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.
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 5% between 2018 and 2028, 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 9% rise in jobs during the same time. Database administrators took home a mean annual salary of $92,030 in May 2018, while network and computer systems administrators took home a mean salary of $$87,070 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.