Associate in Occupational Science - Computer Applications Specialist

Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) programs with a computer applications specialization are relatively rare. It's more common to find Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs with a computer applications specialization.

Essential Information

In AAS programs in computer systems and network security, computer programming and information technology or applied computer technology, students learn about installing, configuring, repairing, maintaining and upgrading computers. They also gain basic customer service skills. In these two-year programs, students can expect to start by taking introductory courses in applied computer technology and general education classes in math, English and science, before moving on to more specific studies of computer applications.

Note that an associate's degree program may not prepare you for a career as an information security analyst or computer network architect; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated that these careers typically require a minimum of a bachelor's degree. However, AAS programs related to computer applications may offer credits that are transferable to a bachelor's degree program in information management systems or computer science. Graduates can are also qualified for entry-level jobs.

Associate of Occupational Science with a Specialization in Computer Applications

Some of the courses for a computer applications degree program are associated with the everyday operations of computers, while others provide more in-depth technical knowledge. Depending on the program, some of the required or elective courses might include:

  • PC hardware
  • Computer architecture
  • Programming languages
  • Systems design and analysis
  • Introductory applications design
  • Databases

Salary Info and Employment Outlook

As of May 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for computer user support specialists was $48,620. The 2015 median annual salary for computer programmers was $79,530. The median annual salary for Web developers was $64,970.

The BLS predicted employment for computer programmers would decline by 8% from 2014-2024. Employment for computer user support specialists was expected to increase 13% that decade. The BLS predicted employment for Web developers would increase 27% from 2014-2024.

Continuing Education Information

Students interested in furthering their educations can pursue a bachelor's degree in computer science, information management systems or a related area. A degree in computer science can prepare individuals for technical careers in areas such as programming, information security analysis and network architecture, while individuals interested in managing IT professionals could consider enrolling in information systems management programs.

Even though there are no specific AOS programs offered in computer applications, there are plenty of computer-related AAS programs that provide the technological training needed for entry-level jobs in the IT world.

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