformatics and game design.


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Associate's Degree in Computer Science

The curriculum of these associate's degree programs puts emphasis on science, math and technology-related topics. The program also highlights practical computer skills and higher math such as calculus. Possible courses include:

  • Data structures
  • Operating systems
  • Database design
  • Computer architecture
  • Object-oriented programming

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) careers for network and computer systems administrators will grow at a rate of 8% between 2014 and 2024, due to increasing demand for information technology professionals as more businesses start using mobile networks and other advanced technologies. Database administrators were expected to see an 11% rise in jobs during the same time. Database administrators took home a mean annual salary of $84,250 in May 2015, while network and computer systems administrators took home a mean salary of $82,200 per year (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education Information

Many people can earn entry-level positions in information technology fields with an associate's degree, but a bachelor's degree may be useful in securing employment within a competitive job market. Bachelor of Science programs in applied computer science are available at a variety of schools.

Graduate degree training in applied computer science - preparing students for employment as computer and information research scientists - is available at the master's and doctoral levels.

Prospective students who are interested in entry-level information technology work or more advanced computer-related education can gain the basic technology skills they need by earning an AS or AAS in applied computer science or applied computer studies.

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